Hockey Queens defeat Griffins, take over second

Hockey Queens defeat Griffins, take over second

Prior to tonight's game the Red Deer College Queens and MacEwan University Griffins sat tied for second place in the ACAC Women's Hockey standings. The Queens wanted to take sole possession of second with a win and accomplished that goal by defeating the Griffins 3-1. Jen West started in goal for the Queens while Sandy Heim was in net for the Griffins.

Raven Beazer opened the scoring for MacEwan University 3:24 into the 1st period. There weren't many high quality chances in the opening frame but the Griffins had another opportunity on the power play with about 2:30 remaining to extend their lead. West made a nice right pad save to keep the Queens within one.

The Queens had 5 shots on Heim in the first period while the Griffins directed 5 at West.

As the game continued the RDC Queens created more offensive opportunities. Two and a half minutes into the second period Kaely McMurtry tested Heim through a screen but was stopped. The Queens kept applying pressure. With 6:21 remaining in the second period, Jade Petrie tied the game 1-1 on the power play. The Red Deer native banged in a rebound between Heim's pads. Ashley Graf and Julia Wing picked up the assists.

Keinyn Nordell put the Queens up 2-1 with 3:34 left in the second period. It was a nice cross ice pass from Kirsten Baumgardt that found Nordell alone in front and she made no mistake. Morgan Fraser added the other assist.

In the second period RDC had 15 shots on goal while the Griffins directed 3 shots at West.

Four minutes into the third period Jade Petrie found Jessica Anderson in the slot but Heim made a nice save to keep it a 2-1 game. The Queens had most of the play in the Griffins zone throughout the final period.

MacEwan University pulled Heim with 32 seconds remaining for the extra skater. West shut the door and Jessica Anderson found the open net to seal a Queens 3-1 victory. Jade Petrie and Ashley Graf picked up the helpers.

The RDC Queens fired 10 shots at Heim for a game total of 30. The Griffins had 7 shots on West in the final period for a total of 15.

Overall, Queens Head Coach Kelly Coulter was pleased with the game.

"There was one error on the goal that I'd like to get back because it was a defensive zone error but those are things that we can strive to work on. But I'm very happy," said Coulter.  "I thought it was a solid 60 minutes."

The Queens created many opportunities around the Griffins net.

"That's something that we have been practicing a lot," said Coulter. "The goaltending in this league is excellent and you have to create situations where they can't control the rebound or you're creating traffic in front of them."

Jen West didn't face a lot of shots, but made some key saves when called upon.

"That's always tough as a goalie when you don't have a lot of shots, to maintain focus," said Coulter. "That's probably the challenge that goalies face in games like that. In the end we talked about being ready because there could be a big push and I think she did a good job directing rebounds outside of the house. Good job by her."

Keinyn Nordell was chosen as the Queens player-of-the-game. Coulter liked the play of the Bachelor of Science student.

"Keinyn's strength is her skating. On her goal she's skating hard to get to the net and is an option for Baumgardt who made a great pass," said Coulter. "She's a third year player and that's how we expect her to play, with poise and leadership on the ice for us."

The RDC Queens were successful on 1-of-4 power play opportunties while the Griffins went 0-for-3.

Having won 5 in a row, the Queens hold a 5-2 record. They next play on the road Saturday, Nov. 5 against the MacEwan University Griffins at 6:00 p.m.