The Vikings move up in the ACAC standings to 3rd just two points behind SAIT and NAIT respectively after this weekend’s sweep over the Grant MacEwan Griffins.
Augustana was on the road Friday night to play in the Bill Hunter Arena and found themselves trailing the MacEwan Griffins early and for most of the game. Matthew Peddie put MacEwan on the board first with assists going to Braeden Miller and Brandon Long. The Griffins would take the one goal advantage into the second period, but Craig Cornelsen of the Vikings answered back for the Vikings early on in the second on a pass from Scott Aucoin.
The Game would headed into the third period tied at one, but the Griffins would break that tie at 10:38 on a powerplay goal by David Way assisted by once again Brandon Long, unfortunately for the Griffins, it was the last marker they would get past goaltender Paul Kolida. Kolida made 28 saves to hold MacEwan to just the two goals. At the other end of the ice Dallas Ungurian found himself unable to stop the Vikings persistent offense in the third period. Captain Daniel Hope was the first person in the third period to beat Ungurain tying the game on a pass from Ryan Cornforth. Ungurian made 14 saves in the 3rd period, but it still wasn’t enough to stop the Vikings as Brendan Lamb beat the MacEwan netminder at 18:34 to give the Vikings their first lead of the game with just over a minute left in the game. The Griffins would empty the net to give themselves the extra attacker to attempt to tie up the game, but too little too late as Adam Johnson would find the empty net and secure a 4-2 victory for the visiting Augustana Vikings.
The Griffins would make the trip to Encana Arena in Camrose on Sunday still looking for their first win of the season. The Vikings had other thoughts, as Augustana came out firing netting three goals in less than ten minutes. The first came from Hope just 25 seconds into the game, the second was from Cornelsen at 4:28 and the third came unassisted as Adam Johnson scored shorthanded on the breakaway. Coach Bram Stephen quickly benched Unguraian who had only managed to make 3 saves in the game. Ungurian has had a troubled start to the season allowing 17 goals in just over three games for a goals against average of 5.45, but the blame can’t be put on the Griffins netminder, it really falls to the MacEwan defense. Ungurian has faced 132 shots in just 187 minute of play and he has managed to turn away 115 of them.
Sean Potiras was able to put the Griffins on the board in the first with a goal just beating the right pad of David Ritz, on a long bomb from just inside the blue line. The Griffins would head to the dressing room down by two, but came out and controlled most of the play in the first half of the second period. Daniel Starosta would make it a one goal game with an unassisted powerplay goal at 9:46 taking advantage of the Darryl Gagnon high sticking penalty.
The Vikings would find another three goals in under two minutes to give them a stranglehold on the game. The first goal came at 16:51 with Cornelsen’s second goal of the game, followed by Ryan Cornforth’s first goal of the season at 17:45 and Quinn Amiel found the back of the net just seconds later at 18:27, giving the Vikings a 6-2 lead after two periods.
Both the Vikings and the Griffins would find the net one more time each in the third period, with goals from Daniel Hope (Vikings) and David Way (Griffins). The Vikings completed the sweep with a 7-3 final score leaving MacEwan winless in four games this season.
After this weekend’s game Hope finds himself leading the league as the top scorer, but has plenty of company at the top as Cornelsen is in second and Adam Johnson is ranked fourth.
The Viking will face off against the number 1 SAIT Trojans Friday in Calgary and Saturday in Camrose, as the Vikings look to give the Trojans their first loss of the season. MacEwan will play the Portage Voyageurs in a home-and-home series in Week 3 still looking for their first win.