Sank's 39-save shutout leads Griffins to 3-0 in over Dinos in season opener

Brianna Sank makes one of her 39 saves during a 3-0 win over Calgary on Friday (Chris Lindsey photo).
Brianna Sank makes one of her 39 saves during a 3-0 win over Calgary on Friday (Chris Lindsey photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

CALGARY – Brianna Sank was particularly strong early after the Griffins came out flat and finished with a 39-save shutout to lead MacEwan past Calgary 3-0 in their Canada West season opener on Friday night.

The Griffins mustered only 17 shots in comparison, but they build off their goaltender's strong play, got the lead and saw the result out.

"I think the first period was one we'd prefer to forget but Sank kept us in the game and we built off that," said head coach Chris Leeming. "We got better each period. 

"I thought the buy-in and compete – we played as a family and had pretty good enthusiasm and energy throughout the third period. We focused on the process and didn't really worry about the outcome and ultimately, the chips really fell for us. It was a good team win."

Sank was particularly sharp on MacEwan's five penalty kills, including a 5-on-3 against for 1:01 in the middle of the third period.

"We had a five-on-three that we killed off and she was stellar on the PK," said Leeming. "There's the old adage that your goalie has to be your best penalty killer and she definitely was that for us tonight."

It's the fourth shutout of Sank's career, which goes back to her first university season (2019-20) in the ACAC.

"If it wasn't for her, we could have been down early," said Leeming. "She made a lot of key saves at a lot of key times. It built some momentum for us as a group and I think we rallied around that. We got better each period and earned the win at the end of the day."

Jennifer Andrash opened the scoring for MacEwan midway through the second period when she jumped on a juicy rebound coughed up by Calgary's Gabriella Durante off Tess Collier's point shot.

Shaelyn Hopkins netted an insurance marker for MacEwan in the final minute of the middle frame when her powerplay shot from the left point beat Durante blocker side.

Allee Isley added an empty-net goal with 40 seconds left.

The teams will meet again in Edmonton for MacEwan's home opener on Saturday (5 p.m., Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV).