Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
CAMROSE – The MacEwan Griffins men's hockey team charged out of their bye week … like a rapidly-deflating balloon whizzing through the air.
Down 1-0 after 19 seconds and trailing 2-0 less than two minutes into Friday's Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference match at the UAlberta-Augustana Vikings, the Griffins were full-on reeling.
In fact, they would go behind 3-0 8:15 into the contest before flipping a switch and going on an unfettered eight-goal rampage in an 8-3 victory over the Vikings.
"It was a bit of a weird game," admitted MacEwan head coach Michael Ringrose. "It was strange.
"In the first period, I thought we gave up a lot. Marc (Olivier Daigle) had to make a few key saves. It could have been 4-0 or 5-0. We gave up three and were fortunate enough to get one back before the end of the first."
After Cody Young, Owen Sobchak and Adam Osczevski had the Vikings up 3-0, Nolan Yaremchuk cut into the lead before the intermission. Whatever was said in the dressing room seemed to snap the Griffins out of their funk as they scored five goals in the second period to take over the contest.
"We've got a mature group, so they handled it well," said Ringrose of a first intermission regroup. "I certainly wasn't happy after the first period. I thought our commitment to being first to pucks and our willingness to physically engage just wasn't there. When we're not doing those things, when we're not skating, when we're not physically competing … we're not the same.
"I thought that we responded well in the second period, we stayed with it and showed some resilience to get the result we wanted."
"In the second period, I thought our special teams were difference-makers for us," said Ringrose. "Our powerplay scored a big goal and our PK was perfect through a lot of kills in the second.
"The game didn't have a lot of flow to it; it was a bit of a choppy game, but every game's a different story and we found a way to win."
Scofield scored again in the third before former Ryan McKinnon potted his first ACAC goal – the Griffins' eighth of the game – in the very rink where his junior career ended with the Camrose Kodiaks last March.
Schofield (two goals and an assist) and Gotaas (a goal and two assists) paced MacEwan, while McKinnon, Njaa and MacTavish all had a goal and an assist.
Daigle made 23 saves for the victory.
With the result, the Griffins improve to 7-1-1-0, while UAA falls to 5-4-0-0.
The teams will meet again on Saturday (6 p.m., Downtown Community Arena).