Griffins head to Calgary with sights set on chasing down program's first Canada West playoff spot

Stefan Gajic and the Griffins will visit the Calgary Dinos on Saturday and Sunday (Tia Schram photo).
Stefan Gajic and the Griffins will visit the Calgary Dinos on Saturday and Sunday (Tia Schram photo).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – The playoff implications for the MacEwan Griffins men's soccer team will be clearer by the time they play on Saturday afternoon in Calgary.

But the math seems pretty straight-forward: they need to win at least one of their two matches against the Calgary Dinos (Saturday and Sunday, 2:15 p.m., Canada West TV presented by Co-op) to catch the final playoff spot in Canada West's Central Division.

The Saskatchewan Huskies (3-4-1), who are two points ahead of the Griffins (2-4-2), will visit the Alberta Golden Bears (3-1-4) on Friday (2 p.m., Foote Field) and host them in the rematch on Sunday back in Saskatoon.

"We just need some help from our cross-town rivals," said Griffins head coach Adam Loga of the Golden Bears, who likely need to win both to have a shot at a home playoff date in the opening round. "Those games are meaningful for them, as well."

It also matters to Alberta how MacEwan does against Calgary as the Dinos are three points up on the Golden Bears for second place in the division.

"I think if we can get 4-6 (points) it gives us an opportunity to make that push into playoffs," said Loga. "U of A and U of S play Friday, so we'll at least know one of the results when we kick off Saturday, which will help guide us and give us a clearer vision of what we need to do. But we've got to take care of business on our end."

That includes trying to become the first team to knock off the Dinos (4-0-4) this season. MacEwan does have success against them in the past, most notably going 1-0-1 against Calgary in the 2019 season, the last one before the pandemic.

At stake is plenty of motivation: the chance to earn the first Canada West playoff spot since the Griffins joined the conference in 2014.

"We know we're going into a weekend with the chance to do something that's never been done in our program's history," said Loga. "That's been guiding the lads and giving them the momentum we need."