the Gauntlet

Women's hockey tallies six goals against Queens

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The old adage is undeniably true: if you put the puck on net you will score goals.

The University of Calgary Dinos women's hockey team peppered Red Deer College Queens goalie Grace Gaska with 32 shots and came away with the 1-0 win on Saturday at the Olympic Oval.

The win puts the Dinos at 2-0 on the season as they also beat Red Deer 5-2 on Thursday.

The Dinos controlled the puck for the majority of the game as they outskated, outshot and outbattled the Queens. The Dinos appeared to be the better conditioned and the faster team on the ice.

"Yeah, you know what, it is something I ask from my players," said Calgary head coach Danielle Goyette. "We play with four lines and they have to work hard for the time they are on the ice. We really put an emphasis on winning the battle. If we get the puck on our stick more often the chance to win the game is higher. If we start to win battles then our confidence grows and we get better as a team."

Calgary came out hard in the first period and controlled the puck well. They managed to take numerous shots on net, but could not solve Gaska.

"Yes we do shoot a lot, but we always shoot down low and that goalie was really strong in butterfly," said Goyette. "We tried to reinforce that and told them to shoot high, and then we just missed the net. We have to give credit to that goalie though, she had a great game tonight."

The second period was very similar to the first. The Dinos continued to outskate, outshoot and outbattle the Queens, but still could not score. Five minutes into the period the hard work paid off as Elana Lovell took a rebound off a long point shot and stuffed it behind Gaska.

Red Deer could not match the speed of the Dino forwards and were constantly beaten to the puck in their own end, leading to numerous Dinos scoring chances.

"We're a little bit behind in our development as this is only our sixth game as a team," said Queens head coach Rob Weddell. "We've been looking at our d-zone right now, taking care of that first. I expect that in a month's time, we'll be better as an offensive team as well."

While Gaska was kept busy, Dinos goaltender Katie Uness faced only 14 shots all evening. Red Deer was unable to muster much offensive push as they appeared tired coming out of the defensive zone.

"It's just a matter of us being able to move the puck better out of our defensive zone a little quicker so we're not so tired going into the offensive zone," said Weddell. "By the time we get to the neutral zone, we are so tired, we can't drive the net. That's the basis of getting scoring opportunities, driving the net. We were too tired to do that tonight."

Red Deer ran into penalty trouble late in the game as the play became more energetic and hard-nosed.

Red Deer took several body checking and roughing penalties, making it hard to come back against the fast Dinos team.

"[Penalties] took away any chance we had of trying to come back," said Weddell. "We were basically holding on there at the end."

With the season underway, the Dinos are establishing themselves as the powerhouse of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

"I'm really happy that we played finally," said Goyette. "The girls were really excited this weekend. We have 11 new players this year and it was a little hard to hold them back. I'm really happy with the team, but it is only the start of the season and we need to get better every time we step on the ice."