The MacEwan Griffins will move on to the ACAC finals after defeating the Olds College Broncos 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Olds Sportsplex, taking down the home squad 4-2.
The Broncos struck just three minutes into the game on the powerplay. After a great play by Molly Sharp along the boards to draw in two defenders she made a pass to captain Cassidy Holt at the blue line. From there Holt let a slap shot go through a screen that beat Natalie Bender's right pad for the Broncos first ever playoff goal.
The Broncos wouldn't get to enjoy their lead for long, as five minutes later the Griffins managed to draw even. With the puck behind the net, Amanda Murray found open space in the slot, and after receiving a pass, sent a hard wrist shot through the five-hole of Spooner for her second goal of the playoffs.
The Griffins appeared to have taken the lead just a few minutes later when a puck at the side of the net got behind Spooner. However, with a scramble in front, the puck was quickly sent flying off the goal line and out of the zone as the Broncos narrowly avoided falling behind the ACAC's top team.
Faith Volk would take a late period penalty, but the teams went into the rooms knotted at one after the first.
Carley Jewell, the ACAC's top scoring defensemen, would strike just three minutues into the second to give MacEwan the lead. Skating like silk around a checking forward, Jewell took the puck from the backhand to the forehand and sent another puck through the five-hole of Spooner.
The Broncos would find themselves in an even deeper hole midway through the period. Raven Beazer corralled the puck on the boards to Spooner's left and sent an astonishing pass to the front of the net where Kyrelle Skoye tapped the puck in for likely the easiest goal of her hockey career to give the Griffins a two goal lead.
The Broncos would claw their way back into the game though with just under a minute remaining in the period. Krista Wilson, at the side of Bender's net, sent a perfect cross-crease pass to Tucker who fired it towards the goal. The puck caught a piece of Bender's shoulder, but had enough steam to find the back of the net to send the Broncos into the locker room down just one, 3-2.
The Broncos had two powerplay chances in the third frame, with the best chance coming after a shot from the point resulted in a mad scramble in front of the goal with Faith Volk grinding away looking for the tying goal.
After some pressure in the offensive zone with the goalie pulled, a blocked shot from Jill MacWilliam resulted in teammate Shanya Shwetz in a race for the puck with Taeya Nicol, a race the speedy Shwetz would win as she potted the empty netter to give the Griffins a 4-2 win, sending them to a second straight ACAC Finals.
Amanda Murray was awarded The Pit Player of the game honours for the Griffins while Cassidy Holt was given the honour for the Broncos in her final game for Olds College.
The Griffins will move on to play either the NAIT Ooks or the Red Deer College Queens in the ACAC Final.
- Brendan Stasiewich, Broncos Sports Information