Three Stars: Ricker, Kamel, Ho earn honours

Chantal Ricker was dynamite against NAIT during the first two games of the ACAC Championship series last weekend (Matthew Jacula photo).
Chantal Ricker was dynamite against NAIT during the first two games of the ACAC Championship series last weekend (Matthew Jacula photo).

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Women's hockey student-athlete Chantal Ricker is the MacEwan Athletics first star of the week her performance in the opening two games of the ACAC final against the NAIT Ooks.

Ricker scored twice in Game 2 and was a key leader in MacEwan's ferocious forecheck in both of the first two games as the Griffins opened up a 2-0 series lead.

Other athletes recognized this week include second star Salma Kamel of women's soccer and third star Michael Ho of men's soccer.

This is the first time during the 2018-19 season that Ricker has been honoured on the three stars list. Kamel appears for the second time, having been previously named first star on Oct. 30, while Ho is also on the list for the second time after being named second star on Sept. 4.

1st star: Chantal Ricker, F, women's hockey

Calgary, AB, third-year, Arts

With the Griffins trailing 2-0 to the Ooks after one period of play in Game 2 of the ACAC Championship final on Saturday night, Ricker led a ferocious charge back from the home team.

Using her power forward frame, she wreaked havoc on the Ooks down low and eventually scored MacEwan's first goal of the game, ripping a shot under the bar from the left circle on a second period powerplay.

In the third period, Ricker scored the tying goal off a back-door wraparound (also on the powerplay), which led to the Griffins rallying back for a 3-2 victory that gives them a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

MacEwan also won Game 1, by a 1-0 count, at NAIT Arena.

Ricker has four goals and an assist for the Griffins in five playoff games this post-season after leading MacEwan in scoring with 18 points in the regular season.

Ricker was also named to the ACAC second team all-stars on Friday.

The Griffins head into Game 3 of the series on Thursday night with a chance to end it (7 p.m., NAIT Arena).

2nd star: Salma Kamel, F, women's soccer

Edmonton, AB, third-year, Arts

The forward has been on a spectacular run through the winter season for the Griffins, capping it with the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win over the team's alumni last Thursday night.

Kamel's piece de resistance of the winter campaign was potting three goals and two assists in four games for the Griffins during their Reading Week exhibition trip to Hawaii late last month.

Kamel kicked off the trip with a pair of highlight-reel goals against NCAA Div. 2 Hawaii Pacific University, taking on multiple defenders before beating the goalkeeper in both cases.

Near the end of the trip, with the Griffins losing 2-0 early to NCAA Div. 1 University of Hawaii, Kamel started a furious rally with a top-corner banger from 30 yards out. That got the momentum started as the Griffins rallied for a 2-2 draw.

Salma Kamel has scored several big goals for the Griffins women's soccer team during winter season play (Chris Piggott photo).

3rd star: Michael Ho, D/M, men's soccer

Edmonton, AB, second-year, Arts

Ho and the Griffins men's soccer team played to a friendly draw against FC Edmonton Academy last Friday and he brought his usual high level of compete to the pitch.

The second-year defender consistently shut down attackers, while constantly getting forward to join the attack. Using a strong level of compete, work-rate and desire to win, Ho has been a solid player for the Griffins during their winter season.

Michael Ho, left, continued his tradition of a strong work rate during recent Griffins winter season action (Chris Piggott photo).