Scott scores twice to pace Griffins to 3-2 win over nationally-ranked Cougars

Vincent Scott watches his tip go in over the shoulder of Riley Sims to open the scoring on Friday night (Jefferson Hagen photo).
Vincent Scott watches his tip go in over the shoulder of Riley Sims to open the scoring on Friday night (Jefferson Hagen photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Rookie Vincent Scott scored twice, including the game-winner in the third period as the MacEwan Griffins knocked off U SPORTS No. 7 Mount Royal 3-2 in Canada West men's hockey action Friday night.

Ashton Abel made 26 saves for the Griffins – including two huge stops on a four-minute penalty kill in the final 5:59 of the contest – as MacEwan stretched its winning streak to three in a row.

"It was huge," said Scott of the victory, which comes on the heels of a series sweep at Trinity Western last weekend. "We're pretty close in the standings to the teams below and above us, so a win against MRU is huge for us."

With the result, MacEwan further improved its standing in the Canada West playoff picture, now with a 5-7-1 record, three points ahead of Regina (3-8-2) for the final post-season berth. The Cougars were beaten 7-2 by Alberta on Friday. 

Mount Royal (8-5-0) was leapfrogged by the Golden Bears for fourth and are now a point behind them and five up on MacEwan for fifth.

"That's a really good hockey team that we played," said Griffins head coach Zack Dailey. "I liked our effort. I thought we did a really good job with our mindset of just staying with it throughout the game and being more consistent. 

"I'm happy the guys got rewarded for a consistent effort."

Scott opened the scoring just 4:44 into the game when he and Brendan Boyle took off on a counter-attack odd-man rush and the rookie tipped Boyle's point shot over Riley Sims' shoulder.

Down 1-0 to enter the second period, the Cougars came out flying in the middle frame. Connor Bouchard tied the game 2:10 into it and Kasey Hiemstra put MRU ahead at 13:37, picking off an errant pass at his own blueline and going in alone for a short-handed tally.

But Kadyn Chabot got the Griffins level again just before the intermission when he threw a shot on net from the side wall and it eluded Sims.

"They're very fast, they work hard, they're dangerous and they have the top scorer in the league," said Dailey. "In the second period, they came at us with speed, and we sat back a little bit. But I liked our pushback in the third period. We started off pretty strong. And it's just a good response by our guys."

Scott scored the winner just 3:15 into the third when he tipped home Loeden Schaufler's hard centring pass.

"That's what we talk about – the simple plays," said Dailey. "All that is is a drive wide, a guy driving to the net and us putting a puck on net and hoping for the best. Those are more plays we need. We need more guys going to the net, we need more pucks to the net. 

"So, it was a good hard-working goal. I'm happy they got rewarded for doing the right thing and making the right play."

Scott is now up to four goals and seven points in 13 games. 

"He's wheeling out there," said Dailey of the former Canmore Eagles star. "He's very fast. He puts a lot of pressure on the other team's defence, especially off the rush. It's hard to catch up to him. He was just making good plays, working hard, and doing things correctly. 

"I'm definitely proud of him. He got rewarded for playing well."

Abel also had a solid night, coming up especially big on a late four-minute penalty kill with a great one-timer stop on Robbie Holmes in the first half of it and a solid glove save on a deflected puck through traffic off Kyle Walker's point blast in the second half of it.

"Unbelievable," said Scott. "We can always rely on our goalies. All three of them are unreal goalies, so we're pretty fortunate and lucky to have the talent we have in the net this year."

The teams will meet again on Saturday in Calgary (6 p.m., Canada West TV).