Austin Connelly, For MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Three minutes and fourteen seconds was all it took for the MacEwan Griffins to take a 3-0 lead on the Briercrest Clippers Friday night at the Downtown Community Arena, a lead they would never relinquish in a 15-3 win.
"We weren't happy about how things went last weekend, so we wanted to come out with a real good effort tonight and I think we were able to do that with a strong start in the first period," said interim head coach Sean Ringrose.
The Griffins struck first just 1:35 into the game when Brett Smythe came streaking down the right side on a two-on-one before sliding a beautiful pass to Spencer McLean who went just under the bar to beat sprawling Clippers goalie Billy Cawthorn.
MacEwan wasn't done there as captain Cam Gotaas showed no quit as he fought off a defender to jam the puck through the Clippers goaltender's legs in tight after a shot that barely made it way to the net, his sixth of the season.
Brayden Hyland got into the fun just over a minute later when he got a pass in the slot after a beautiful feed from Zach Webb from behind the net and fired it low blocker side to put the Griffins up 3-0.
It was a balanced night of scoring for the Griffins as 12 players all had multi-point games and all four forward lines accounted for at least one goal. Brayden Hyland, Joseph Karpyshyn and, Bryan Arneson each scored twice while Ryan McKinnon netted a hat-trick, Chase Miller had a goal and four assists, and Nicolas Correale added four helpers.
"It felt good (to score first hat trick in ACAC), but it honestly felt better to get the win after two losses," said Ryan McKinnon.
MacEwan extended their lead to 7-0 after the first period as the Griffins clearly came with their 'A' game, hounding the Clippers all over the ice for a full 60 minutes. Securing the lopsided victory got the Griffins back over .500 after two close losses to the Augustana Vikings last weekend.
Circling around the net back to his own missed shot, Joseph Karpyshyn was able to score his first-ever ACAC goal in the second period to make it 8-0 when his original shot laid perfectly for him and he had just enough power to blast through Cawthorn's outstretched stick on the second effort.
"It felt good, took a little while to get it," said Joseph Karpyshyn after his first career ACAC goal.
"I really like our line, I feel like our line has been buzzing the last couple of games McKinnon is a good shooter and Chase (Miller) is a great puck mover so we work well together."
Sixteen players recorded a point, including all 12 of the forwards, but none were scored on the powerplay as oddly enough, neither team had an opportunity on the man advantage.
Even with the lopsided victory, the Griffins couldn't keep the shutout for Marc-Olivier Daigle when the Clippers scored three goals in the third period on 25 total shots, while the Griffins managed 64 on the night.
"We know it's going to be a lot tougher game, they're going to come back with a real strong effort tomorrow and we need to be ready for that," said Ringrose.
It's a quick turnaround for the Griffins who play at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Downtown Community Arena to finish off the double-header against Briercrest College.