Coach of RDC Queens hockey ready for successful season

  • Aug. 27, 2014 3:22 p.m.

With a full season under his belt Bob Rutz is excited about another year behind the bench of the Red Deer College Queens and vows to do things different this year, starting with more exhibition games.

“We have such a long preseason, it’s almost seven weeks before league starts in late October and it gives our league a bit of exposure as well,” he said.

The plan is to hit the ice with the likes of the University of Saskatchewan, Mount Royal and teams from the Junior Women’s Hockey League.

Rutz felt last year’s exhibition schedule wasn’t as difficult a test as he’d hoped and so with tougher opposition he expects this will help prepare his team to compete for the year.

In a league where goals are a hot commodity, the Queens offence took a bit of a hit losing three veterans, Jade Petrie, Emily Lougheed and Laura Salomons, who combined for more than 20 goals last season for RDC which led the ACAC with 48 goals.

“We have a real solid core coming back,” he said. “Rachael Hoppins is a fifth year player and we’ve got some veterans that I’m hoping can step up this year and take on a bit of that scoring role.”

He mentioned Jayna Kitchen and second-year player Hailey Smyl who had a great finish to last year as players who could fill the scoring void.

He has a veteran presence on the back end and so Rutz feels the goals against will not be an issue as the Queens were tops in keeping the puck out of their net giving up only 27 goals in the 19 game regular season.

“We either beat teams six nothing or lost 1-0 so we struggled with inconsistency last year.”

Rutz said last year was the strangest season he’s experienced as a coach as the Queens were strong in so many categories but were bounced out of the playoffs in two straight games losing to NAIT by a single goal each game.

“Out of the six periods we played in the playoffs I think we had three real solid periods,” said Rutz. “But we are looking fresh this year and we all learned from it and I know the girls are excited to get going again and so am I.”

Rutz added he learned plenty in year one about coaching the women’s game and is happy to return for another season.

The Queens have had three coaches running the show over a four-year period so he thinks his return will lend itself to some good results for veterans and rookies alike.

“I think with me coming back for a second year they know what to expect, they know what systems we’re going to run, they know the expectations in practices and games and I think it will be a lot smoother transition because we have so many veterans coming back.”

Rutz was busy recruiting players in the off-season which he said is an interesting task as there are so many good players who were content with playing Midget AAA and then calling it a career.

“I’m excited about the girls coming in. They’re good character people plus they’re good players and that’s what we want in this program,” he said about the half dozen new faces expected to be in camp this fall.

The Queens start their exhibition season in September.

Just Posted

Dan Davidson up for five ACMA Awards

Davidson will head to Red Deer with Brett Kissel in the New Year

Blackfalds RCMP respond to serious collision

Car collides with moose, driver suffers life threatening injuries

RCMP offer crime prevention tips for the holiday season

Red Deer RCMP give tips so holidays aren’t marred by theft or damage

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Local family donates series of books to University of Lethbridge

Presentation recently made at the Dr. Dorothy Lampard Reading Room official opening

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read