Broncos fall to Griffins in season-opening shootout

Broncos fall to Griffins in season-opening shootout

Olds College Sports Information
October 11, 2018

OLDS, Alta. - The bounces didn't go the Olds College Broncos' way in their home opener, falling 2-1 in a shootout to the Macewan University Griffins at the Town of Olds Sportsplex on Thursday.

Dominique Scheurer had the lone shootout goal for the Griffins (3-0-0), her shot squeaking by the pad of Broncos goaltender Victoria Eilers (Virden, Man.)

Shyla Jans scored in regulation for Macewan, while Sandy Heim was solid when needed in goal, making 15 saves.

Mairyn Tucker (Armstrong, B.C.) replied for the Broncos (0-0-1), while Eilers stopped 40 shots in a sensational ACAC debut, many of which came on high-quality chances as she stifled the Griffins for the majority of the night.

Broncos head coach Chris Leeming praised his goaltender's performance.

"Tori made a lot of big saves for us in key moments," he said. "She's a big goalie who takes up a lot of the net, and she definitely bailed us out a few times."

The first meeting between the two sides since last season's playoffs was a tightly-contested affair, with each side checking the other tightly.

After a scoreless first period, the game opened up on both sides in the second, with the Griffins looking to seize momentum early on. However, Eilers was there to make a number of key saves to keep the game scoreless.

Olds College struck first, as Tucker redirected a Shauna Johnson (Valleyview, Alta.) pass past Heim to give the Broncos a one-goal advantage. The Griffins upped their intensity afterward, but the Broncos kept their lead through 40 minutes.

Macewan continued applying pressure throughout the third period, finally breaking through seven minutes into the period as Jans took the puck off the end boards and threw the puck on net, beating Eilers through the five-hole to level the score.

Both teams had opportunities in the late going, but nobody could find the back of the net through the end of regulation, nor in the two overtime sessions. In particular, Eilers stood on her head as Macewan pressured in the extra frames, keeping the puck out with a number of solid saves.

Olds' best chance at the extra point came as Hanna Wadlegger (Clearwater, B.C.) broke in on Heim late in the first overtime session, but a good defensive play from Kyrelle Skoye kept the Broncos off the board.

"They really pushed the pace in the third period, especially in the second half," Leeming said of the Griffins. "I think there was a little bit of pressure on our girls, and they faced it as best they could."

Neither team capitalized on its powerplay opportunities, as the Griffins went scoreless in seven opportunities, while the Broncos were unsuccessful on five opportunities.

Eilers was named The Pit Player of the Game for the Broncos, while Jenna Thompson earned player of the game honours for Macewan.

The Broncos and Griffins will face off again in Edmonton on Saturday, with puck drop set for 6 p.m.

"We definitely have some positives to build on from that game, but there's a lot we still need to work on as well," Leeming said. "We've already hit the reset button, and we're focusing on Saturday."