Coming into last season Alex Frisk had an idea she would red shirt with the RDC Queens hockey team.
The team had returnee Moriah Andrews and highly recruited newcomer Summer Roberts, but Frisk wasn’t about to throw away her dream of playing in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League.
“I knew I wouldn’t play last year, but it was a matter of waiting it out,” she said following a 15-save effort in recording her first ACAC shutout – 3-0 over the SAIT Trojans at the Arena Thursday.
“I knew coming back this year that neither goalie would be back so it was a matter of working hard and to battle for every game.”
The Langley, B.C., native was recruited by Trevor Keeper in 2012 during her graduation year. She then took two years off before arriving at RDC.
“I wanted to play in this league so when I came last year it was a matter of waiting as my turn would come.”
Frisk and Jen West are both new to the team this year and will battle for playing time.
“The only advantage I have is that I was around last year and do know the league some.”
She also played in the preseason last year. During the season she didn’t sit around as she found a men’s church league team to play with.
“I’m used to playing men’s hockey and I also played ball hockey during the summer with the men back in B.C., which definitely helped so that I wasn’t rusty,” she said.
She hasn’t looked rusty at all as she turned in a solid performance in a 4-2 win over Grant MacEwan in the first game of the season then was even sharper Thursday against SAIT.
“My defence did a great job and I was seeing the puck,” she said. “As well I’m talking more and increasing that part of my game which makes a big difference.”
Queens first-year head coach Kelly Coulter likes what he sees from Frisk.
“Alex has been working hard in practice and the defence did a good job of keeping the SAIT forwards away from the net so she could come out and see the puck. Her puck management also continues to improve and she will freeze the puck when she needs to. She’s been steady.”
The Queens also ran into some solid goaltending at the other end in Laticia Castillo, who faced 25 shots.
The game was scoreless after 40 minutes with rookie Morgan Fraser scoring a beauty to give the Queens all they scoring they needed. Fraser, who played midget AAA with Battleford, Sask., last season, went around a defenceman and rifled a perfect shot off the crossbar and in at 1:38.
“She has a great shot,” said Coulter. “I’ve seen all the girls continuing to improve their shots and their skills continue to develop. Credit to the coaches and the girls for their hard work.”
Fourth-year rearguard Rikki Leonard fired a screen point shot past Castillio at 9:36 on the power play to give the Queens some breathing room and Keinyn Nordell used her outstanding speed to break away and score into an empty net at 19:08.
Overall it was a good effort, especially on the defensive end, said Coulter.
“We continue to form in our D zone and understand how we play in the D zone which is a credit to the girls. Overall I was happy although I would have liked to see us come out with a little more jump, then again they are also a good team.”
The teams split six minor penalties. The Queens visit SAIT on Saturday then host the NAIT Ooks Thursday.