Trojans blank Queens as puck drops on ACAC season

The RDC Queens showed a touch of nerves during their Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League home opener Thursday at the Arena and by the time they settled down it was to late.

RDC Queens Skye Fahlman

RDC Queens Skye Fahlman

Trojans 4 Queens 0

The RDC Queens showed a touch of nerves during their Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League home opener Thursday at the Arena and by the time they settled down it was to late.

The SAIT Trojans took advantage of those nerves, especially by the Queens defence, scoring on their first three shots and went on to record a 4-0 victory.

“We had a very good warm up and we were energetic, but it must have been nerves,” said Queens veteran and co-captain Megan Abt. “I thought we were fired up, but we’ll have to try something different.”

Queens head coach Rob Weddell agreed there were some nerves, but wasn’t using that as an excuse.

“We had a few minutes of good play, but as Doug (assistant coach Doug Young) told the girls in the room we played a little intimidated and not with a lot of heart. No one got upset by being pushed off the puck.

“We needed some positive things going our way and a goal would have been a positive thing that we could have built on.”

The Queens had their chances, especially in the second period when they outshot the Trojans 9-5, but couldn’t solve rookie goaltender Chelsie Lowe.

“We came out flying in the second period, but once we didn’t have success we seemed to give up a bit and that’s something we need to work on,” said Abt.

“Their goaltender played really well, she was in a good spot all of the time,” said Weddell. “But we still needed to put some of those shots in. We had some decent opportunities, but need to create more if we want the puck to go in. And it won’t go in Saturday (at SAIT) either if we do the same things.”

Lindsey Audie opened the scoring for the Trojans at 3:27 with Andrea Ehrmantraut connecting at 4:40 and Kiera Scanlan at 5:41. Heidi Kleinsasser completed the scoring at 1:39 of the third period when he pass into the slot went in off the skate of RDC centre Jessica Abt.

“Their goals weren’t great,” said Weddell. “Kenny (Queens netminder Kendra Lakeman) would like some of them back, then their fourth goal was off Jessica’s skate, but we still have the bounce back and we didn’t.”

Megan Abt, who is in her fourth year, and third-year defenceman Kim Day will share the captaincy and will be expected to provide the leadership in the room.

“It’s good to work with Kim and we have to make sure everyone is on the same page and working together and being less nervous,” said Abt, who isn’t about to let one loss ruin the season.

“It sucked to come out so poorly in our home opener, but it’s just one game and we have to come out Saturday and start fresh,” she said. “I know things can change quickly in this league.”

So does Weddell, but he wants to see the team play up to their abilities.

“If we lose and are playing as good as we can at this time of the season then that’s acceptable, but when we’re not playing near as well as we can then that’s not acceptable, and tonight wasn’t acceptable,” he said.

l Lakeman finished with 19 saves while the Queens had 24 shots on Lowe . . . Day, who is one of two veterans on the blueline, is out this weekend because her nursing program has yet to start . . . Queens also played without veteran forward Nicky Doiron (flu), who was one of the team’s scoring leaders in the preseason . . . Winger Erin Heinemann of North Battleford, Sask., was one of the more impressive rookies for RDC . . . Veteran Chantal Froehler was RDC’s player of the game . . . Queens return home Thursday against NAIT.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com