Red Deer, AB - Despite a great performance by Queens goaltender Nisa Bartlett, the Griffins used the strength of their special teams and skated to a 5 - 1 road win.
At 9:41 of the first period, MacEwan's Jordyn Reimer connected on the power play and then Carley Jewell put the Griffins up by a pair just over a minute later for a 2 - 0 edge. Under two minutes later, the RDC Queens reduced the lead by a goal. Mariah McKersie beat Sandy Heim at 12:48 to pull within a single tally. Veronika Bucifalova and Kaely McMurtry recorded the assists. With 2:54 remaining, the Griffins went up 3 – 1 when Jessi Rampton scored.
After a scoreless middle frame, the Griffins added two power play markers in the third period. Shyla Jans and Jordyn Reimer were the goal scorers as MacEwan University capped off a 5 – 1 win.
Queens Hockey Head Coach Kelly Coulter credited the Griffins but would like to see his team close the gap quicker on the puck carrier. "They are a very skilled team. If you don't take away time and space and put pressure on them, they will make you pay," he says. "You could see their skill, the way that they move the puck. We just have to do a better job of maintaining good positioning and defending. I was happy with our third period, which was improved, but the Griffins have set the standard in our league. It is good for our players to see the level that they need to get to."
Bartlett contended with 39 MacEwan University shots over 60 minutes and made many spectacular saves, earning the Queens Player-of-the-Game honours.
Coulter was pleased with the skill and mental fortitude of his first-year goaltender. "Nisa had a great battle level and never let up. She is a very athletic goalie and has good anticipation. I'm happy that she's the type of player that if a puck goes in, she lets it go and gets refocused very quickly," he says. "It is a learning lesson for her in terms of the teams that we are playing against, and the calibre, so I'm more than confident that as the season goes on she will adjust very quickly."
On Saturday, the RDC Queens (2 - 3) will play the MacEwan University Griffins (6 - 1) in Edmonton at 6:00 p.m.