In less than 24 hours, the Red Deer College Queens Hockey team competed against the MacEwan University Griffins for the second time. Starting in goal for the Queens at the ENMAX Centrium was Alex Frisk while Sandy Heim was in net for the Griffins. Once the Queens took the lead, they couldn't be caught and rolled to a 3-0 shutout victory.
It was a defensive first period with few high quality scoring chances. The Queens had pressure in the MacEwan zone but the Griffins blocked many shots and plugged up the middle of the ice. With time winding down, Julia Murrell had perhaps the best chance of the opening period when she made a nice toe drag around the Griffins defender and fired a wrist shot on net but Heim made the save.
In the opening period, the RDC Queens fired 4 shots on Heim while the Griffins had 5 shots on Frisk.
MacEwan University had some good opportunities on the power play early in the second period but Frisk made some solid saves to keep the game scoreless. With 2:14 left in the middle frame Julia Murrell put the Queens on the board 1-0. Jessica Anderson shot from the point, the rebound went to Jade Petrie at the left side of the net. Petrie turned and fired the puck on Heim. The puck ricocheted to Julia Murrell out front who buried the puck into the back of the net.
On the power play, Julia Murrell scored with 21 seconds left to give her Queens a 2-0 lead. Emily Swier sent the puck across the slot where Murrell scored on the backhand. Jade Petrie added the other assist.
Each team had 9 shots on goal in the second period.
Kaely McMurtry scored with 9:01 left in the third period to give the Queens a 3-0 lead. Cassidy Anderson was in alone on Heim who made a save on the wrist shot. McMurtry followed the play and beat Heim on the rebound. Suze Vanderlinde added the other helper. With time winding down, Griffins forward Michelle Pochapsky intercepted a pass and was in alone on Frisk but she turned the shot aside. Murrell had a chance for the hat trick as she made a nice move to her backhand and fired the puck high, but it was ruled no goal.
The Queens had 10 shots in the third period while the Griffins tested Frisk 7 times. Alex Frisk was perfect earning the shut-out.
Julia Murrell, from Edmonton, was named the Queens player-of-the-game.
Queens Head Coach Kelly Coulter liked the effort and result tonight.
"I was very pleased. It was a bounce back win for us especially after we let them hang around last night and not capitalize on our scoring chances," said Coulter. "Today the few scoring chances we had were very opportunistic. I was very happy with the effort we had tonight."
Special teams played a large role in the Queens win, connecting on 1 power play chance and killing off all 6 Griffins opportunities with the extra skater.
"Players that play on the power play and penalty kill know that they have to execute to stay in those roles," said Coulter. "We challenged those players tonight in those roles and they rose to the challenge. That's the expectation when they get the opportunity."
The Queens scored all of their goals within several feet from the front of the net.
"That's something that we constantly work on is putting pucks on net. Goalies are very good in this league and they are going to stop the first shot," said Coulter. "We have to create a scoring chance with our shots and get around the net. That is our bread and butter and we have to continually do that. If we stray away from that we won't score many bar down on the goalies in this league because they are very good."
Coulter was happy with the play of his goaltender.
"Alex played very well. All three of our goalies are quality goaltenders and they give us a chance to win," said Coulter. "I thought she played very well and was there when we needed her. She bailed us out when there were breakdowns and we are very fortunate to have three quality goaltenders."
Murrell, an Early Learning and Child Care Certificate student, has been encouraged to shoot more and tonight it paid off.
"Julia is one of those players who seems to be happier with an assist than a goal because that is just her personality," said Coulter. "She can control the puck so well, be deceptive on the ice and has good moves. It's just a matter of getting her to shoot the puck more. I was happy to see that for her tonight."
With the victory the RDC Queens take sole possession of second place in ACAC Women's Hockey with 15 points and a record of 7 wins, 4 regulation losses and 1 shoot-out loss. NAIT has 16 points and the Griffins have 14. At the ENMAX Centrium the Queens next play the Olds College Broncos Thursday, Nov. 24 at 7:00 p.m.