Griffins edge Queens in game one

RDC's Kirsten Baumgardt (10) defends against MacEwan's Carley Jewell (21). Both student-athletes played well in Edmonton. Photo - Tony Hansen
RDC's Kirsten Baumgardt (10) defends against MacEwan's Carley Jewell (21). Both student-athletes played well in Edmonton. Photo - Tony Hansen

Brent Forster - RDC

Game one of the best of five Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Hockey finals wrapped up Thursday evening in Edmonton and special teams played a prominent role. The MacEwan University Griffins connected on a pair of power play goals and eventually edged the Red Deer College Queens 2-1.

The Griffins opened the scoring on the power play. At 7:22 of the first period, Jessi Rampton, a second-year forward from Dauphin, Manitoba, scored from the right circle with traffic in front to give MacEwan University a 1-0 lead.

Tracie Kikuchi and Sandy Heim made some nice saves and the one goal lead held up until the third period. Kirsten Baumgardt, a Kinesiology & Sport Studies student from Innisfail, tied the game 1-1 with a blast from the top of the circle at 8:41. Keinyn Nordell carried the puck around the Griffins' net and spotted a pinching Baumgardt who wasted no time firing a slapshot past Heim. Kaely McMurtry added the other assist. With 4:55 remaining, the Griffins struck on the power play again. After the initial shot, a loose puck bounced to Carley Jewell on the left side and the third-year defenceman capitalized to push MacEwan University ahead 2-1. Queens Hockey Head Coach Kelly Coulter pulled Kikuchi with 1:50 left on the clock. RDC pressed with the extra attacker but couldn't score the equalizer and the Griffins captured game one 2-1.

Both goaltenders made some key saves. Tracie Kikuchi stopped 25 out of 27 shots (0.926). Sandy Heim made 18 saves on 19 RDC shots. 

"The difference in the game was the special teams," said Coulter. "They were able to score two power play goals and we didn't execute on our opportunities."

The Queens went 0-for-4 on the power play and the Griffins connected on 2-of-3 opportunities.

The RDC Queens will host the MacEwan University Griffins in game two, Saturday, March 3, at the ENMAX Centrium at 7:00 p.m. 

All-Conference selections

Prior to the game several ACAC Women's Hockey award winners were announced. A pair of Queens earned First All-Conference team selections and two were named to the Second All-Conference team. Tracie Kikuchi and Jade Petrie were chosen for the ACAC Women's Hockey First All-Conference team. Kikuchi had a fantastic season in net for the Queens. The goaltender from Edmonton consistently gave her team a chance to win and she finished with a 1.42 goals against average. The Kinesiology & Sport Studies student finished second among women goaltenders with an impressive 0.945 save percentage. Talented forward Jade Petrie was also recognized for her outstanding contributions on the ice. The Legal Assistant Diploma student totaled 16 points in 24 games. The fifth-year student-athlete scored 10 goals which placed her in a tie for the third most goals in the league.

Julia Murrell and Cassidy Anderson were chosen for the Second All-Conference team. Murrell, the Queens captain, scored some big goals down the stretch and finished in a tie with Petrie for the third most goals (10) in ACAC Women's Hockey. The Early Learning & Child Care Diploma student was a leader all season and added 3 assists to her 10 goals for 13 points. Anderson logged some important minutes on the Queens' blueline and played in all situations. The Bachelor of Business Administration student was effective exiting the zone with strong skating or a crisp pass and finished the regular season with 8 points.