Queens 2 Cougars 2
The last couple of seasons Kaitlyn Chapman has shared the RDC Queens goaltending duties with Grace Gaska.
This year with Gaska gone Chapman is expected to carry the majority of the load for the Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League squad, and that’s fine with her.
“It’s something I was used to in midget,” she said. “I certainly don’t mind the work.”
On Thursday Chapman looked to be on top of her game, and a good thing for the Queens, as she was the difference in a 2-2 tie with the Mount Royal University Cougars at the Arena.
Chapman finished with 28 saves and if not for some bad luck with a little over a minute remaining in the third period she would pulled out the victory.
The Cougars Karlie Martens scored the tying goal at 18:52 of the third frame when Chapman was bowled over in the crease and had no opportunity to stop the shot.
“There’s not much you can do about it . . . just shake it off and go on,” she said.
The Queens were fortunate to earn the tie as they started extremely slow against a team that was battling the flu and had only 13 players, including 11 skaters,
The Queens also have several players out, including captain and defensive leader Lindsay Hogg and rookie centre Jessica Abt.
“But we have enough depth that shouldn’t be a concern,” said Queens head coach Rob Weddell. “We need to show a lot more intensity, especially in the first period.”
The Queens certainly weren’t ready for the game as they were outshot 11-3 in the first period and were fortunate to only trail 1-0 on a tip-in power play goal by Chrissey Hodgeson.
“I have no idea why we’re starting so slow, if I knew I’d certainly change it,” said Weddell. “Right now it’s a real problem and we need to fix it fast.”
The Queens did play a better second period, but it wasn’t until Amber Graham scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 13:30 that they managed to tie the game.
Karla Bourke put the Queens ahead at 7:41 of the third period and it appeared as if it would hold up until the late miscue.
“That (goal) should never have happened,” said Weddell. “We need to be more disciplined in a situation like that. Even if our defenceman makes a poor decision we should have had a forward up high to be there.”
While the Queens are not playing near their abilities, Chapman says it will come.
“We need to continue to work hard and be a patient,” she said several minutes after the Queens had a brief players only meeting.
l The Queens finished with 15 shots on MRU netminder Kendall Kilgour . . . Mount Royal took three of five minor penalties . . . The teams meet again Saturday in Calgary . . . Queens return home Thursday against NAIT.