Trojans 2 Queens 0
The RDC Queens have over a week to prepare for the opening of the Alberta Colleges Women’s Hockey League regular season, and from the way they ended their exhibition season, they need the time.
The Queens weren’t as sharp as they would have liked as they fell 2-0 to the SAIT Trojans at the Centrium Saturday evening, leaving their exhibition record at 1-4-0-1.
“Hopefully the six games prepares us, but then we’re still settling in and getting used to playing in this building,” said Queens head coach Kelly Coulter. “That will take some time, but hopefully we’re ready for Oct. 6.”
The Queens open their regular season against the NAIT Ooks, in a rematch of last season’s ACAC final.
The biggest disappointment for the Queens so far this season has been their offence, which on paper appears to be even stronger than last year.
“We started out tonight with three shots on goal in the first period and that’s simply not enough,” said Coulter. “Scoring is something we’ve addressed. One of the problems is we’re getting a lot of shots blocked. Tonight we had 20 blocked shots. That takes away a lot of offensive opportunities. That’s just something we need to work on again this year.”
One of the reasons may be the fact the Queens have a young defence, after losing their top three defenders from last season’s ACAC championship squad.
“I think our D core was much better tonight moving the puck up to the forwards at a quicker pace, but still it’s a learning curve. We know they will make mistakes, as no one is perfect, but we want them to strive to be perfect every game.
“The thing is we’re having them work on structure and having them play the way we want them to. To manage the puck better. I believe even tonight you saw that as we moved later into the game.”
The Queens outshot the Trojans 22-16, but ran into some hot netminding, especially Elisha Oswald, who came in midway through the game, replacing Emma Greenwood. She made a number of outstanding saves from in close with the game still 1-0.
Tessa Wilson scored for the Trojans at 19:49 of the second period against Jenn West, who replaced Alex Frisk at the 13:15 mark of the second period. It was only one of four shots the Trojans managed in the second period, and all came against West.
The Trojans had seven shots in the third period and put the game away when Wilson scored at 13:06 on shot that West would have liked back as it hit her glove, popped up behind her and roiled into the net.
The Queens did manage to kill off five penalties, but also failed to score on five power plays.
“Our penalty killing was good but our power play needs some work,” said Coulter. “But then we haven’t worked much on it and we’re still using a number of different players. It’s a matter of everyone getting used to each other.”
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca