Visiting Broncos pick up road win at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Mary Hirsch (24) contributed two points at home. Picture - Colby Brochu Photography
Mary Hirsch (24) contributed two points at home. Picture - Colby Brochu Photography

Brent Forster – RDC

Red Deer, AB – After the Olds College Broncos scored four consecutive goals, the RDC Queens tried to rally but time expired and the Broncos earned a 4-2 decision at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

The Olds College Broncos opened the scoring at 2:06. Fiona Milligan skated in the high slot and beat Nisa Bartlett on the blocker side.

At 1:21 of the second period, Tori Chenier provided the Broncos a two goal lead. The third-year forward from Grande Prairie broke up the left side with speed and scored five-hole. Less than six minutes later, the Broncos went up 3-0 when Hanna Wadlegger capitalized on a rebound. After the tally, Miranda Cook, a first-year goaltender from Binscarth, Manitoba, took over in the Queens' net and was quickly tested. Cook made a couple of saves and then Rayna Bonchuk found the back of the net on the glove side to push Olds College up 4-0.

Then on the power play about six minutes later, the RDC Queens solved Lexi Bruce. Catherine Longchamps and Ashley Sutherland started the play inside the Broncos' blueline and Mary Hirsch finished the sequence around the crease. With 3:08 remaining, Keinyn Nordell sniped one past Bruce's glove to reduce the margin to a pair. Mary Hirsch, a Bachelor of Nursing student, and Karissa Cullum, a Kinesiology student, had the helpers.

Neither team could score in the third and time ran out on any potential Queens' comeback. The Olds College Broncos locked down a 4-2 road win. 

Colby Brochu Photography

Calgary's Mary Hirsch was named the Queens Player-of-the-Game, recording a goal and an assist. Rayna Bonchuk was selected for the Broncos, contributing one goal.

Kelly Coulter, Queens Head Coach, noted the difficulty of climbing back into the game after being down four goals. "Below average goaltending. It is tough to win games when you get behind and you should be getting some saves. It deflates the bench," he says. "It's tough to come back and get the team refocused. It's something that we need to address. I was happy that the girls were able to get a couple of goals. Unfortunately we dug too big of a hole and Olds did a good job of shutting us down."

The Queens outshot the Broncos 33-21.

Colby Brochu Photography

Coulter sees a few areas to concentrate on in the second half of the season. "We've been a bit inconsistent in terms of our execution and managing the puck. A lot of times we aren't getting pucks through to the net and too many times we are taking shots way outside that aren't going to result in goals," he says. "We have to be more consistent getting to the front of the net. Last game when we scored five goals, three or four of them were probably within 20 feet of the goal, and we have to do that more consistently. We also want to tighten up the defensive zone and do a better job of defending man-on-man."

The RDC Queens won't play their next conference game until January 11 and they have several things scheduled. "In December we will do a fitness blitz and there will be a couple of team building activities," says Coulter. "Hopefully, the girls will get to spend time with family but also stay in good shape. When January comes, it will be a grind."

Next, the third place RDC Queens (5-6-1-0) will entertain the second seeded MacEwan University Griffins (10-3-0-0) on Friday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.