EDMONTON – Sometimes once you solve a hot goaltender, the floodgates open a little bit.
That certainly happened for the MacEwan Griffins men's hockey team on Saturday night, after they scored three early goals on Tanner McCorriston and withstood a Concordia Thunder rally to win 5-2 over their cross-town rivals at Clareview Arena.
After going 44 shots between goals on McCorriston on Friday, eventually beating him in double overtime on their 55th shot of the contest for a 2-1 win, the Griffins wasted little time getting in his face on Saturday.
Sean MacTavish, who notched the game-winning goal off a rebound on Friday, picked right up where he left off, scoring just 1:41 into Saturday's game.
Brett Smythe, who was robbed on a point-blank chance by McCorriston in the third period Friday, got redemption just 5:14 into the contest when he made it 2-0 on the powerplay.
Then Cameron Gotaas, who beat the Thunder netminder, but not the post on a glorious chance Friday, also found a way to get the better of him this time, making it 3-0 at 7:44.
With more than 52 minutes still on the clock, the Griffins had all the scoring they would need.
Concordia sure made it interesting, though, scoring twice before the first period was out off a pair of tallies from Ben Sowa and the match remained a one-goal affair for more than 33 minutes.
Marc-Olivier Daigle made 23 saves for the Griffins in a winning effort, while McCorriston stopped 32 for the Thunder.
With the victory, the Griffins move into third in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference standings, but positions 2-5 couldn't be any tighter. Just one point separates second-place Red Deer College and fifth-place SAIT and that's the difference in their match on Saturday night – a 3-2 Kings win in double overtime.
The Griffins next head into a home-and-home series against UAlberta-Augustana (Friday, 7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena) and Saturday (6 p.m., Camrose).
They are tied in the standings with the Vikings, but currently have one more win. At least a weekend split would give the Griffins the season series tiebreaker after they won both against the Vikings in the fall.
Concordia next plays a doubleheader at Briercrest in a crucial battle for the final playoff spot. The Thunder are five points ahead of the Clippers for the sixth and final ACAC post-season berth.