Austin Connelly, For MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – The MacEwan Griffins women's hockey team remained perfect on the season with a decisive 4-1 victory over the Olds College Broncos on Saturday night at the Downtown Community Arena.
MacEwan's defence led the charge – punctuated by rookie Sydney Hughson's work to score the fourth goal of the evening in the middle of the third period. The candidate for goal of the year featured her toe-dragging her opponent on the right side before ripping a laser short side underneath the crossbar for her second of the year.
She wasn't the only defender who was impacting the game as Jaime Erickson exuded confidence and created chances all night long , also scoring her second of the season to open the scoring just 4:15 into the contest.
"I think offensively we really rely on our defence to start the rushes and that was on display tonight," said Griffins assistant coach Katie Stewart.
After beating the Broncos 2-0 on Thursday night, the Griffins took control from the outset on Saturday. Smothering Olds at every turn, MacEwan dominated the puck possession and were relentless with their forecheck when they didn't have the puck.
Erickson started things off quickly for the Griffins when her point shot made its way through a crowd and past Broncos goalie Lexi Bruce.
The dynamic fourth-year blueliner wasn't done with her great first period, quarterbacking the powerplay and maneuvering her way through traffic on the left wing before beautifully setting up Amanda Murray in the slot for a low glove side goal with 3:27 left in the frame.
"I think there was a lot of good communication on the ice today, I was playing with Keely (Vachon) and she's really good at seeing the ice, opening the ice up and giving me opportunities so she played a huge part in getting me those opportunities to capitalize on," said Erickson.
Even with the lopsided result, Bruce was strong on a busy night where she faced 45 shots, including making 16 saves in the first, which allowed Olds to get back into the game early in the second period.
The Broncos cut the lead in half just 2:46 into the second period on the powerplay when Kali Cummings tipped a shot from the left-wing in tight that squeaked through Brianna Sank's five-hole.
That was the only goal Sank would give up, stopping 22 shots for her fourth win of the season. Some of her best work came early in the third period on the penalty kill when she shut down any comeback bid.
MacEwan was able to restore their two-goal lead when Jayme Doyle pounced on a careless Broncos giveaway in the slot and fired a shot off the right pad of Bruce that bounced right to Jordyn Reimer, who potted the rebound with 6:41 remaining.
The impressive win improves the Griffins record to 6-0-0-0 and a commanding lead at the top of the ACAC Women's leaderboard. Olds is in the cellar at 0-6-0-0.
"We have a lot of returning girls from last year and the year before but are a team that's still maturing in this league so we are focused on the process and what that looks like," said Stewart. "So, to start the season 6-0 vs. three really good teams is awesome, but we are still trying to look for that complete game where we put everything together and really show that we are a dominant team in this league."
They'll be back at it next Friday when they hit the road to face the Red Deer Queens for the first time this season. The return match is back in Edmonton on Saturday (6 p.m., Downtown Community Arena).