Griffins will aim for rebound in rematch after being blown out by Huskies

Kole Gable puts one of MacEwan's 32 shots on Saskatchewan's Jordan Kooy Friday, but they couldn't beat him in a tough loss (Jefferson Hagen photo).
Kole Gable puts one of MacEwan's 32 shots on Saskatchewan's Jordan Kooy Friday, but they couldn't beat him in a tough loss (Jefferson Hagen photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Essentially what could go wrong did go wrong for the Griffins men's hockey team on Friday night.

They couldn't score on a hot goalie (Jordan Kooy), couldn't catch a break on the defensive end and found themselves dealing with a 10-0 blowout loss at the hands of the Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday night.

"I hope we're really upset and pissed off," said MacEwan head coach Zack Dailey. "That's embarrassing. We just got embarrassed here on our home ice when we're in a playoff push. 

"Hopefully, our guys take that as motivation and come out with a better effort, ready to compete, ready to win some one-on-one battles and ready to have a better game (tomorrow)."

On the positive side of the leger, the Griffins (6-16-1) remain three points ahead of Regina (4-15-2) for the final post-season position in Canada West because the Cougars were beaten 5-1 by Mount Royal on Friday.

Nine different players scored for the Huskies, led by a two-goal effort from Dawson Holt, as they improved to 14-5-0, still fifth in the conference, but they have games in hand to make up on everyone above them.

Kooy recorded 32 saves for his first career Canada West shutout, and he was full marks for it, even if he got some help from his posts on more than one occasion in the contest.

"I thought for two periods it might have been a closer game than the score showed," said Dailey. "I thought we created some chances. Their goalie had a really good game today. 

"Then I thought we just got discouraged. Stuff wasn't going our way and instead of digging deep and continuing to work at it, we just looked like we gave up, which is super unfortunate. Our group needs to be a group that handles adversity well and we did not do a good job of that tonight."

Case in point was the Huskies' fifth goal by Raphael Pelletier as his wing-and-a-prayer baseball swing on a sailing centering pass from Ty Prefontaine hit a home run right over Ashton Abel's shoulder. That chased MacEwan's starter from the contest after he made 19 saves on 24 shots.

Eric Ward came in for the last 29:27 and didn't fare any better, also allowing five goals on 24 shots.

Eric Ward loses his helmet on a second period play (Jefferson Hagen photo).

"That's a good hockey team and they competed hard," said Dailey. "I thought we got out-competed all night. They were first to pucks, they won one-on-one battles. I thought for a couple periods there, we had some pushback, we created some chances and put some pressure on them. Then unfortunately in the third there, they kept going and we didn't raise our level."

Saskatchewan crushed the Griffins on the scoreboard and also thrashed them on special teams, going 2-for-4 on the powerplay before Ben Tkachuk's late short-handed goal really put the lemon juice in MacEwan's wound.

"I didn't think our special teams helped at all," said Dailey. "We had a chance on the powerplay to get a little momentum and instead we gave up a goal and gave them a bunch of momentum. We need our special teams to be better tomorrow if we want to have a chance to win a hockey game."

The teams will meet again on Saturday (4 p.m., Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV).