Brent Forster - RDC
Friday in Edmonton, the RDC Hockey Queens made the best of their chances and downed the NAIT Ooks 4-2 in game one of the best of three semi-finals.
The Queens were ready to play and they struck early. At 1:13 of the first period, Kaely McMurtry beat Karlee Fetch to give RDC a 1-0 edge. Captain Julia Murrell had the assist and the two linemates have created some nice offensive chemistry in the last few games. The Red Deer College Queens continued to press and over 4 minutes later they went up by a pair. RDC's Kaitlan Linnell found the back of the net at 5:42 to push the Queens ahead 2-0. Karissa Cullum and Catherine Longchamps picked up the assists.
Fifth-year forward Emily Lougheed gave RDC a 3-0 lead at 1:39 of the second period on the power play. Kirsten Baumgardt had the lone assist. NAIT tried to climb back into the game and with 5:31 remaining Carlin Boey finally found the back of the net to reduce the Queens' lead by a pair (3-1).
At 8:01 of the third period, Alix Reiter pulled the Ooks within a goal (3-2) on the power play. Tracie Kikuchi was solid once again in the Queens' net and turned aside all of the remaining NAIT attempts. Fetch was pulled with 55 seconds remaining but Jade Petrie quickly found the open cage. The RDC Queens earned a 4-2 road victory to jump ahead one game to nothing in the best of three semi-finals series.
The Ooks outshot the Queens 37-17 over 60 minutes. Tracie Kikuchi made 35 saves (0.946) and was a key factor in the Queens' win.
The RDC Queens connected on 1-of-6 power plays. The NAIT Ooks went 1-for-3.
Queens Hockey Head Coach Kelly Coulter liked the play from his goaltender and the Queens' ability to make the best of their chances. "Tracie was very good tonight," said Coulter. "We scored some nice goals and capitalized on our chances."
The Queens will host the Ooks in game two, Saturday, February 24, at the Collicutt Centre in Red Deer at 8:00 p.m. In the other semi-finals series, the MacEwan University Griffins shutout the Olds College Broncos 6-0.