Taupert's best efforts - a three-point night - not enough to dig Griffins out of an early hole

Jordan Taupert recorded two goals and an assist for the Griffins on Saturday night (Joel Kingston photo).
Jordan Taupert recorded two goals and an assist for the Griffins on Saturday night (Joel Kingston photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

-With files from Alberta Athletics

EDMONTON – Jordan Taupert did his best to lead an inspiring rally, but his three-point effort wasn't enough to lift the MacEwan men's hockey team out of a massive hole they dug early in Saturday's game against Alberta at Clare Drake Arena.

The Griffins spotted the Golden Bears a 5-0 lead, scored three straight and fell 6-3 in Canada West men's hockey action.

"I think we were super inconsistent the first couple of periods," said MacEwan head coach Zack Dailey. "We lost a bunch of races, lost battles. We couldn't execute passes and then we seemed to figure it out in the third period, but by then the hole was too big. 

"You're going to hear me talk a lot about consistency this year and trying to find consistency. It's still not there."

With the result, the Griffins fall to 0-5-1 on the season, while the Golden Bears improve to 3-2-1.

It's not the first time this season that MacEwan has tried to rally back from an early deficit. They were down 6-0 to Saskatchewan on Oct. 6 before responding with two late goals in the final nine minutes.

"That's going to be the goal of trying to figure that out tomorrow," said Dailey of fixing the problem. "I talked to the group, as well, that we need to figure this out right away. I'm not sure if we're practicing the wrong way, our mindset's wrong. I'm not sure, but we're going to try and figure that out this week and make sure we're ready to go for a very important weekend coming up."

On Saturday, Alberta trio Eric Florchuk, Noah Boyko and Daneel Lategan provided the firepower for the Golden Bears, combining for five goals and eight points.

Boyko and Florchuk each scored a pair, to go along with markers from Lategan and Josh Prokop.

MacEwan was quiet on the scoreboard until Taupert got going midway through the second period, sniping home a one-time pass from Hunter Donohoe on a 4-on-4.

Taupert then sent a stretch pass from his own end to Kole Gable, who beat Alberta's Matt Berlin 5:14 into the third period. 

Just over a minute later, Taupert made things interesting, tipping in Eduard Wruck's shot-pass in tight to pull the Griffins within two. It's the 12th time a Griffins player has scored two goals in a Canada West game.

"He's been consistently one of our best forwards night in and night out," said Dailey. "He's been getting a lot of chances, so I'm happy for some pucks to go in for him. Hopefully, it builds some confidence. He works hard, he does things correctly, shows up every night, brings energy, so I'm happy to see him get rewarded."

Thomas Davis made 44 saves for the Griffins.

Next up for MacEwan is a home doubleheader against Manitoba on Oct. 20-21.