Red Deer, AB – Down by a goal, the RDC Queens pressed late with their goaltender pulled, but they couldn't score the tying goal. The visiting MacEwan University Griffins edged the Red Deer College Queens 2-1 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
The Griffins hit the scoresheet at 13:39 of the first. Chantal Ricker tallied the opening goal past Miranda Cook. Eventually, the RDC offence was sparked. With time winding down, the RDC Queens evened the contest and it was fitting that both RDC graduating student-athletes were involved in the equalizer. Kaely McMurtry set up Keinyn Nordell on the backhand with 22.4 seconds remaining. Sydnee Decorby recorded the other assist.
At 7:31 of the second, MacEwan University capitalized on a loose puck to pull ahead 2-1. Raven Beazer picked up the puck in the corner, carried it out front and beat Cook on the backhand. Karlee Fetch took over in the Queens' net in an attempt to sway momentum.
With just under two minutes remaining in the final frame, Queens Head Coach Kelly Coulter pulled Fetch in favour of the extra attacker. The Queens had several opportunities but Bender shut the door. The Griffins earned a 2-1 road win.
Nordell expected a challenging contest but felt the Queens were ready. "We know that MacEwan is tough and they've been good the past four or five years," she says. "We were anticipating a tough game."
Kaely McMurtry was selected as the Queens Player-of-the-Game with an assist. Jill MacWilliam received the honour for the Griffins, contributing one helper.
Neither team connected on the power play. The Queens went 0-for-3 while the Griffins couldn't score on two opportunities.
MacEwan University outshot RDC 31-20.
The third place Red Deer College Queens (8-9-4-0) have three games remaining in the regular season. After Saturday's rematch against the second place MacEwan University Griffins (14-4-2-0) at 6:00 p.m. in Edmonton, the Queens will face the SAIT Trojans (5-13-0-0) in a pair of road games on February 15 and 16. The Griffins are only four points behind the NAIT Ooks (16-2-2-0) for top spot.