Griffins 4 Queens 3 (2OT)
The RDC Queens managed to salvage a single point in a 4-3 loss to the MacEwan University Griffins Sunday.
Jamie Erickson scored 68 seconds into three-on-three double overtime to clinch the victory for the Griffins in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s hockey play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
Less than 24 hours after a 3-0 shutout loss to MacEwan in Edmonton, the Queens showed plenty of battle and fight, including erasing three one-goal deficits in the loss.
“I thought the battle level was much better than the night before, one-on-one. They’re a big strong team and I thought when we forechecked them well we turned over pucks,” said Queens head coach Kelly Coulter.
Amanda Murray opened the scoring for the visitors on the power play, but the Ashley Sutherland responded for the Queens with a laser of a point shot through a crowd, with only 41 seconds left in the first.
Griffins star defenceman Carley Jewell stole the lead back for her side early in the second after cashing in on a nice individual effort off the rush.
For the second time in the game, the Queens battled back midway through the third. After a great rush from Neisha Germann, the winger fired a low shot off the pad of Natalie Bender and right onto the stick of Madison Sansom. The rookie from Saskatoon slid home her first career ACAC goal to tie the game at two.
“She’s working really hard. Came in, not knowing what to expect and she’s really bought into how things work here with our Queens program,” Coulter said of the Queens player of the game.
“She’s been working hard and it’s nice to see her get rewarded. She’s really improved in her time that she’s been here. Very happy to see her get it.”
With time winding down late in the third, the Griffins once again jumped in front. Forward Jill MacWilliam forced an offensive zone turnover in the slot and beat Karlee Fetch with a deke.
That tally looked disastrous for the Queens who had struggled to carry much of the play offensively in the contest.
But the relentless forecheck by RDC finally paid dividends 21 seconds after the Griffins third goal.
Avery Lajeunnesse was johnny on the spot to chip a shot past Bender and tie the game at three.
“It was huge. Number one, they didn’t quit. I thought they didn’t get down when I thought the ref missed a very obvious call that resulted in an injury. The girls were resilient and continued to attack,” said Coulter, referring to a hard hit that went uncalled and subsequent injury to Sydney Rowley.
With under a minute to play in regulation, Germann hit the crossbar with a backhand.
Nothing was solved in four-on-four overtime before the goal came a minute into three-on-three play.
Fetch was strong in the Queens’ net with 33 saves, while Bender made 15 stops for MacEwan.
The loss dropped the Queens to 14-5-3 on the year. They will finish second in the ACAC and play the NAIT Ooks in the first round of the playoffs.
RDC will conclude the regular season on Feb. 22, also against the Ooks.