Coming off their first win of the season, the last thing the Red Deer College Queens could afford to do was sleep walk through the first period on Thursday — oops.
The Queens were out played badly by the EDGE Hockey Academy in the first 20 minutes and found themselves in a three-goal hole they were unable to dig out of and lost 4-1.
Kate Hufnagel scored twice for EDGE while Hali Reardon and Emma Merlo also tallied. Emily Severson made 17 saves for the win.
Rachael Hoppins scored Red Deer’s lone goal while freshman goalie Summer Roberts was on the hook for all four goals on 23 shots.
“When you play 40 out 0f 60 minutes, you can’t expect anything better,” said Queens head coach Bob Rutz. “The first period was absolutely horrendous on our part, we had no battle or compete …
“I tip my cap to (the girls), they didn’t quit, they responded after my time out, I had a real stern message for them and in the second and third periods we were great.”
Edge went up 3-0 in the first 11:53 on goals by Hufnagel, Reardon and Merlo in a six minute and 37 second span. All three goals came on plays within two feet of Roberts, an unacceptable situation for Rutz.
“The goalie’s got to find the puck and everyone has to box out,” he said. “It’s just a battle and compete thing, they were all secondary chances, so our goalie stopped the first puck. We were soft in front of our net and that was the difference.”
However, the Queens settled down after Rutz called his time out following the third goal and played with Edge over the final 48 minutes.
Hoppins scored a power-play goal at 17:16 of the second period but Hufnagel iced it with her second at 6:11 of the third period, on another chance in close.
Getting behind by three goals early killed them when they have struggled to score multiple goals in a game.
They had broken out this past Friday against the SAIT Trojans in Calgary with a 6-4 victory, their first of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season, but they did not have the same magic going on Thursday.
“We work hard for our chances, we hit a couple of posts and they don’t give a lot in the D-zone,” said Rutz. “We still have to learn to burry our chances.”
The Queens are back in action next Thursday when they host the MacEwan University Griffins at 7 p.m. at the Arena.