EDMONTON, Alta. - The NAIT Ooks women's hockey team fell to the MacEwan Griffins 10-5 on Friday night in their season opener at the NAIT Arena.
The Ooks came out flying in the first period jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead. Goals from Megan Leblanc (2) and Brittney Savard, forced Griffins head coach Lindsay McAlpine to pull veteran goalie Natalie Bender and put in Brianna Sank. The change seemed to be a wake-up call for the Griffins as Chantal Ricker beat Kaitlyn Slator shortly after. Ooks led 3-2 after twenty minutes of play.
The second period was all MacEwan, as they would find the back of the net four times in the frame. Chantal Ricker and Shyla Kirwer both scoring their second of the game. MacEwan found themselves leading NAIT 6-3 at the second intermission.
Ooks head coach Stef Thomson elected to switch goalies in the game as well, as Olivia Davis replaced Kaitlyn Slator to start the final period. It provided a brief spark for the Ooks, as Cassidy Shandro scored her first career goal 2:20 into the period on the power-play. Shyla Kirwer scored her third goal of the game for the Griffins four minutes later. Seconds after that, however, Bre Martin responded for NAIT. From then on, it was all MacEwan as they would score three more times to end the game in 10-5 win over the Ooks.
"Nobody likes to lose, especially 10-5 on opening night. Despite the loss, we did some good things. We executed various systems and scored 5 great goals," said Ooks head coach Stef Thomson. "As a team, we feel it's important to recognize the positives, but also narrow in on the learning opportunities. I am confident in our team with where we are at and with the fact that we will bounce back. Moving forward, we know that we have to find a way to play consistent and to be gritty in all areas of the ice."
Players of the Game:
NAIT Ooks - Megan Leblanc
MacEwan Griffins - Shyla Kirwer
The two teams will rematch tomorrow night at the Downtown Community Arena, puck drop 6:00 pm.