Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
RED DEER – Carley Jewell won the MVP award in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women's hockey loop last season.
So, big performances are nothing new for the veteran MacEwan Griffins defenceman from Winnipeg.
How about a hat-trick in her first game of 2019?
Jewell scored all the Griffins' goals in a 3-1 win over Red Deer College to kick off the second semester on Friday night.
"She capitalized on opportunities that other players made for her, which is something we've focused on a lot," said head coach Lindsay McAlpine. "She put the puck in the net."
Jewell opened the scoring 4:38 into the second period with a point blast. After RDC's Mariah McKersie tied the contest, Jewell gave MacEwan the lead back before the middle frame was over after jumping in off the weak side and potting a rebound.
Then, 1:50 into the third period on the power play, Jewell snuck back door and converted a Dominique Scheurer pass for the insurance marker.
Though she was MVP last season after leading the Griffins in scoring from the blueline, Jewell hasn't had dominant performances this season like she did on Friday, netting just her second, third and fourth goals of the campaign.
"It's huge for her," said McAlpine. "I think she's actually struggled to find her offensive game, if we're comparing it to last year.
"This will open up that confidence for her. She knows those are the expectations we have for her. She is one of our biggest offensive producers. So now that weight is off of her a little bit. I think you'll see her start to go here."
Both Scheurer and Raven Beazer were in all three goals, too, registering hat-tricks in the assists department.
Sandy Heim stopped 22 of 23 as the Griffins improved to 11-3-1-0, joining idle NAIT with a league-leading 23 points at the top of the ACAC table. The Ooks have one game in hand.
Karlee Fetch stopped 34 of 37 for the Queens in a losing cause.
McAlpine noted the rust was evident for both teams trying to get going after a long layoff over the semester break.
"I think we actually took a little while to get our feet going," she said. "Both teams looked like we were coming back from the break, for sure.
"By the third period we found our legs and found a little bit more of our identity. I was happy with how we ended the game. It's where I would like us to start on Saturday."
The teams will meet again on Saturday at the Downtown Community Arena (6 p.m.).