The only real question facing RDC Queens hockey head coach Rob Weddell heading into the preseason was in net and who would be his backup to veteran Kaitlyn Chapman.
It didn’t take long for Kendra Lakeman to answer that.
Lakeman, a native of Athabasca, who played midget in Spruce Grove, drew the majority of the playing time in the preseason after Chapman suffered a slight concussion and she was solid from the outset.
“Kendra did a great job and just like the last couple of years we’ll have two outstanding goaltenders,” said Weddell. “Chapman is still our No. 1 and will get the majority of the playing time, but Kendra knows that and is willing to push her for that job.”
Lakeman is one of six first-year players on the roster, which won five of eight preseason games and two of the losses came against university competition.
“We had a good preseason and part of that was because we have something like 16 veterans,” said Weddell. “They all know our systems and what is expected of them, plus they all worked hard in the off-season to come in in top condition. As well our top recruits also received the same conditioning program, so they weren’t behind when camp opened.”
The Queens open their Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League regular season against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Arena.
“I know everyone is excited to get the regular season started,” added Weddell. “One of the problems with the preseason is that it’s so irregular. We don’t have the same practice times and the games are spread out.”
Weddell knows little about the Griffins, but expects his team to get off to a good start.
“Because we have so many veterans we should be at a more advanced stage than we have been at times in the past,” he said. “But then our learning curve isn’t as big either. The important thing for us as a team and coaches is to make sure we continue to improve each week.”
The Queens visit the Griffins Saturday at 8 p.m. in Leduc.
l The RDC soccer teams host Lethbridge Saturday and Mount Royal University Sunday. The women kick off both days at noon with the men to follow.
Saturday’s games are big for both teams.
The Kings could take a major step toward grabbing a playoff berth with a win while the Queens could all but wrap up a playoff spot.
l The RDC golf team is competing in the Canadian championships in Windsor, Ont., this week while the badminton team is at the first interlock tournament at Mount Royal Saturday and Sunday.
The RDC basketball teams play a series of exhibition games in Kelowna, beginning Thursday.
l Soccer dominated the Moxie’s Classic Grill RDC athlete of the week awards.
Curtis Playfair, a first-year player from Olds, received the top male award after scoring twice in the Kings 4-2 victory at Medicine Hat Sunday. Queens veteran defender Stephanie Tremblay won the top female award after scoring both goals in a 2-0 win against Medicine Hat Sunday.