The RDC Queens had enough chances to win two or three games.
But they not only ran into a hot goaltender, but didn’t bury those opportunities and in the end the SAIT Trojans stole a 3-2 overtime victory from the Queens in Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League play at the Arena Thursday.
“As a coach we work so much on two-on-ones, so much on shooting and so much on scoring and when you don’t see that transferring over from practice into the games, it’s frustrating,” said Queens head coach Bob Rutz. “I don’t know if it’s preparation or confidence but again tonight we had four breakaways and hit four or five posts and didn’t bear down.”
The Queens were simply the better team and deserved a better fate. But Trojans netminder Laticia Castillo stopped Emily Lougheed twice and Jade Petrie once on breakaways and handled a penalty shot by Hailey Smyl.
“We didn’t have much luck tonight either,” said Rutz, who was more than pleased with the team’s effort.
“The effort was there, no doubt. But I had a coach before who said there are two components to competing, effort and execution and you need to do both. We had the effort by didn’t finish.”
“That was a game we should have won but we didn’t bury our chances,” she said.
However, Smyl did at 18:41 of the third period with a backhander from the slot that snuck through Castillo to tie the game at 2-2.
“It was a garbage goal, as I just tried to get it on net,” she said.
Smyl played a solid game and deserved the goal.
“That was her best game all season from start to finish,” said Rutz. “When she moves her feet and with her size, she’s hard to handle. In fact her line had a strong game. The effort was there from all three lines and our defence.”
Goaltender Moriah Andrews, who is backup to Camille Trautman, faced just 17 shots, including just two in both the second and third periods. She had a couple of goals she would certainly like back, including the winner at 4:07 of overtime by Mackenzie Duncan, whose shot from the right wing hit Andrews, who was deep in her net, and bounced in.
“I’m sure there were a couple goals she would like back, but at the end of the day we only gave up two goals in regulation time and should have had five or six goals.”
The Queens opened scoring at 8:43 of the second period on a great shot from the point by Rikki Leonard that found the top corner on Castillo’s stick side.
Katie Wardell tied the game at 5:42 of the third period, beating Andrews high to the glove side on a two-on-one. Penhold native Emma Malsbury put SAIT ahead at 8:03 with a power play goal from just off the goal line to the left of Andrews.
The Queens and SAIT finish their regular season Saturday at SAIT. The Queens will finish third in the standings and will meet either NAIT or Grant MacEwan in the best-of-three semifinal, which opens in Edmonton.
The second game is slated for Feb. 15 at the Arena, with a tentative starting time of 4:30 p.m.
MacEwan sits one point up on NAIT in the standings with the teams meeting twice this weekend.