With offence held in check again, Griffins come up short, losing 3-1 to Dinos

Griffins assistant captain Rylee Gluska battles with Calgary's Alli Borrow during Saturday's game (David Moll photo).
Griffins assistant captain Rylee Gluska battles with Calgary's Alli Borrow during Saturday's game (David Moll photo).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

-With files from Dinos Communications

CALGARY – Unable to put more than one past Calgary goaltender Gabriella Durante for the second-straight night, the MacEwan Griffins women's hockey team again fell 3-1 to the Dinos on Saturday.

While the score was the same as Friday's contest, MacEwan head coach Lindsay McAlpine felt their efforts were stronger in the rematch.

"I actually thought it probably the best team game we've played thus far as a group," she said. "We didn't capitalize on some point blank opportunities. I feel this is becoming a bit of a theme, but it's something with a young squad that we're going to have to work through."

It's actually the third time in four games this season that the Griffins have failed to score more than once in a contest.

Although their goaltenders Natalie Bender and Brianna Sank have played well, that's too much to expect them to steal wins with only one goal on offence.

"I think we just need someone to step up," said McAlpine. "It's a different league and different level. Those really key scoring chances don't come often, so we need to find a way to bury them."

Especially with Sank, who made 31 saves on Saturday, giving them a chance to win.

"She played an outstanding game and made some great saves for us," said McAlpine, singling out a cross-crease rob in the third period that took away a sure Calgary goal. "It was a really back-and-forth game. Both goaltenders were really solid tonight."

Calgary defenceman Emily Hill opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game as she took a pass from Alli Borrow, showed patience, and blasted a shot through a sea of bodies.

The Griffins nearly tied it late in the middle frame when Kallie O'Hearn rang a shot off the post. Moments later, at the other end of the ice, Holly Reuther stepped off the bench and went straight to the net where she scored her second goal of the season that stood up as the game-winner.

Halfway through the third period, MacEwan cut Calgary's lead in half when fifth-year forward Chantal Ricker recorded her second goal of the season on the power play, redirecting a point shot by Kyrelle Skoye.

"She elevated her game when we needed her to," said McAlpine. "She has found ways to put the puck in the net in back-to-back weekends. She scored a really nice powerplay goal on a great feed from Kyrelle Skoye."

With the Griffins pressing for the equalizer, but unable to beat Durante – who stopped 28 of 29 shots – the Dinos took a 3-1 lead on a weird bounce that found the stick of Elizabeth Lang.

"One of their top goal scorers found it on her stick right at the net front and put in a beautiful goal bar down," said McAlpine.

With the result, the Griffins fall to 1-3-0 on the season, while the Dinos improve to 2-2-0. MacEwan now returns home to host UBC next weekend (Friday, 7 p.m., and Saturday, 2 p.m., both Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).