It was a big day for female hockey in Alberta Saturday and the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs underscored it with their best performance of the year.
On Female Hockey Day in Alberta, they knocked off the top-ranked Lloydminster PWM Steelers with a convincing 7-1 victory at the Collicutt.
Lloydminster, with a 14-4-1 record, is the number one team in the Alberta Female Midget AAA Hockey League.
Red Deer got off to a hot start in their final game before the Christmas break, scoring three times in the opening frame and they rolled from there.
“I wouldn’t expect to beat Lloydminster 7-1 every game, but our effort in the first period, to go up 3-0, we were hard on the forecheck, we were turning pucks over and creating chances. I thought we won that game in the first,” said Sutter Fund Chiefs head coach Bob Rutz.
“We’re on the way up, hope it continues. It was a good effort by everyone.”
Kadey Rosie, Aryn Chambers and Emily Straw had the first-period goals.
“It definitely gives us a boost of energy and confidence,” said alternate captain Darcee Hall.
“That ‘we can do this’. Just keep pushing and it gets everyone really energized.”
It's our last SaturGameDay of 2018!! Join #5 Emma Hebert & her mates as they host the 1st place @LloydSteelers in a 2:15 tilt @ the Collicut. Emma is new to the team this season and graduates in 2021. She is shifty with the puck & doesn't mind when the game is rough. #UnitedInRed pic.twitter.com/7hEI3h3YdX
— RED DEER SF CHIEFS (@rdsfaaachiefs) December 15, 2018
Straw added her second of the night in the second before the Steelers finally responded with their first goal. With just five seconds left in the middle frame, Avery Lajeunesse tapped in a loose puck for Red Deer.
Vanessa Verbitsky and Emma Hebert added third-period tallies. Chantelle Sandquist earned the win with 25 saves.
Rutz added that it was an important victory for his team, considering it has been an up-and-down year. They have a 7-10-3 record this season.
“We struggled to score in that stretch where we were trying to find our way. Any time you put seven up, in any game it’s a good day. Simple game plan. Get pucks to the net, get people to the net and look for those secondary chances,” he said.
“A month ago, we didn’t know whether we were going up, down left or right. We were struggling with so many things and losing games because we just weren’t in them. Lack of effort and I don’t see that anymore.”