Women's Ice Hockey

Unlucky bounce burns Griffins in upset defeat to Olds College Broncos

Morgan Casson attempts to score on Olds goaltender Lexi Bruce during action between the teams last month at the Downtown Community Arena. Bruce made 34 saves to stymie the Griffins 2-1 (Melbourne Disbrow photo).
Morgan Casson attempts to score on Olds goaltender Lexi Bruce during action between the teams last month at the Downtown Community Arena. Bruce made 34 saves to stymie the Griffins 2-1 (Melbourne Disbrow photo).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

OLDS – An unlucky bounce with less than four minutes left burned the MacEwan Griffins women's hockey team in a 2-1 upset loss to the Olds College Broncos on Thursday night.

Bailee Werstroh centred the puck from behind the net and it caromed off defenceman Jaime Erickson's skate and through Sandy Heim's legs for the winning goal.

"It was (bad luck), but to be honest and to give Olds credit, they were pressing on that shift," said MacEwan head coach Lindsay McAlpine. "We got hemmed in our D zone and I think in those situations something's going to end up popping in the net.

"We knew it was going to be one of those types of games. They ended up getting that goal."

Tough luck for a Griffins team that carried the play all night, outshooting the Broncos 35-14. The unlucky bounce is a painful price to pay for not bearing down on their chances, but that happens in hockey sometimes and it will surely be a lesson they'll take to heart.

"That's been a message for our team that we need to capitalize when the opportunities are there," said McAlpine. "As much as we don't want to talk about the end result – you talk about the process – I think there's times we need that end result to happen."

With the loss, the Griffins fall to 7-2-0-0 in the ACAC standings, while Olds improves to .500 (3-3-1-0).

The Broncos nearly got on the board first with 11 minutes left in the first period, but Heim made a terrific save on a 2-on-0 one-timer. However, just 20 seconds later, Tori Chenier's seeing-eye power-play point shot went in off the iron to open the scoring.

MacEwan had eight powerplays in the contest but scored on none of them – a shocking stonewall of a team that had nine goals with the man advantage in their previous three games. Olds goaltender Lexi Bruce made 34 saves for the victory.

"I'll give their goalie credit," said McAlpine. "She made some critical saves, especially on some of our powerplays. But I think we probably made her look a little better than she played.

"I don't think our shots were overly smart. I think our traffic was actually quite good, just our shot selections were quite poor."

MacEwan's only goal of the game came with 7:37 left in the second period when Jayme Doyle centred a pass to Chantal Ricker parked in front and she chipped it past Bruce blocker side.

Ultimately, the Griffins needed more of that to get a result. They got away with playing only one period of great hockey in a 2-0 win over Red Deer College last weekend and some of that carried over, said McAlpine.

"I alluded to this last weekend. I think we were slightly negatively reinforced against Red Deer," she said. "We only had to play a period and came out with the win. This was a game where that couldn't happen.

"We actually played a better game tonight, but we let off in the third tonight, especially defensively. We had a few too many girls trying to be a hero and it didn't result in any heroics. We couldn't put the puck in the net."

The teams will meet in the weekend rematch on Friday in Edmonton (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena).