Griffins 1 Queens 0
Next up, animal sacrifice.
The frustration in RDC Queens hockey coach Rob Weddell is starting to build when it comes to his team’s in ability to put the puck in the net.
It’s to the point where he was joking that a few of Foghorn Leghorn’s close friends may be on the line following a 1-0 loss to the Grant MacEwan University Griffins on Thursday in Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League action at the Arena.
“We’ve got to sacrifice some chicken or something like that,“ said Weddell. “I don’t have an answer for (the offence) right now. We thought we had good traffic in front of the net, especially on our power play, but a lot of the deflections went wide. We’re going to have to look at the film to see if there is anything we can do to help the girls.”
The Queens have managed a league-worst 12 goals through nine games — that’s a clip of 1.33 goals a game — and is the main reason they are floundering in last place with a 2-5-0-2 record.
But their offensive funk is not for a lack of trying.
The Queens are starting to dig deep into the playbook to end their goal-scoring quandary.
“We’re starting to work on a few more tactics at practice and we’re working on our body and grittiness on the puck, and I think that’s going to turn our game around,“ said Amber Graham who has scored two of those 12 goals on the season and was named the Queens’ player of the game on Thursday.
“Our team is coming together with more unity and we’re going to get our respect back.”
It’s to the point where any deficit is proving to be a daunting mountain to climb.
The Griffins’ Ashley Holt scored on the power play 3:19 into Thursday’s contest and the Queens found themselves in chase mode for the rest of the game.
“It’s pretty frustrating,“ said Graham. “I think we need a lot more shots five-on-five. We got a lot of shots and created a lot of opportunities on our power play, but we need to start doing that five-on-five.”
The Queen’s actually outshot the Griffins 31-24. Sylvan lake’s Shauntell Williams picked up the shutout for Grant MacEwan.
It’s not just five-on-five the Queens are struggling offensively. They went zero-for-10 with the man advantage Thursday — although Grant MacEwan wasn’t much better at one-for-11.
On the plus side, the Queens have received some of the best goaltending in the league.
No.1 puckstopper Kaitlyn Chapman is second among starting goalies with a 1.63 goals against average and first in save percentage at 0.935.
But there hasn’t been much of a drop off in their backup goalie Kendra Lakeman who got her first start at home and third overall this season.
“Me and Chapman get along fine — we’re friends on the ice and off the ice,“ said Lakeman who has a G.A.A. of 2.00 and a 0.912 save percentage.
“At school we bug each other about playing, but I’m a rookie so I was told when I came to this team that I wasn’t going to get much ice time. But it was good to finally play and to earn my ice time.”
The effort in net has added up to allowing the fewest goals against in the league, 17 through nine games.
It is that kind of stat that gives the Queens confidence that once they do figure out how to score that they will take off.
“Chapman does an excellent job and today Lakeman was in and she did an outstanding job so we’re pretty comfortable with who’s in net,” said Graham.
Somebody get them some chickens.