Backed by Sank, Griffins' effort top notch, but Huskies' suffocating D leads to 2-1 loss

Brianna Sank, seen making a save on Friday against Saskatchewan, stopped 64 of 67 shots thrown her way on the weekend (Electric Umbrella photo).
Brianna Sank, seen making a save on Friday against Saskatchewan, stopped 64 of 67 shots thrown her way on the weekend (Electric Umbrella photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

SASKATOON, Sask. – Brianna Sank stopped 64 of the 67 shots she faced on the weekend but has no wins to show for it after the offence of the MacEwan Griffins' women's hockey team was stymied for a second-straight day, resulting in a 2-1 loss to Saskatchewan on Saturday.

On this occasion, Sank stopped 34 of 36, but her counterpart in the Huskies' net – Colby Wilson – stopped 20 of 21 to deny the Griffins a result.

"To echo what I said last night about her, I think she's back in fine form where she was last year for us," said MacEwan head coach Chris Leeming of Sank. "She gives us an opportunity to be in every game. They got a high-volume of shots from the perimeter and we did a good job of keeping bodies out of the lanes for her, so she could see those pucks. 

"They found a way to beat her right off the faceoff. It was a nice play. But it's nice to see her back to giving us a chance to be in games again."

With the game tied 1-1 for much of the contest, the Griffins got caught icing the puck and the Huskies had a set play off a faceoff to find the winning goal by Kelsey Hall with 10:47 left to play.

Sophie Lalor had opened the scoring for Saskatchewan 11:18 into the game, while Joie Simon replied for MacEwan three-and-a-half minutes later, tipping Ali Macaulay's point shot under the bar. But the Griffins couldn't get anything else against a Huskies team that's among the stingiest in the league.

"We obviously pulled our goalie, being down one, and got a couple scoring chances," said Leeming. "We never really got a good look at it. They're a great defensive team. They've been playing one-goal games all year. That's their style of play, so they're comfortable in those positions. We were trying to play some desperate hockey and it was an uphill battle for us in the end."

With the result, the Griffins fall to 3-20-1, while the Huskies are now 16-4-2.

There are plenty of positive takeaways for MacEwan, despite the loss.

"The question I asked the team afterwards was 'are you guys proud of the effort you gave over the two games?' And the consensus was 'yes.' We agreed with that as a coaching staff. 

"We told the girls it's a fun game to coach when they're in that head space when they're committing and sacrificing. So, we were proud of the effort they put forward. It's just the way it works sometimes."

MacEwan goes back on the road next weekend when they visit Regina (5-15-2) for a pair of contests.