It was a special night on and off the ice for the Red Deer College Queens Hockey team. The Queens defeated the Olds College Broncos 2-1, raised $10,360 to help fight women's cancer and set an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Hockey attendance record of 680.
Wearing pink uniforms the Queens came out hard in their inaugural Pink in the Rink event pressuring the Olds College Broncos for several minutes from the drop of the puck. Bachelor of Science student Alex Frisk started in goal for the Queens while Nikki Grandinetti was in net for the Broncos.
While the Queens had the puck in the Olds College zone for much of the opening frame, the Broncos tried to limit the Queens opportunities by keeping RDC to the outside and taking up the middle of the ice but the Queens kept pushing forward.
Red Deer native Breanna Martin opened the scoring for the Queens with 3:33 remaining in the first period. Martin found herself in alone on Grandinetti and scored on the backhand, just inside the right post.
After twenty minutes of play the Queens had 16 shots on goal while the Broncos directed 4 shots at Frisk.
Early in the second period the Queens had a power play opportunity that the Broncos killed off and it seemed to provide Olds College with some momentary energy. With about 10 minutes remaining the Broncos thought they scored on a rebound but the referee had stopped play, maintaining a 1-0 Queens lead.
The Queens started to get back on the offensive and Olds called a time-out with 6:16 remaining. Each team had a few chances but both goaltenders were perfect in the period.
In the second period the Queens had 10 shots on goal while the Olds College Broncos fired 4 shots at the RDC net.
Four minutes thirteen seconds into the third period Olds tied the game 1-1 on goal by Hanna Matchett. Frisk stopped part of the shot with her blocker but it found the back of the net. The Queens pressed to recapture the lead.
Chanelle Petrie had a good opportunity to put her Queens up by one. She skated up the left side and fired a wrist shot but Grandinetti made a nice save.
The Queens eventually took a 2-1 lead after Morgan Fraser converted a two-on-one opportunity high on the glove side. Her hard shot went in just under the crossbar with 4:21 left in the third period. Assists went to Spruce View native Suze Vanderlinde and Olds native Rikki Smith. Time ran out before either side could score again.
Olds goaltender, Nikki Grandinetti was named the Broncos player-of-the-game stopping 32 shots. Kinesiology and Sport Studies student Morgan Fraser was named the player-of-the-game for the Queens with the game winning goal.
The Queens Head Coach Kelly Coulter was pleased with the special evening.
"We appreciate the support from the community tonight," said Coulter. "It was a big crowd that helped raise a lot of money for cancer research."
Coulter offered praise for his two goal scorers.
"Breanna (Martin) made a nice goal to open the scoring," said Coulter. "She has fantastic hands and good size. On the second goal it was a nice pass to set up Morgan (Fraser) and she is just a great shooter."
The RDC Queens had 8 shots in the third period for a game total of 34. Olds College had 3 shots in the final frame for a total of 11. Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.
Red Deer College Athletic Director Diane St-Denis noted the significance of the Queens Hockey team contributing to the community beyond the rink.
"I believe it is important for us to give back to the community who gives so much to Red Deer College," said St-Denis. "We value the support we get from our fans, sponsors and donors which is why our student-athletes get involved in community based events. From reading to elementary children to using a game as a platform to raise awareness about women's cancer, our student-athletes take pride in giving back."
Saturday the Queens face the Olds College Broncos in a rematch in Olds at 7:00 p.m.