The RDC Queens were obviously listening to their coach.
Queens head coach Bob Rutz spent most of this week working on “the little things” after the team turned in a dismal performance in a 5-2 loss to the Edge Hockey Academy in Calgary last weekend.
“We had a terrible weekend last week and we picked it up in practice this week and took it into this game,” said Queens captain Rachael Hoppins following a 7-1 victory over the SAIT Trojans in Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League exhibition play at the Arena Thursday.
“I think we needed a little wake up call as we took the Edge a little lightly. We looked at them as a high school prep team and figured we could just show up and win. This week we’re excited about playing our first game at home and turned it around.”
“The biggest difference was we were a lot more prepared to play,” he said. “We worked on the little things and we transferred what we worked on at practice into the game.”
The Queens never trailed, grabbing a 1-0 lead at 5:58 of the first period on a shot by defenceman Megan Jones that went in off the post. The Trojans tied the game at 1-1 at 3:14 of the second period on a penalty shot by Mackenzie Duncan, who beat Queens netminder Camille Trautman to the stick side. However, the Queens regained the lead at 6:12 as Laura Salomons scored the first of her two goals.
They took the 2-1 1ead into the third period, then put the game away with goals by Emily Lougheed, Morgan Brandl, Rikki Leonard, Salomons and Jade Petrie. Brandl, Leonard — both defencemen— and Salomons all scored on the power play.
“Our power play has come a long way, it was like night and day this week from last,” said Hoppins, who set up both of Salomons goals.
The Queens also did a good job on the penalty kill, killing off seven penalties.
“We got too much practise tonight as we took too many penalties, but it’s beginning to look good as is our power play,” added Hoppins.
The Queens finished with 40 shots on net and did a great job of driving to the net.
“(Rutz) preaches for us to drive the net, get the puck on our forehand and get it up under the bar,” said Hoppins.
“We’ve been preaching to them to get the puck to the net and get our forwards going to the net and converting their chances,” said Rutz. “It’s the same at every level of hockey, the more trouble you cause in front the more you’ll have success. We did that tonight.”
While Rutz was pleased with the victory, he knows they can’t be satisfied.
“Our goal is to build off each week and keep getting better. We can’t be satisfied where we are . . . we have to keep building and building.”
Trautman finished with 13 saves, facing just one shot in the third period. Laticia Castillo started in net for SAIT and allowed five goals on 34 shots. Hannah Brock gave up two goals on six shots.
The Queens return to action Thursday when they host the Edge at 7 p.m. at the Arena.
The RDC Kings had a tough opening game of the season, but weren’t overly disappointed with an 89-66 loss to the University of Alberta Golden Bears in the preseason CIS/ACAC tournament at the Saville Centre in Edmonton Thursday.
“We won the final quarter and overall it wasn’t bad against one of the top CIS teams in the nation,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottage. “They will beat some CIS teams worse than this.
“This was a good game for us as it opened the eyes of some of the guys and exposed a few things we’re doing wrong.”
The Kings meet the University of Northern B.C. at 1:30 p.m. today.