CW Coaches Poll: Griffins ranked seventh ahead of season opener vs. Calgary

CW Coaches Poll: Griffins ranked seventh ahead of season opener vs. Calgary

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – After coming within a point of the program's first Canada West playoff berth last season, the Griffins men's hockey team will be looking to take the next step in 2023-24.

The squad was voted to finish seventh in the Canada West preseason Coaches' Poll, released by the conference on Wednesday, receiving 31 points in voting. 

Defending champion Calgary (70), Alberta (63) and UBC (59) were voted as the top three teams in the poll.

MacEwan will kick off the season with a home-and-home series against the Dinos on Thursday (7 p.m. in Calgary) and Friday (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena, both Canada West TV).


The CW men's hockey season will continue through Feb. 10 before the top six teams qualify for playoffs. The U SPORTS national championship is set for March 14-17 at Toronto Metropolitan University.


Team - Points (First-place votes)

  1. Calgary Dinos - 70 (6)
  2. Alberta Golden Bears - 63 (2)
  3. UBC Thunderbirds - 59 (1)
  4. Saskatchewan Huskies - 51 
  5. Mount Royal Cougars - 47
  6. Regina Cougars - 35
  7. MacEwan Griffins- 31
  8. Manitoba Bisons - 24
  9. Trinity Western Spartans - 16


Fans can catch all the action through the new look CanadaWest.TV, which now allows fans to watch games on popular Connected TV apps like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.


Key Performer: G Ashton Abel (Fifth Year, Fort McMurray, AB)

2022-23 Stats: 8 W, 4.09 GAA, .891 SV%, 643 Saves

In just the Griffins' second season in Canada West in 2022-23, the Boston University transfer was the biggest reason they came within a point of their first playoff berth. Chief among Abel's several big performances was a 48-save effort at Alberta last October that gave MacEwan its first win over the rival Golden Bears in Canada West (and first in any game since 2007). He then stopped 44 of 46 to steal a victory at UBC three weeks later. The reigning MacEwan Male Athlete of the Year had the second-most saves in the conference last season (643) and will be heavily relied upon again if the Griffins are to challenge for a post-season spot.

From the Coach: "We are a young team that looks to play a physical, fast style. Keys to success are having good special teams (power play and penalty kill) and commitment to team defense," -Zack Dailey