EDMONTON, ALTA., (Oct. 5, 2018) —On the road. Against the defending champs. It was not going to be an easy start to the year for the SAIT Trojans women's hockey team.
In their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season-opening game, the Trojans battled until the very end, but fell 1-0 to the MacEwan Griffins – league champions the past two years running.
"I don't know if it was nerves so much as you have to give MacEwan credit; they're a good team," said Trojans head coach Kelsey Leifson. "They play a step ahead and think the game quickly. It just took us a while to get into it."
SAIT falls to 0-1 to start the season. MacEwan jumps out to a 1-0 mark.
"It was a good wakeup call for our team," added Leifson. "We had a pretty good pre-season and came into tonight pretty confident. But, we realized that the team on the other side of the ice are the defending champions and are a pretty good hockey team, too. We know what it takes now, and I don't think we're far off."
Outshot to the tune of 16-0 in the opening frame according to the MacEwan scorekeepers, SAIT showed considerably more life in the second period, outshooting their hosts 12-9.
That pressure continued on in the final frame, but still, SAIT could not find a way to bury one and tie the contest – even with the man-advantage the last 28 seconds of the game.
"You know what, when you play two periods like that, you can only imagine if you had stringed three together against a team like that. Maybe the result would have been different," Leifson stated. "For the first one out, I thought we looked good."
SAIT goalie Elisha Oswald (3rd year, Waldersee, Man., Health Information Management) played terrific in net for the Trojans, stopping 43 of 44 shots fired her way to keep her team in the game. The only goal she allowed came 12 minutes into the opening frame when Griffins forward Jordyn Reimer potted her team's first of the season.
The Trojans will try even the score tomorrow night at home in front of their fans, when they host the Griffins for a 7pm puck drop at SAIT Arena.