Queens finally get first win of season

The RDC Queens are breathing a lot easier today. The Queens finally got their first win of the Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League season, scoring twice in the third period to record a 3-1 victory over the Grant MacEwan University Griffins at the Arena Thursday.

Red Deer College Queen Erin Heinemann misses a deflection on Grant MacEwan Griffin goalie Shannon Giebelhaus at the Arena Thursday.

Red Deer College Queen Erin Heinemann misses a deflection on Grant MacEwan Griffin goalie Shannon Giebelhaus at the Arena Thursday.

Queens 3 Griffins 1

The RDC Queens are breathing a lot easier today.

The Queens finally got their first win of the Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League season, scoring twice in the third period to record a 3-1 victory over the Grant MacEwan University Griffins at the Arena Thursday.

“Our girls needed some confidence,” said Queens head coach Rob Weddell.

“We have been improving, although we have stunk at home so far, so this helped a lot.”

So far this season the Queens have played their best hockey on the road, losing 5-4 at SAIT and 3-1 at NAIT. They lost 4-0 to SAIT and 7-0 to NAIT at home.

But after the second period Thursday it looked as if the home-ice jinx would continue as the Griffins scored the period’s only goal to tie the game and outplayed the Queens.

“We sat back a little in that period, but we picked it up a lot in the third,” said Queens second-year winger Montanna Noyes.

“We knew what we had to do and went out and did it.”

The Griffins did hold a 12-6 edge in shots in the final frame, but it was the Queens who got the biggest break when Erin Heinemann’s shot from the right circle snuck between the legs of Grant MacEwan rookie goalie Shannon Giebelhaus at 1:26.

“We got some lucky bounces, but we’ve had some tough bounces in previous games,” said Noyes.

“That was a lucky bounce on a tough shot and it really helped us.”

Red Deer midget grad Becca Glackin notched her first goal as a Queen at 15:06 on the power play to all but put the game away.

The Queens scored twice on seven power play chances, while they killed off all eight Grant MacEwan power plays.

“Our penalty kill has been strong this year, although we really haven’t spent a lot of time working on special teams,” said Weddell.

“We spend maybe 20 minutes a week on it as the girls need work on the basics, such as our D-zone coverage.

“We do a lot five-on-five work and a lot of skill work with certain individuals.

“But the girls have responded to the work we have done (on the penalty kill).

“The fact is it’s a simple system. It just takes a lot of hard work.”

Noyes feels the time they have spent on special teams has paid off.

“We need that as we’re a physical team, so that is important,” she said.

Kendra Lakeman played a solid game in goal for the Queens, finishing with 26 saves. Kendel Jurista scored the Griffins lone goal on a breakaway with a nifty backhand under the crossbar at 15:39 of the second period.

Noyes scored the Queens first goal midway through the first period, converting a feed from Rachael Hoppins, who did all the work digging the puck out from behind the net.

It was the fifth goal of the season for Noyes, who had six goals all of last season.

“I have a lot more confidence this year,” she said.

Noyes also feels confidence was a major factor in the Queens finally hitting the win column.

“The difference between tonight and a couple of their other games is mental,” she said.

“We know we can do it but we have to have the confidence to do it. This game it was there.”

• The Queens finished with 21 shots on Giebelhaus . . . The RDC squad visits MacEwan Saturday and hosts Mount Royal Thursday.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com