Queens 2 Griffins 2
The RDC Queens final home game of the Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League regular season typified the way the year has gone for them.
The Queens came just that close, but had to settle for a 2-2 tie with the Grant MacEwan University Griffins.
The RDC squad has been close for much of the season, but will have to settle for fifth place and just out of the playoffs.
“We came out wanting to prove we’re the better team and we should have been in the playoffs,” said Queens veteran centre Chantal Froehler. “And we did just that for most of the game, but in the end we started gripping our sticks too tight and played a little scared and it came up and bite us in the butt.”
The Queens led 2-0 midway through the third period before Heather Gerow beat Queens netminder Grace Gaska from the slot at 14:04. The Griffins controlled the play in the final frame, pressuring the RDC defence into a number of poor decisions with the puck.
“You could see it coming,” said Queens head coach Rob Weddell. “The pressure build and build and we panicked and panicked and started throwing the puck to where it shouldn’t have been. They have a good transition game and our defence was getting caught out there too long when we didn’t get the puck deep in their zone.”
After getting on the board the Griffins picked up the pace that much more and eventually it paid off with Julia Murrell scoring her eighth goal of the season at 19:17 after taking a nice pass from team scoring leader Jayden Skoye while standing at the side of the net.
“It was really disappointing as we had a very good first period as the girls wanted to finish strong at home, but we started to sit back a little in the second period and in the third we lost our brains more so than our legs,” said Weddell.
The Queens dominated play in the first period, but only managed a single goal by Becca Glackin who beat former Queen Tannis Duffy as she drove to the net on a two-on-one with Froehler.
Jessica Abt made it 2-0 with her sixth goal of the season on a rebound at 12:29 of the second period.
After allowing the Griffins to come back, the Queens regrouped and turned in a solid five-minute overtime period, holding a 5-1 edge in shots.
“I thought we played good in the overtime, but that’s one thing about this group they play with a lot of heart,” said Weddell. “We never had a problem with that. These girls are very enjoyable to work with and it’s fun to come to the rink.”
Froehler is in her final season at RDC and will attend NAIT to take carpentry next fall. But she’s leaning toward playing with the Edmonton Chimos
“I can’t see every getting over being a Queen,” she said. “I’ll likely either play with the Chimos or hang up my skates. This was a great group of girls and I’ll definitely miss them.”
The Queens, who hold a 2-1-2 record against the Griffins, finish their season off tonight in Edmonton against MacEwan.
“We’re winning the series against them and want to win tomorrow to finish the year off on a positive note,” said Weddell.
l Gaska finished with 25 saves while Duffy made 24 . . . The teams split six minor penalties.