Brent Forster - RDC
The Red Deer College Queens were looking for a strong effort in game three on the road against the MacEwan University Griffins and they got it Thursday evening. Unfortunately for the RDC Queens, they were up against a sharp Sandy Heim in net. Despite the Queens outshooting their opposition by 14, MacEwan University picked up a 3-1 win to jump ahead in the series.
It was a cautious beginning to the first period and neither team held an advantage until 13:26 when the Griffins broke the deadlock. Jessica Dyck kept a clearing attempt inside the Queens' blueline and the fifth-year defenceman's shot from the point squeaked through Tracie Kikuchi's pads to put the Griffins ahead 1-0. About 3 minutes later, MacEwan University went up by a pair. Tessa Mitchell took a wrist shot from inside the left circle and found the top part of the net. Only 29 seconds later the Queens responded. Cassidy Anderson wound up inside the blueline and beat Heim to narrow the gap by a goal. Jade Petrie and Kaitlan Linnell, two forwards from Red Deer, recorded the assists. Shots were even 10-10.
In the second period, the Queens hit the ice with energy and controlled the game in many areas. RDC tested Heim often and nearly tied the contest when Celine Chailler rattled a shot off the post. The RDC Queens had 15 shots on Heim but couldn't capitalize. The Griffins responded with 7 shots.
The RDC Queens generated some offensive chances in the final frame but with 10:30 remaining Nikki Reimer restored the Griffins' two goal cushion. The fourth-year defender's shot eluded Kikuchi on the glove side. As time wound down, Queens Hockey Head Coach Kelly Coulter pulled Kikuchi for the extra skater. The RDC Queens competed hard and fired 15 more shots at Heim in the period but they couldn't narrow the gap. The MacEwan University Griffins won 3-1 and took a 2-1 lead in the best of five ACAC Woman's Hockey finals.
Over 60 minutes, the RDC Queens outshot the MacEwan University Griffins 40-26. Neither team could connect on the power play. The Queens went 0-for-4 and killed off all three of the Griffins' advantages.
Coulter appreciated the work ethic but would like to see more traffic around Heim to capitalize on second and third opportunities. "The Queens battled hard tonight," said Coulter. "We got a lot of shots on net but didn't pick up the rebounds around the net."
Several RDC student-athletes had strong performances which impressed their coach. "I thought that Emily Lougheed, Jade Petrie and Cassidy Anderson had outstanding efforts tonight," said Coulter.
Anderson, a Bachelor of Business Administration student, was named the player-of-the-game for the Queens. Heim received the honour for the Griffins.
Cassidy Anderson (2) was strong at both ends of the ice
The RDC Queens will host the Griffins at the ENMAX Centrium, Friday, at 7:30 p.m in game four. The Queens have to win to tie the series and force a fifth and final game.