Trojans 3 Queens 2 (OT)
The RDC Queens can feel fortunate they pulled a point out of their meeting with the SAIT Trojans at the Centrium Thursday.
The Queens looked to be skating in mud for most of the first two periods, but, thanks some brilliant goaltending by Jen West, managed to earn a point in a 3-2 overtime loss in the opening Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League contest of the second half of the season.
“It’s a challenge coming back after a long, long break over Christmas,” said Queens head coach Kelly Coulter. “We didn’t have our feet under us for most of the game.
“In those situations we tell the girls to use their heads but unfortunately we didn’t do either for much of the game. For 45 minutes we weren’t there.”
The Queens were lucky to come out of the first two periods down only 2-1. They managed just four shots in both of the first two periods, but one of those by Cassidy Anderson while on the power play at 10:28 of the first period, beat SAIT netminder Elisha Oswald.
The Trojans tied the game at 15:07 of the opening period on a goal by Rimbey native Shealee Dolan.
Emily Potts put the Trojans ahead with 4.7 seconds remaining in the second period, scoring during a scramble.
However, the Queens looked more like themselves early in the third period and were moving their feet and creating opportunities. Jade Petrie tied the game at 2:56 when she intercepted a pass at the SAIT blueline and scored on the breakaway.
“We started to play more Queens style hockey, pressuring the puck and creating turnovers and fortunately Jade tied it for us,” said Coulter. “However, in the long run this should be a lesson for us in that we have to play with out heads when we’re not moving our legs.”
The Queens also made a number of defensive miscues, allowing SAIT players to stand alone in front of West, who finished with 34 saves, several of the spectacular variety.
“We showed video before the game on making sure we had a net presence in front, but we got caught standing around and watching.”
Queens are down to two goaltenders after losing veteran Alex Frisk at Christmas as she returned home to be married.
“Unfortunately we lose her, but fortunately we have two other very good netminders (West and Tracie Kikuchi) and tonight Jen was outstanding,” said Coulter, who also lost forward Becky Davidson because of academics
“She has to decide now if she wants to continue as a red shirt or pursue other opportunities,” said Coulter. “Fortunately we still have 23 players. That’s why I keep a larger roster as you never know what may happen.”
The Queens also played without veteran Kaely McMurtry, who was assessed a one-game suspension for hit in the first half.
The Queens visit SAIT Saturday and return home Jan. 19 against NAIT.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at email@example.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca