After the excitement of last night's game between the Briercrest Clippers and the MacEwan Griffins, the battle lines were drawn. MacEwan, still barely clutching 2nd place in the ACAC, was on the road, caught off guard, and suffered a shocking loss Friday night to Briercrest. They came to play! The home team, now on a three-game winning streak, had gained confidence and momentum despite a short bench and wanted nothing more than to take another W. They too came to play!
The first period was a flurry of activity in both ends. Both goaltenders made spectacular saves to keep the game scoreless, not willing to be the first to be scored on. Defenseman blocked shots to give help in front of the net. Hard hits rattled the boards and thrilled the crowd! Power plays given were two a side but did not help. At the end of 20 minutes, neither team had scored a goal. Shots were lopsided at 6 - 16 in favour of MacEwan.
The second period began with a power play for the Griffins but still no goal was scored. At the halfway point of the period, fourth year veteran Russell Olson thrilled the fans by finding the back of the MacEwan net and burying the puck, lifting his team to a 1-0 advantage. Briercrest got into some penalty trouble midway through the period and power plays were 3-1 in favour of MacEwan. Shots were 6-20 in their favour in that period but they were not able to get on the board. Briercrest had found a rock solid game plan!
The 3rd period once again began with a power play for the visiting team. They were hungry for a goal but it was defenseman Trey Doell who would shock the Griffins and score a shorthanded unassisted goal for the Clippers to make it 2-0 just 0:24 seconds into the period. With the crowd now fully engaged and noise levels rising, the fast pace, hard-hitting action continued. At 12:51 Jordan Taupert would finally slide one past Briercrest's netminder and bring life back to his team. Just two minutes later Briercrest would find themselves back on the penalty kill and the tying goal came at 14:33 from MacEwan's Kole Gable. A flurry of activity ensued but at the buzzer the game remained tied at 2. Shots were 11-19 for MacEwan for a grand total of 55 - 23 shots in regulation favouring the MacEwan Griffins.
4 on 4 overtime followed with phenomenal action! Heartrates skyrocketed as shots were fired and goaltenders performed acrobatic moves to keep their teams alive. Players from both sides showed spectacular athleticism as they raced for loose pucks, jockeyed for position and sacrificed their bodies to keep possession of the puck. At the end of the 5 minutes, nothing further had been solved and neither team had given an inch.
A second overtime began with 3 on 3 action which opened up the ice and gave players more room to skate and strategize. 1:36 seconds into the 5th period Trey Doell picked up the puck at the side of the MacEwan net and tapped it in to give the Briercrest Clippers their 4th win in a row and end the game.
66:36 minutes were played in a hard-fought game that some would say had shocking results. Total shots for the game were 58 - 27 for MacEwan. Power play opportunities were 7-3 in favour of the Griffins. Despite it all, it was the underdog, short-staffed Briercrest Clippers who came out on top 3-2. It was heard after the game that no one should underestimate this Briercrest squad. They are an up and coming program that is quickly gaining momentum under new coaching staff. This weekend proved that!