WINNIPEG, Man. – While they made some improvements that don't show up on the scoresheet, Saturday's game ended up being more of the same for the Griffins men's hockey team as they lost 7-2 to the Manitoba Bisons and were swept in a weekend series for the first time this season.
The defeat follows a 7-1 loss to the Bisons on Friday.
"I thought we did a bit better job," said interim head coach Zack Dailey of Saturday's response. "It just looked like we ran out of gas at the end of the game.
"Again, we had a couple injuries, so we were playing 10 forwards and five D. They're a good team that skates well and competes hard. Trying to keep up with their pace, we weren't able to do that."
It's a disappointing result for a Griffins team that has managed to split series with four U SPORTS national championship contenders so far this season – Alberta, Mount Royal, UBC and Saskatchewan – all of whom are stronger clubs than the Bisons.
"I think it just shows you have to respect your opponent at all times," said Dailey. "Every team in this league is quite good and you have to bring your 'A' game. I don't think we did that this weekend."
After the first period ended scoreless, the Bisons went to work in the second as Dylan Thiessen, Hayden Ostir and Mitchell Dyck put the home side up 3-0 through 40 minutes.
The Herd added three powerplay goals – two by Brett Davis and another by Linden McCorrister – and a short-handed tally in the third period by Thiessen, while MacEwan responded with Curtis Roach and David Kope goals to seal the final result.
Ultimately, Bisons goaltender, who stopped 27 of 29 shots on Saturday, made 73 saves over two games. The Griffins attempted to make his life more difficult by getting more traffic in the rematch, but still came up short.
"I thought we did a bit of a better job, but they have big, strong D, who did quite a good job at clearing us out of the way," said Dailey. "I think that's something we can still work on."
The Griffins head into a bye week before a home-and-home series vs. cross-town rival Alberta Dec. 2-3 to close out the first semester.