Brent Forster - RDC
Edmonton, AB - The Red Deer College Queens gave it their all with a short bench in the best of three semi-final against the MacEwan University Griffins and came within a goal of tying the contest, but the home team capitalized on an empty net, taking the game 3-1 and the series.
After a scoreless first period, the Griffins took a 2-0 edge in the middle frame. Raven Beazer and Dominique Scheurer scored within 1:02 of each other to give their team a lead. Then at 8:18, Red Deer's Mairead Bast scored from inside the blue line with bodies in front of Sandy Heim to bring the Queens within one. Carly Umbach had the lone assist.
Mairead Bast (18) Pic - Tony Hansen
In a very tight third period, both goaltenders shut the door. With 1:40 remaining, Queens Head Coach Kelly Coulter pulled Fetch for the extra attacker. Chantal Ricker found the open cage, and the Griffins eventually finalized a 3-1 decision to move on to the finals.
Karlee Fetch was simply outstanding, once again. The fourth-year goaltender made 35 saves (0.946) and gave the Queens a chance all series long. Over the three game series, the Open Studies student turned aside 108 out of 114 shots (0.947). Heim made 23 saves.
Karlee Fetch (1) Pic - Tony Hansen
Both teams were perfect on the penalty kill. The Queens stopped all five of the Griffins' opportunities. MacEwan University stymied four RDC chances.
In the second half of the season, the Queens have played with a more condensed lineup, dealing with a list of injuries. The group really pulled together and played their best hockey of the season, pushing the defending ACAC Champions to the limit.
Coulter has been impressed with the commitment from the players, and coaching staff. "I am proud of the girls for their effort and hardwork all year," he said. "It is a privilege and honour to work with these dedicated young ladies. I'd also like to thank my assistant coaches who are amazing to work with."
Along with Coulter, Laura Salomons, Amy Friestadt, Casey Petrie and Suze Vanderlinde have spent countless hours on and off the ice working with this hard working and talented group.
MacEwan University will face NAIT in the finals, playing for their third consecutive championship.