Tough night for special teams, lack of consistency costs Griffins in 4-1 loss to Cougars

Jesse Jack scored MacEwan's lone goal on the power play in the second period (Adrian Shellard photo).
Jesse Jack scored MacEwan's lone goal on the power play in the second period (Adrian Shellard photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

CALGARY – Not much went right for the MacEwan Griffins women's hockey team in a 4-1 loss to the Mount Royal University Cougars on Friday night.

Their penalty kill, which has been so strong for them recently, allowed two goals against on five opportunities. And their powerplay, which has been effective this month, went 1-for-6, including getting shutout on a 5-on-3 opportunity for 1:56 at the end of the second period, which could have changed the complexion of the game.

"We had a 5-on-3 powerplay we didn't really execute on," said head coach Chris Leeming. "I think we had four or five blocked shots. We just weren't getting shots through and then we gave up a short-handed goal, too. It wasn't really a great game in that sense."

With the result, the Griffins fall to 2-11-0 and are now seven points back of the final playoff spot after Manitoba (5-7-1) beat Calgary, while the Cougars improve to 10-3-0.

"It was an issue of consistency – shift to shift and battle to battle within those shifts," said Leeming of where the night went wrong≥ "I think we need to be more consistent."

Jesse Jack scored the lone goal for the Griffins on the powerplay in the second period when she wheeled around the net and sniped it on goalie Kaitlyn Ross. 

That pulled the Griffins within two with 5:39 left in the second period, so when MRU had Alex Spence booked for bodychecking and Jori Hansen-Young tagged for delay of game four seconds apart just over a minute later, it gave them a golden opportunity to get back in the contest.

It didn't happen.

Both goaltenders – Brianna Sank for MacEwan and Ross for MRU – finished with 19 saves.

If they stand a hope of beating MRU in the rematch on Saturday (5 p.m., Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV), the Griffins have some things to clean up.

"Playing 200 feet of the ice for 60 minutes would be the biggest thing we can improve on to give ourselves an opportunity to be successful," said Leeming. "Just having good awareness and communicating – all the habits we've been talking about, I don't think we executed them very well tonight at all."