Griffins can't hold early lead as Bisons storm back with four unanswered goals for 4-2 win

Ty Taylor makes one of his 32 saves against Manitoba on Friday night (Dave Mahussier photo).
Ty Taylor makes one of his 32 saves against Manitoba on Friday night (Dave Mahussier photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

-With files from Manitoba Athletics

 WINNIPEG, Man. – Conceding four unanswered goals in the final two periods, the MacEwan Griffins fell 4-2 to the Manitoba Bisons in their first Canada West contest in more than a month Friday night.

It was also the first-ever regular season game between the new rivals as MacEwan continues to pass several firsts in their inaugural Canada West campaign.

The Griffins actually jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the contest, courtesy of first period tallies from Chase Thudium – on a one-timer off a pass from Cameron Reagan – and Loeden Schaufler on a wraparound.

"It's certainly been awhile since both teams have played and I think we came out and took advantage of our opportunities in the first period and gained some momentum," said Griffins assistant coach Sean Ringrose. "There were quite a few chances that went both ways. Ty (Taylor) was really sharp early."

Manitoba's Reece Harsch scored a second-period powerplay goal and the homestanding Bisons seized the momentum, tying the game before the middle frame was done on Noah Basarab's tally.

Linden McCorrister struck for the game-winner with the man advantage midway through the third before Chase Hartje put it away with 9:04 left.

"As the game progressed, we started to turn the puck over a little bit and get away from our game plan," said Ringrose. "We had a few too many breakdowns. A few of those are going to happen after such a long break and getting back into things, but it's something we're definitely going to have to shore up tomorrow."

MacEwan (3-10-0) and Manitoba (4-8-1) will renew acquaintances on Saturday (2 p.m. MT, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).

Chase Thudium gets a tip on Manitoba goaltender Jeremy Link on Friday (Dave Mahussier photo).

Taylor finished with 32 saves for the Griffins, while Jeremy Link stopped 21 for the Bisons.

"I thought given all those opportunities, Ty gave us a fighting chance in there when we were battling for it," said Ringrose of his goaltender. "I think towards the end of the game we ran out of gas a little bit. There was a lot of good we saw coming from the game but a lot we can clean up."

Added Griffins' captain Ethan Price: "We have to move our feet, win races to pucks and win battles. If we do those things, we'll be successful."