Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – Scoring in extra time in each half, the MacEwan Griffins spoiled the Lethbridge Pronghorns 2018 home opener with a 2-1 victory Saturday afternoon at University Community Stadium in Lethbridge.
Down to 10 men for the final 10 minutes after a second yellow card to Tyrell Leslie, Griffin Brian Mayall played hero for the visitors, picking up his second goal of the game in stoppage time. Mayall volleyed a cross from Malcolm Stafford to the far left corner.
Thomas Hammerton scored the lone goal for the Pronghorns.
Both Goaltenders, Pronghorns' Nolan French and Griffins' Seth Johnstone finished the game with four saves apiece.
With the loss the Pronghorns fall to 0-3-0 on the season, while the Griffins level their record to 1-1-0.
Both the Pronghorns and Griffins entered Saturday's game in search of their first wins of the 2018, which led to a tentative start by both sides. The Pronghorns lost both games last weekend in Calgary, while the Griffins lost to crosstown rivals Alberta Golden Bears in their lone game a week ago.
The best chance in a quiet start to the game went to the Griffins. In the 31st minute, Brian Mayall let a strike go from the top of the box but Pronghorn keeper Nolan French dove to his left to make a strong save.
Off a corner in first half stoppage time, the Griffins opened the scoring, Mayall got a head on Sheldon Prasad's corner and beat French to the far side.
Stats at the half favored the Griffins slightly with three shots on goal compared the Pronghorns two. MacEwan also held the advantage on corner kicks, 3-1.
With a renewed sense of urgency, the Pronghorns open the second half with some early pressure and were rewarded in the 55th minute. Almost identical to the Griffins late first half goal, Thomas Hammerton got on the end of Stephen Primeau's corner, heading home his first of the season.
Only nine minutes later, the Griffins nearly regained their lead. Christian Hernandez had a clear shot from just inside the box, beating French but not the post. The Pronghorns receive a fortunate bounce as well as the shot ricocheted off the post and right back into French's hands.
Not to be out done, the Pronghorns pushed forward for the go ahead goal with Hammerton getting free on another Pronghorn corner kick but his glancing header just slide wide of the left post.
At the final whistle, the Griffins held a 16-8 advantage on shot attempts but only edged the Pronghorns by a six to five mark on shots on goal. With eight second half corners, the Pronghorns held a nine to five advantage in that stat category.
The Pronghorns will wrap up their home opening weekend, tomorrow afternoon, hosting the Alberta Golden Bears at 2:15pm. The Griffins hit the road, traveling to Saskatoon to face the Saskatchewan Huskies.
Photo by: MPP Photography