Queens open season with win over Griffins
The RDC Queens weren’t at the top of their game during the first period of their Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League season opener against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins, but third-year veteran goaltender Camille Trautman was.
Trautman was especially outstanding in the first 20 minutes, making 13 saves to keep the game scoreless and gave her mates an opportunity to find their skating legs after being off for two weeks.
The Queens showed a bit more jump in the second period and went on to record a 4-0 victory at the Arena Thursday.
“We had too much watching and gliding in that first period, instead of initiating and skating,” said Queens first-year head coach Bob Rutz. “We gave them more chances than they should have had.”
That’s when Trautman took control.
“She did everything we asked of her,” said Rutz. “We don’t expect her to win the game for us, but to make the stops she needs to and she always does that, especially when we’re struggling.
“We shouldn’t have to rely on her winning the game for us, but then we also know she’s back there and will help us out.”
Trautman, who was the goaltender of the year in the ACAC last season, is fine with that.
“It’s my job to keep the game close and not let them score,” she said. “Once we get a goal we’re off.”
Trautman knows the team has enough offence to compete with any team in the league.
“Every year I’ve been here the offence had grown and it’s better again this year,” she said.
But she also knows her defence is relatively young.
“We are, but we also have some third-year players (Casey Nicholson, Megan Jones and Morgan Brandl) and they are role models for the younger players and show them what to do.”
“We do have two girls who are converted forwards, but they’ve come a long way and they’re still learning,” he said.
Overall the Queens are a veteran team with only eight first-year players.
“We have some new faces, which is nice to see,” said Trautman. “But we also have some third, fourth and fifth year players, who are leaders for the first-year players.”
Close to half the team also played with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs major midget team, including Trautman.
“It’s nice to play with girls you know and have a bond with,” she said. “We take pride in that.”
The Queens got on the board at 16:09 of the second period when Jade Petrie brought the puck out of the right corner, shook off a couple of checks and slide the puck under third-year netminder Morgan Glover. Skye Fahlman made it 2-0 46 seconds later on a wrap around that went in off Glover’s pad.
Nicholson scored the first of her college career and gave the Queens even more breathing room when her point shot beat Glover on the power play at 19:47.
“We challenged the girls after the first period to start moving their feet and taking away time and space,” said Rutz. “We started doing that and I thought we outskated them a bit in the second and third periods.
“Plus once we got that first goal it got us going, We did a good job of getting the puck to the net and causing some problems for their goalie.”
Laura Salomons put the finishing touches on the scoring at 18:58 of the third period.
The win was a perfect start to the season, but Rutz was more than happy just to get the season underway.
“That was the worst exhibition season in the history of hockey,” he said. “Seven weeks is too long. It’s nice to play a game for real that counts in the standings.”
l Both goalies faced 24 shots . . . The team meet again Saturday in Edmonton . . . Queens return home Thursday at 7 p.m. against defending league champion NAIT.