The RDC Queens used some youthful enthusiasm to leap past the University Lethbridge Pronghorns Friday night in exhibition play at the Centrium.
First year forward Karissa Cullum of Russell, Man. scored the game winner for RDC late in the third period to lead the Queens to the 2-1 victory.
All three goals came in the third period, with Pronghorns forward Brett Campbell notching a goal while the ice was still wet only 33 seconds into the frame.
Queens captain Julia Murrell potted the other RDC goal midway through the third to tie the game after she rifled a loose puck past Pronghorns goalie Brooklyn Aisley.
“We came out really hard from the get go. We were hungry for the game and it was definitely a nice win for us,” the fourth year player from Edmonton said.
Queens head coach Kelly Coulter was also happy with the way his team executed on the night and likes the quickness they have showed in the exhibition season.
“A lot of pace to the game, the first period was over in about 22 minutes,” Coulter said with a laugh.
“Pace was good from start to finish. I thought the girls executed well. Still some small areas to work on but that comes with being more comfortable playing with each and communicating with each other.”
The Queens were out shot 24-20 in the game and Coulter noted that’s an area his team really needs to improve on going forward.
“I’d still like to get more shots on net. Not just perimeter shots or turning pucks in at the blue line and dumping it in,” he said.
“That’s not the style of play we want to have. We want to keep puck possession and attack the blue line with speed. It’s a game day goal every day to try and break 20 shots.”
With 15 rookies on the roster, getting everyone on the same page has been the biggest challenge early on this year for RDC but Murrell thinks the youth is pushing the veterans to be even better so far.
“They all have speed and hard work and that’s keeping us vets motivated. Some of us are pretty old so they keep us going,” she said.
“We’re here to lead and model and lead by example but they have the grit and that’s kind of what Queens hockey is all about.”
The Queens will hit the ice in the back half of a home-and-home next Thursday when they travel to Lethbridge to take on the Pronghorns.