Macaulay and Andrash score as Griffins put up a fight against UBC

Jennifer Andrash scored for MacEwan in a 6-2 loss to UBC on Friday night (Joel Kingston photo).
Jennifer Andrash scored for MacEwan in a 6-2 loss to UBC on Friday night (Joel Kingston photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

VANCOUVER – Up against the No. 1 team in U SPORTS, the Griffins took a penalty just 11 seconds into Friday's contest.

They were scored on 22 seconds later. 

As a result, they were chasing the game the rest of the way but couldn't gain enough traction to rally back on the UBC Thunderbirds, falling 6-2 in Canada West women's hockey action.

"It was a weird game," said MacEwan head coach Chris Leeming. "They're a really good team, but it was a bit closer than the six goals they put up.

"Some of their goals were some pretty nice goals because they've got some good players who can make good plays," he continued. "Then there were a couple fluke goals, in my opinion. One went off Ali Macaulay's jersey, changed direction completely, and floated in on Jonny. We had a goal disallowed on the powerplay as well."

The breaks went UBC's way in the contest, but they earned them, as well, by outshooting the Griffins 41-13.

As a result, MacEwan falls to 1-8-0, while UBC improves to 8-0-1.

"They're a pretty strong team," said Leeming. "They're ranked No. 1 in the country for a reason. In the first period, we spent a lot of time in our D zone. They had a lot of zone time. We didn't give up a ton of Grade A scoring chances, in my opinion, but I was impressed with the work ethic we had for 60 minutes. 

"We weren't deterred by the fact we were outshot 12-1 after the first period."

After UBC gained a 3-0 lead on goals by Chanreet Bassi, Cassidy Rhodes and Sophia Gaskell, Macaulay notched the first goal of her Canada West career, ripping a powerplay shot past T'Birds tendy Elise Hugens in the second period.

"She got her first Canada West goal," said Leeming of the Olds College transfer. "It was a well-played shot. She had a really great game tonight for 60 minutes; she was one of our best players."

UBC took a 4-1 lead early in the third period on Grace Elliott's tally before Jennifer Andrash scored a beauty 6:13 into the final frame.

"We've been focusing on making sure we can get D zone out and we were able to execute that," said Leeming of the play that feature Makenna Schuttler lugging it up the boards and dishing to Andrash for a hot snapper through a defender and over Hugens' glove. "(Jenny) wasn't in the lineup last weekend because of an injury. It was nice to have her back. That's what I said to her on the bench 'welcome back to the lineup.' She had a big smile on her face."

Hugens made seven saves for UBC, while Lindsey Johnson stopped 23 for MacEwan.

"She made a lot of key saves for us and kept us in the game," said Leeming. "I think it could have been a lot higher score if she didn't play as well as she did."

The teams will meet again on Saturday (4 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).