Chorney scores late winner as Griffins sweep Bisons with 4-2 triumph

Carter Chorney celebrates after scoring the game winner late in the third period (Derek Harback photo).
Carter Chorney celebrates after scoring the game winner late in the third period (Derek Harback photo).

Jason Hills
For MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON — It was poetic justice for MacEwan Griffins forward Carter Chorney after what happened last year against the Manitoba Bisons.

Last year, he was on the receiving end of a dirty hit against Manitoba that cut his season short, but on Saturday afternoon, he scored the game-winning goal with just over two minutes remaining to lift MacEwan to a 4-2 win and weekend sweep of their series against Manitoba.

"It was nice to get that little revenge, but our guys put forward a real gritty effort to get the win today, and that's what means the most," said Chorney.

"After I scored, I gave a little fist pump and looked at their bench. I had to rub it in their face a little bit, they were giving it to me, pretty good last game about being out last year. I had to show them how it is."

Kadyn Chabot scored twice, and Ryley Appelt added his first of the year for MacEwan, while Thomas Davis made 27 saves in the win. Bisons captain Jonny Hooker scored both goals for Manitoba in the loss.

After a commanding 5-0 win over the Bisons on Friday, it took a lot more work for MacEwan to earn the win this time around.

They fell behind 1-0 on Hooker's power play goal at the 11:57 mark of the first period. Then, after Appelt tied the game at 1-1, moments later they were forced to kill off a five-minute kneeing major assessed to Jordan Taupert.

Hooker scored on that major penalty to give Manitoba a 2-1 lead after the first period.

"We showed a lot of mental toughness tonight. We had to kill off some penalties and then guys stuck to the system," said Griffins head coach Zack Dailey.

"It took us almost the entire game to break them, but I was super happy with the effort. We continued to push, we didn't cheat on offence, and we stuck to our game plan, and we got rewarded for their effort."

Sometimes giving up a late power play goal in a period can cause a team to get frustrated, and you could make a case for MacEwan, if that were the case.

They continued to press in the second period, but weren't getting any puck luck. 

Ethan Strang ripped a shot that Bisons goaltender Kolby Thornton wasn't able to corral and the puck just grazed the outside of the post.

Then, Vincent Scott had a huge opportunity all alone in the slot, but Thornton made a nice windmill glove save.

The chances continued, and Chorney had a chance in the slot, but he ripped the shot off the crossbar.

But MacEwan kept working, and Chabot was able to tie the game at 2-2 when he and Brendan Boyle broke in on an odd-man rush. Chabot elected not to pass and sniped a shot past Thornton for his first goal of the year.

"Our group continued to work. It was a group that controlled their emotions well, and that's something that we haven't been great at. There is valuable experience playing in a tight game, and I thought we responded the right way," said Dailey.

"I feel like our guys trust each other and trust that if they play the right way, things will work out for us.

"We still want to dictate the pace of play, and have that bend, but not break mentality, and we showed that off tonight. I couldn't be happier with our effort."

The Griffins certainly wouldn't have earned the two points if it wasn't for the effort of Davis between the pipes. He made several big saves, especially in the third period.

He robbed Noah Basarab on a breakaway early in the third. He sprawled out to make a huge glove save off Dylan Thiessen and he followed it up making a diving stick save off of Cameron Trimble.

"He was great again tonight. He shut the door after the first period. He kept his composure and gave us a chance to win," said Dailey. "We may not have given up many chances, but the ones we did were very dangerous, and he had to come up with big saves for us.

"We need our goalies to make the saves for us at key times, and I thought both our goalies did that for us this weekend."