Griffins persevere through chippy contest to beat Trojans for third-straight win

Austin Yaremchuk led the Griffins with three assists as they defeated the SAIT Trojans 4-1 on Friday night (Joel Kingston photo).
Austin Yaremchuk led the Griffins with three assists as they defeated the SAIT Trojans 4-1 on Friday night (Joel Kingston photo).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

CALGARY – Surviving a chippy affair where the combatants combined for 89 minutes in penalties, the MacEwan Griffins recorded a 4-1 victory over the SAIT Trojans in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men's hockey action on Friday night.

It's MacEwan's third win in a row, upping their record to 6-3-0-0 as they move past SAIT (4-2-1-2) into third place in the league standings.

"We played a solid game start to finish tonight," said interim head coach Sean Ringrose. "After a bit of a break, it took us a little while to get going in the first period. That always seems to happen after a bye week. Even so, we didn't give up too much defensively in that time.

"Daigs was really good for us and made a couple of key saves on the mistakes we did make."

Marc-Olivier Daigle made 14 saves on 15 shots in 45:27 of action before being forced from the game after taking a hard knock on a third period play. Backup Thomas Davis came in and mopped up nicely with 13/13 saves to preserve the victory.

"He's stepped in and played very well both in relief and in starts now," said Ringrose of the rookie. "We have confidence in both those guys and their ability to stop the puck.

"I think that really helped our team in the third period. We were able to lock things down and play a really solid period there."

Kole Gable opened the scoring for the Griffins 1:11 into the second period when, off a quick transition, Jordan Taupert found him on the back side, and he ripped it over goalie Kyle Dumba's pad.

Veteran Bryan Arneson then went to work, scoring his first of two second-period tallies when he tipped Austin Yaremchuk's point shot and scored off the ensuing scramble.

After SAIT's Jared Power pulled the home side within one, Arneson one-timed a Yaremchuk pass on the powerplay past Dumba for the insurance marker the Griffins needed.

Cam Gotaas hit an empty net with 21 seconds left to ice it. Yaremchuk also assisted on that one to pace the Griffins with three helpers.

"He had a solid game tonight," said Ringrose. "He definitely played well and made a couple of nice passes on some goals."

The Griffins give up some size to the Trojans and knew they'd need to survive a physical contest to be successful. They kept their heads above water even though in the last half of the game, there were only a few minutes without someone in the penalty box.

"There were a ton of penalties in the game tonight," said Ringrose. "It was definitely a chippy game. It was good to see our guys really compete out there and battle through that."

The teams will meet in the rematch on Saturday in Edmonton (6 p.m., Downtown Community Arena).