Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – In a mirror effort to Friday's win over Portage College on the scoresheet, the MacEwan Griffins received offensive contributions from 15 different players in a 10-1 victory over the visiting Voyageurs at the Downtown Community Arena on Saturday.
They also had 15 players combine on the scoresheet during Friday's 10-0 win over Portage in Lac La Biche.
"It was a balanced attack all weekend," said head coach Michael Ringrose. "When we get the opportunity to use our entire bench and come at teams in waves, we're always better for it."
With the result, the Griffins (13-4-1-0) moved into top spot in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference standings, a point ahead of NAIT (13-5-0-0), who stunningly lost at seventh-place Briercrest on Friday.
"If you look at the standings, it's pretty tight," said Ringrose, whose squad is also just a point ahead of SAIT and three up on Red Deer College, who have a game in hand. "Every weekend, there's an opportunity for one of those teams at the top of the division to have a good weekend and jump a few spots.
"It's exciting. It's fun to be a part of. Every weekend matters and it just shows you how good the parity is in the ACAC right now."
Griffins' backup Ryan Larochelle earned the first win of his ACAC career in stopping 17 of 18 shots. The only one he allowed came with three seconds left in the first period as Ryan Symington beat him with the man advantage.
That sent MacEwan into the first intermission with only a 2-1 lead, but their work during a six-goal second period that chased Portage starter Taryn Kotorchek, led them to the big result. They scored four on Voyageurs backup Demaine Wray to finish with a 10-spot.
"I thought we started a little bit slow today, but really in the second period got it going," said Ringrose. "Credit to our guys. I thought their details were good, their habits were good. We skated and competed. When you add those things together for us and we can use our entire bench, usually we get some good results."
Ryan Baskerville and Brett Smythe led the Griffins with two goals and an assist each, while Andrew Kartusch racked up three assists.
Nolan Yaremchuk, Garan Magnes, Nicolas Correale and Cam Gotaas had a goal and an assist each, while Brett Njaa and Stefan Danielson each added two helpers to the cause.
Ryan Hartman and Dallas Smith also scored.
"I was really impressed with our group this weekend," said Ringrose. "I think there's some things we need to clean up before next weekend, but generally speaking, the effort was there, the compete was there. As a coach, those are the two biggest things I could ask for."
Next up for the Griffins is a home-and-home series against SAIT with the Saturday, Jan. 25 game at the Downtown Community Arena (6 p.m.). Portage (2-14-1-0) will host Briercrest.