EDMONTON – The MacEwan Griffins claimed two of three major awards and had four players make the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women's hockey All Conference teams – a fine reward for finishing first overall.
Carley Jewell, who led all ACAC defencemen in scoring with six goals and 20 points in 24 games, was named the ACAC's most outstanding player.
And MacEwan head coach Lindsay McAlpine won her second-straight ACAC coach of the year award after guiding the Griffins to a league-best 18-3-3-0 record.
Natalie Bender was named to the ACAC All Conference Second Team after she posted the best goals against average (0.66) and save percentage (.970) in the ACAC's modern day history (Matthew Jacula photo).
All of the award winners were feted prior to Game 1 of the ACAC championship last Thursday.
"It's a huge, huge honour," said Jewell of being voted as the league's top player. "It's a really nice mention. It's really exciting."
Besides her great defensive contributions, Jewell's production led the first-place Griffins in offence, too – a rare feat for a rearguard – and was third-best in the ACAC.
"I'm really proud of her, obviously," said McAlpine. "I think it's really awesome when a player on your team can take away that award.
"She's a very dynamic defenceman and you can see that in her numbers for us. She offers a ton for us offensively but also is someone we can rely on defensively in various special teams situations."
Griffins defenceman Nikki Reimer made the ACAC All Conference Second Team after posting eight points in 24 games, playing in all situations for MacEwan (Matthew Jacula photo).
Since taking over as MacEwan's women's hockey head coach in 2012, McAlpine has amassed a 73-50-7-2 regular season record and a 10-10 playoff record.
"Lindsay's consistency of excellence and commitment to a high-performance standard sets her apart," said MacEwan University Director of Athletics Kenneth Schildroth. "She has a thorough understanding of the university's values of athletics, academics and community service, and this award is a testament to her leadership in ensuring her team's commitment to those pillars."
McAlpine won the award for a third time.
"It's always really nice to get recognized by your peers," she said. "The girls play such a significant role in that. We were fortunate enough to come first place. Sometimes coach of the year falls to whoever comes first place because everyone in our league does a phenomenal job."
The Griffins are currently embroiled in a tight battle for the ACAC Championship, tied 1-1 with Red Deer College. Game 3 of the best-of-five series is set for Thursday (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena), while Game 4 goes back in Red Deer (7:30 p.m., Enmax Centrium). Game 5, if necessary, is on Saturday (6 p.m., DCA).
Chantal Ricker earned a spot on the ACAC All Conference Second Team after cracking the top-10 in league scoring with 10 goals and 13 points in 19 games (Matthew Jacula photo).