Trio of power play goals against put Griffins in too deep a hole to climb out of in loss to Huskies

Parker Gavlas gets a chance on Thomas Davis. Saskatchewan won 7-2 (Rebecca Chelmick photo).
Parker Gavlas gets a chance on Thomas Davis. Saskatchewan won 7-2 (Rebecca Chelmick photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – It's hard to imagine a singular turning point is at the heart of a 7-2 loss, but that's exactly what happened to the Griffins men's hockey team on Saturday.

When Carter Chorney was assessed an ultra-rare tripping major late in the first period, the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies used the ensuing powerplay to all but put the game to bed.

Not only did the penalty call happen 10 seconds after the Huskies had already scored a powerplay goal to go up 2-0, but the visitors also piled on with two more on the five-minute man advantage and put MacEwan in too far of a hole to dig out of.

"It was a really weird game," said Griffins head coach Zack Dailey. "I thought there was a major penalty call that kind of derailed us. We weren't mentally strong enough to get through that. We gave up a couple goals there and it seemed like things started to slide."

The defeat comes on the heels of an ugly 10-0 loss to the Huskies a night earlier, but it didn't hurt the Griffins in the standings. They're now 6-17-1, but still lead Regina (4-16-2) by three points in the race for the final playoff spot after the Cougars lost 4-0 to Mount Royal on Saturday.

Regina has two games in hand on MacEwan, though, so next weekend's matches between them at the Downtown Community Arena (Friday, 7 p.m. and Saturday, 4 p.m.) might as well be the playoffs.

Saskatchewan improved to 15-5-0, remaining fifth in the conference, but they have two games in hand on both MRU (17-5-0) and Alberta (15-5-2), teams just above them in the standings.

Chantz Petruic led the Huskies with a five-point night on Saturday (two goals and three assists), while Cole Jordan and Liam Keeler each had a goal and an assist, and Dawson Holt added two assists.

MacEwan was down 7-0 before they hit back with a pair of powerplay tallies. Jordan Taupert scored late in the second and Loeden Schaufler found the twine early in the third, both on cross-seam one-timers off passes from Ethan Strang and Vincent Scott, respectively. 

"I did like our response in the third period," said Dailey. "We were short guys – a bunch of guys got hurt – and we managed to score a couple goals and win a period. That was certainly a positive. 

"Instead of rolling over, we continued to push, and we won a period, so if there's anything to take away, it's that the guys didn't quit tonight."

At one point in the third, the Griffins were down to just nine healthy forwards and five healthy defencemen, while Thomas Davis, who started the night as Ashton Abel's backup, was in net for the final 29:12, stopping 14 of 15. Abel allowed six goals on 21 shots.

Ultimately, the Griffins allowed 17 goals against in two games. 

A weekend to forget.

"We're just going to wipe this one and move on," said Dailey. "It's over with. All we can do is prepare for next weekend, which is a very important weekend. We're going to shift all our focus to that and doing what we can to prepare and be at our best come Friday."