Griffins get into penalty trouble, giving up three PP goals in 5-0 loss to Pandas

The Griffins couldn't get into a rhythm after taking eight penalties against Alberta on Saturday (Derek Harback photo).
The Griffins couldn't get into a rhythm after taking eight penalties against Alberta on Saturday (Derek Harback photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – A wave of penalties disrupted anything and everything the Griffins attempted to build against the Alberta Pandas on Saturday night.

Playing on their heels after giving up three goals against on eight powerplays, MacEwan fell 5-0 to their cross-town rivals in the final action of the first semester.

"I thought we had a good start," said MacEwan head coach Chris Leeming. "I guess big picture, we came out of the gate and had a good first 10 minutes and then we ran into penalty trouble. That was consistent throughout the whole game. 

"It's tough to get into a routine. We get a handful of shifts in and then we have to go back to killing a penalty."

With the result, Albert improves to 14-2-2, while MacEwan drops to 3-15-0.

It's the fourth-straight time this season that the Pandas have shut out the Griffins. 

On Saturday, the goose-egg belonged to Grace Glover, who made 13 saves for her third shutout of the campaign (and second against MacEwan).

Leeming explained why they've had struggles scoring against Alberta, which is the stingiest team in Canada West, only allowing 15 goals against in 18 games.

"We don't have any elite offensive players and we struggle to get pucks and bodies to the net, which is how we have to score goals," said the Griffins' head coach. "Our goals come off secondary chances, creating some rebounds, getting some screens. They do a good job blocking shots and defending their own zone. We need to find a way to break that down and we just haven't found a way to do that yet."

MacEwan hits the break seven points back of the final playoff spot in the conference, so it's not out of reach yet with 10 games left when they resume Jan. 5 vs. Calgary.

Leeming notes they'll need to find more consistency if they hope to rally for a post-season spot, though.

"If we want to put ourselves in a position to be successful, it's going to take a lot of hard work, it's going to take blocking shots, it's going to take giving second efforts," he said. "When we choose to do that, we're a damn good team. 

"When we don't choose to do that, for whatever reason, we really do struggle as a group."