Griffins over Queens despite solid game from Fetch in goal

The RDC Queens improved as the season progressed and pushed the defending champions to the end. Pic - Colby Brochu Photography
The RDC Queens improved as the season progressed and pushed the defending champions to the end. Pic - Colby Brochu Photography

Brent Forster - RDC

Red Deer, AB - The MacEwan University Griffins and Red Deer College Queens alternated goals in the middle frame and the Griffins added a power play marker in the third, taking a 3-1 decision at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. 

Carley Jewell opened the scoring at 4:38 of the second period to give MacEwan University a 1-0 edge. Less than three minutes later, RDC's Mariah McKersie beat Griffins' goaltender Sandy Heim to knot the contest 1-1. Then with 5:38 left in the frame, Carley Jewell tallied her second of the game, past Karlee Fetch for the go-ahead-goal. 

Colby Brochu Photography

On the power play, Carley Jewell struck again for the Griffins at 1:50 of the third, giving her side a 3-1 lead. Queens Head Coach Kelly Coulter pulled Fetch for the extra attacker but the home team couldn't pull any closer on the night. The MacEwan University Griffins picked up a 3-1 road win. 

Colby Brochu Photography

Coulter liked the start but felt that fatigue was a factor in the latter stages. "I thought we had a really good first period. We seemed to let off a little bit in the second - it would have been nice to bury a couple of scoring chances in the second to get up on them," says Coulter. "They are a strong team and I felt that we looked a little lethargic as the game went on. Heim did a great job for them, as did Karlee with us, keeping us in the third period especially." 

The young members of the RDC Queens are learning about the rigours of an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Hockey season, and Coulter likes how several student-athletes are progressing. "It is on us to make sure that especially the first-year players know the grind in the second half, including keeping themselves in good shape when they have that month off, and just being disciplined," says Coulter. "It is a learning lesson for a lot of our young players and I am seeing players in their second year really improving like Kaitlan Linnell. Also players like Kirsten Baumgardt, I'd love to see them stick around for a long time because you see how great they can be. It is always a learning process."

Kaely McMurtry (6) Colby Brochu Photography

There were a few roster moves since the break. "We have a couple girls who decided that they didn't want to return in the second half - some for school and personal reasons," says Coulter. "We lost Tyra Coutts on the back end, Nisa Bartlett in net, Kierra Scollo up front and Veronkia Bucifalova decided to return home - definitely hard people to replace but that is one of the reasons that we carry a large roster so we can soldier on. We are in talks with one particular player but we have 20 skaters and are happy with what we have in the dressing room. We just want to make sure everyone is pulling the rope the same way."

Karlee Fetch was named the Queens Player-of-the-Game, turning aside 34 out of 37 shots (0.919). With a hat trick, Carley Jewell achieved the award for the Griffins.

The Queens went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Griffins connected once in two tries. 

On Saturday in Edmonton, the MacEwan University Griffins (11-3-1-0) will host the RDC Queens (5-7-1-0) at 6:00 p.m.