Sandman Player of the Month: Gable came up clutch, scoring five goals in four huge February games

Sandman Player of the Month: Gable came up clutch, scoring five goals in four huge February games

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – After scoring five goals in four games this month for the MacEwan Griffins men's hockey team, captain Kole Gable has been named the Griffins' Sandman Player of the Month for February.

The Fort McMurray, Alta. product receives a free night's stay at the Sandman Signature Downtown Edmonton hotel.

The graduating senior finished his five-year career at MacEwan with a flourish, recording a hat-trick amongst his goal production, while adding 11 shots and a +2 rating in four February contests.

One of them was the night the Griffins clinched a playoff spot – Feb. 2 at Manitoba – and two of the others were playoff games against Mount Royal University. In other words, he was clutch in the biggest of moments.

"That's kind of your expectation for your captain is they can handle the pressure and they can lead by example, especially in the most important and stressful, tense situations," said MacEwan head coach Zack Dailey. 

"I'm proud of him. He put in the work and was able to do that. That's the expectation of our captains, unfair or not, but he lived up to it."

Gable' signature moment of the month was when he scored three times on Feb. 2 to pace the Griffins to a 7-2 win over Manitoba that clinched the program's first U SPORTS playoff spot.

It was only the second hat trick by a Griffins player since the program joined Canada West in 2021, following Ethan Strang's three-goal outburst against Manitoba back in October.

"The whole thing we've talked about all year is offensively you don't need to do anything special," said Dailey. "You need to get pucks on net, and you need to have traffic and be there. It's hard, but that's where the goals are scored – right in front of the net. I think all three of his goals were right in front of the crease. 

"It shows you get rewarded for going to the net. I know his linemates made some really good plays, as well, so that always helps when your linemates are clicking. But just going to the hard, simple area and getting rewarded (was the theme)."

Gable finished his final season at MacEwan fourth in scoring on the Griffins with nine goals and 19 points in 24 games. He added a goal in the Griffins' playoff series against MRU Feb. 16-17. The captain was also leaned on for his two-way play in 2023-24.

"He was depended upon for the powerplay, and penalty kill," said Dailey. "Once we put him net-front on the powerplay, that's when stuff really started clicking. He made some really good plays from the goal line, as well as being really good in front of the net. 

"Last year, his points total wasn't there, but I thought he was a little unlucky on a lot of scoring chances. His shooting percentage was down below what an average shooting percentage would be, so I was not surprised at all to see his point total go up because the work was there, and he did all the little things right. 

"I think it's a year he should be very proud of."