Griffins unable to beat Durante for a second-straight day, suffering a 3-0 loss in Calgary

The Griffins put 42 shots on Calgary netminder Gabriella Durante over two games on the weekend and couldn't get one past her (Jim Corry photo).
The Griffins put 42 shots on Calgary netminder Gabriella Durante over two games on the weekend and couldn't get one past her (Jim Corry photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

-With files from Dinos Athletics

CALGARY – Unable to get anything past Gabriella Durante for a second-straight night, the MacEwan Griffins fell down to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Calgary Dinos on Saturday.

The Dinos goaltender earned a 16-save shutout a night after blanking the Griffins with 26 saves in a 4-0 win on Friday.

"It was a little bit of yesterday again," said Griffins interim head coach Chris Leeming. "We got some scoring chances, but we didn't get in front of her and take away her eyes and create some secondary scoring chances. 

"We did create some good scoring chances actually today but just weren't able to finish."

So, the weekend ended with a four-point swing, but not the one the Griffins had in mind when they entered the series 10 points behind the Dinos for the final playoff spot in Canada West. MacEwan (3-14-1) is now 14 points back of Calgary (9-8-3), who are now tied with Trinity Western (9-8-3) for fifth place in the conference, but have two games in hand, at least.

The Griffins came out strong on Saturday and had the Dinos on their heels early, outshooting them 6-4 in the first period. But Calgary woke up and poured 24 shots on Brianna Sank over the final 40 minutes, opening the scoring late in the second on a Josie McLeod tally.

"The second period was a little bit of a lull," said Leeming whose team was outshot 12-2 in the frame. "We took some penalties, so we were on the kill, but we did a good job. I thought we built some momentum from it and were pretty consistent. 

"I thought we played better overall than we did yesterday. It's just the fact we didn't score any goals this weekend. We're not going to win that way."

With MacEwan unable to beat Durante, the Dinos got an insurance marker from Dana Wood 5:26 into the third. Then, with the Griffins attempting to pull Sank for an extra attacker, Sydney Mercier grabbed the puck and hit the net before she could get back in the crease to round out the scoring with 1:01 left.

Sank made 25 saves for the Griffins.

"Like I said, I thought we were better overall than we were yesterday," said Leeming. "We threw some new things at them this week and they were able to apply it directly to our game. We're happy with that. 

"The last five games we've been playing better hockey overall than we did down the stretch towards Christmas. So, I think we're trending in the right direction. It's just a matter of scoring goals so we can get some wins."

The Griffins will next host Regina (3-14-1) in a pair of games Jan. 13-14.