Austin Connelly, For MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Balanced scoring across the lineup lifted the MacEwan Griffins women's hockey team to a 5-3 victory over Red Deer College on Friday night at the Downtown Community Arena that gave them some breathing room at the top of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference standings
With their fifth-straight win, MacEwan improves to 12-3-0-0, pushing them five points ahead of RDC (9-3-1-0) for first place.
"I was really happy with our team's performance," said head coach Lindsay McAlpine. "We've struggled to put pucks in the net, so to put up five is a huge success for us."
MacEwan came out with a real purpose to kick off their second half, outshooting the Queens 20-5 in the first frame and were rewarded with a 2-0 lead after one period, thanks to their top line, led by Jordyn Reimer.
"She has the ability to turn the game around for us," said McAlpine. "We looked to Jordyn and she did exactly what we needed her to do."
Reimer opened the scoring just 4:16 into the first period, potting her fourth of the season on a scramble in front.
Reimer's hot start continued as she doubled the lead off a perfectly placed wrister that whistled past the glove of RDC goalie Karlee Fetch and buried top shelf, with 6:47 remaining in the frame. Reimer's linemates Morgan Casson and Chantal Ricker both picked up a pair of assists on the goals.
"First game back you always want to score first, but it was really all Rick (Ricker) and Morgs (Casson) to set me up," said Reimer. "I tried to pick the girls up, get the energy going and for the rest of the game, it just flows through the team."
The Queens would quickly cut the Griffins' lead in half just 2:08 into the second period off a Sydney Rowley shot that fooled Brianna Sank.
But it wouldn't take the Griffins long to restore their two-goal lead courtesy of Jesse Rampton, who pounced on a puck that laid dangerously in the slot for her to bury and pick up her third of the season 8:26 into the frame.
"It was huge for us to get that secondary scoring, we talk about that lots if we want playoff success," said McAlpine. "So, it's great to see other players stepping into those roles."
The back and forth second period would continue as the Queens inched closer, responding with a goal of their own just 1:09 later. But Amanda Murray would put MacEwan up by two once again with her second goal of the season after a juicy rebound from the side of the net gave her a wide-open cage with 5:22 remaining in the second.
Jayme Doyle put the game out of reach off a turnover shorthanded when she roofed the puck short side on the goalie, 7:03 into the third.
The Queens would add a late one with 31.7 remaining, but it would be too little too late.
Sank would toss aside 21 shots in the victory while the Griffins managed 48 shots in the contest.
The Griffins will look to sweep the Queens when they finish their weekend series on Saturday in Red Deer (7 p.m., ACAC TV).