Brent Forster - RDC
Saturday evening, the Hockey Queens hosted the NAIT Ooks in game two of the best of three semi-finals at the Collicutt Centre and despite a strong goaltending performance from Tracie Kikuchi the Ooks evened the series with a 3-0 win.
The Queens and Ooks skated well in the first period and both Tracie Kikuchi and Karlee Fetch made some good saves. The opening frame was even until the Ooks broke the deadlock with 1:30 remaining. Hannah Fouillard took a shot from the right side of the slot and it deflected off a Queens' stick into the top part of the net. Then with no time showing on the clock, NAIT capitalized on a rebound to go up by a pair. Kikuchi made the initial save but Brittney Savard crashed the net and deposited the puck behind the Queens goaltender.
The game remained 2-0 until 7:55 of the third period when Verca Kuzelova completed a two-on-one opportunity to give NAIT a 3-0 lead. When time wound down, the NAIT Ooks tied the series at one game each which will set up an exciting final game in Edmonton.
The NAIT Ooks outshot the RDC Queens 30-13 over 60 minutes.
Tracie Kikuchi was named the player-of-the-game for the RDC Queens and turned asided 27 out of 30 shots (0.900).
Queens Hockey Head Coach Kelly Coulter will look for a bounce back performance in Edmonton. "We just have to be better offensively, defensively and in all aspects of our game. We have to have a better effort tomorrow and regroup," said Coulter. "It's the best of three and not the best of one. We have to be prepared to battle tomorrow."
Coulter would like to see improved puck management. "We have to do a better job of possessing the puck in the offensive zone so we can generate some shots on net," said Coulter. "At times in the d-zone we got a little bit out of our defensive system. We have to stop, regroup and get back into our structure."
In game three, the RDC Queens will face-off the NAIT Ooks, Sunday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. in Edmonton.