Strong start not enough for Griffins in 6-3 loss to Bisons

Allee Isley led the Griffins with two points (a goal and an assist) in a 6-3 loss at Manitoba (Joel Kingston photo).
Allee Isley led the Griffins with two points (a goal and an assist) in a 6-3 loss at Manitoba (Joel Kingston photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

WINNIPEG – Their start was exactly what they wanted.

Up 2-0 in the first period, the Griffins women's hockey team was rolling against the Manitoba Bisons.

But they took their foot off the gas, getting outscored 6-1 in the final 46 minutes and change of a 6-3 loss.

"The first period was awesome," said head coach Chris Leeming. "It was really, really good. And then I think we thought that was how the rest of the game would go for us. To win games at this level, it's going to take more than 20 minutes."

With the result, the Griffins fall to 1-6-0, while the Bisons pass them in the standings, moving to 1-4-0.

"We fell a little complacent and started to take some shortcuts and they capitalized on it," said Leeming. "The second period, we got outplayed completely. Early in the third, they scored back-to-back goals because we were cheating – we tried to blow the zone and didn't have full possession of it. 

"We beat ourselves today, I think, is the big picture."

Makenna Schuttler opened the scoring for the Griffins just 1:43 into the game when she snuck a wraparound past Manitoba goalie Meagan Relf.

Allee Isley made it 2-0 just 6:34 in when she tipped home Sydney Hughson's point blast. Isley led the Griffins with two points, also netting an assist.

But it was almost all Manitoba after Rachel Gottfried got the Bisons on the board with 6:07 left in the opening frame. 

Camille Enns tied it up after 40 before Aimee Patrick scored back-to-back goals within three minutes at the start of the third to put it out of reach. 

"(Cleaning up the details) was what we talked about going out for the third period and then we took some shortcuts early on and gave up two goals," said Leeming. "We tried to simplify, and Manitoba had a good push and outworked us. They earned the win."

Samantha Sichkaruk and Ashley Keller also scored for Manitoba, while Jesse Jack got one back for MacEwan, scoring on the powerplay.

"We scored two powerplay goals, which we hadn't done in a while and then killed off two penalties," said Leeming of some positives to pull out of the contest. "Our penalty kill was in a good spot."

Brianna Sank stopped 27 of 33 for the Griffins, while Relf made 20 saves for Manitoba.

The teams will meet again on Saturday (1 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).