Queens flat in home loss to NAIT
Ooks 4 Queens 3
The way the RDC Queens opened their Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League meeting with the NAIT Ooks it appeared as if it would be another good night for the home team.
In the end it was the Ooks that dominated the majority of the game and pulled out a 4-3 victory at the Arena Thursday.
“We didn’t deserve it . . . the first two periods we weren’t ready to play,” said Queens assistant coach Erik Lodge, who handled the team with head coach Trevor Keeper out with a one-game suspension.
“It was a good learning experience. We have to know to show up to the rink, we can’t go through the motions and get a win. We need every player to be going and need to keep each other accountable.”
The Queens jumped into a 1-0 lead at 1:46 of the first period on a outstanding effort by Gillian Altheim, who broke down the left side out of her own zone, shot by the defenceman and rifled a high shot to the short side past Ooks netminder Emma Cooley.
The Queens held a 4-2 edge in shots at the time. From then on it was all NAIT as they outshot the Queens 19-3 the rest of the opening period and tied the score at 6:14 when Jillian Mathieson beat Queens netminder Camille Trautman on a shot low to the stick side. While it was a shot that Trautman would love to have back, she was the only reason for a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes.
“It was one of those things that happens in hockey,” said Queens veteran forward Laura Salomons, who was an assistant coach with the Queens the last couple of seasons. “The first few shifts were good then we turned it off. There was no excuse, but we were flat today and as long as we learn from it it’s not a bad thing, especially at the beginning of the year.”
The Ooks extended the lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes on goals by Mathieson, on a scramble, and Danielle Brown, on a tip-in on the power play. The Ooks outshot RDC 14-4 in the middle stanza and eventually 47-17.
The Queens showed some grit in the third period as they charged back to tie it on a screened point shot by Nikki Connor at 5:40 and a redirect of a Jade Petrie pass by Emily Lougheed at 11:05 when she drove the net on a three-on-one.
“To do well in a season you have to go through some adversity and this was adversity,” said Lodge. “But I liked the way we responded in the third period. Now we can learn from that, grow from it and get better.”
“We showed in the third period how gritty we can be.”
But in the end Jody Rammel beat Trautman on another goal she would like back at 15:30 to spell the end for the Queens, who did have a power play to end the game and twice came within a whisker of tying it.
Salomons, who is in her fourth season, is the oldest player on the Queens and teams with fifth-year forward Leah Boucher and third-year centre Rachael Hoppins on a line.
“We are the oldest line and we have to be able to use our experience in a game like this,” said Salomons. “We have to step up earlier, but we’re still jelling as well.”
Salomons is an assistant captain and uses her coaching knowledge when she can.
“I should know the plays and I expect myself to read the plays and be better,” she said.
“I help my teammates where I can and coach as much as I can on the bench.”
It did take Salomons some time to get back into the groove after being on the bench.
“It’s certainly puts a different spin on things and it was more the hands than anything coming back. Cement hands and it was a bit frustrating at the start, but it’s coming.”
The Queens will get another shot at the Ooks Saturday at NAIT,
“We have to be harder on the puck and more vocal,” said Salomons. “We weren’t helping our D or the wingers, letting them know where they should be putting the puck. It’s something we can work on at practice and be ready for Saturday.”
Keeper will also be back on the bench Saturday although he didn’t believe he should have been away Thursday.
He received a game misconduct in Edmonton against Grant MacEwan when the wanted to referee to come to the box and explain a call. The referee didn’t and handed him the misconduct.
Keeper appealed to the league and they told him the referee made a mistake.
“They told me because the paper work had went through I had to sit out a game,” he said shaking his head.
The Queens next home game is Thursday against SAIT.