Jefferson Hagen / MacEwan Athletics
CALGARY – Suffering through a small stretch of poor play in the second period cost the MacEwan Griffins in their first game back from the semester break on Friday night.
The homestanding SAIT Trojans took full advantage, scoring three times in the span of four minutes, en route to a 5-3 victory in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men's hockey action.
"Really, we broke down for about five minutes in the second period, made a couple of errors that ended up in the back of our net and that was the difference in the hockey game," said Griffins interim head coach Michael Ringrose.
After the teams traded goals throughout the first 24:12 of the hockey game – Pat Martens and Eric Kreinke for SAIT, and Brett Njaa and Ryan Baskerville for MacEwan – the Trojans went to work. Joel Hamilton scored two of those second-period tallies and Krienke completed his own two-goal game with the other.
Njaa scored his second of the game 3:13 into the third period, but the Griffins were unable to fight all the way back.
"It was just one of those ones where you need to have a short memory," said Ringrose. "We generated opportunities tonight. We struggled to score. We had some chances on our special teams that we just weren't able to take advantage of."
Payton Lee made 34 saves in a winning effort for SAIT, while Chris Wray stopped 28 for the Griffins.
While the teams will meet in a rematch on Saturday (6 p.m., Downtown Community Arena), Friday's result gives SAIT the season series (3-0) should they end up tied in the standings. They're only two points apart, with SAIT (9-4-1-1) moving ahead of MacEwan into third place in the ACAC with the win, while the Griffins (9-6-0-0) fall to fifth.
Either way, the past is in the past for Ringrose's team. That's certainly the message he's preaching to his troops.
"I wasn't disappointed with our effort," he said. "My message to the guys after the game was we need to have a short memory on this one. We've got to go back to it tomorrow night, back to work and focus on the process.
"SAIT's a good team and we didn't get the bounces tonight. We ended up on the short end of the stick, but it wasn't for a lack of effort."