Women's Ice Hockey

Bender earns shutout in first ACAC start as Griffins knock off NAIT

Amanda Murray scored the first goal of her ACAC career, while fellow MacEwan rookies Natalie Bender and Keely Vachon also made big impacts in a 2-0 win over NAIT on Saturday (Matthew Jacula photo).
Amanda Murray scored the first goal of her ACAC career, while fellow MacEwan rookies Natalie Bender and Keely Vachon also made big impacts in a 2-0 win over NAIT on Saturday (Matthew Jacula photo).

MacEwan Athletics

How's that for the first start of your Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference career?

Goalie Natalie Bender made 34 saves for a shutout in her first start as a Griffin, leading MacEwan to a 2-0 win over the NAIT Ooks on Saturday night.

The product of St. Albert, who spent last season playing in the Alberta Junior A Female Hockey League last season for the Fort Saskatchewan Fury, was sensational in a game MacEwan was outshot 34-15 in.

But the only stats that really matter were in the goals department and the Griffins spoiled NAIT's home opener in the process.

Among those tallies was another great moment for a Griffins freshman. Rookie Amanda Murray scored the first goal of her ACAC career when she netted one on the powerplay late in the first period. It would stand up as the first game-winning goal of her ACAC career, too.

Fifth-year Griffins forward Shanya Shwetz added an insurance marker in the third period and ... you guessed it ... another rookie had a moment. Keely Vachon picked up an assist for the first point of her ACAC career.

The victory was redemption for the Griffins after losing 3-2 in overtime to NAIT in the first game of the weekend series, Friday at the Downtown Community Arena.

With the win, the Griffins retain their spot atop the ACAC standings at 3-0-1.

They now head into a bye week before returning to action on Oct. 26 at Red Deer, a team they will host in their next home game on Oct. 27 (7 p.m., DCA).