It should come as no surprise that first year Red Deer College Queens goalie Alexandra Frisk sees things clearly. I mean, she is studying optometry.
The 21 year old rookie was looking to be a part of the Queens squad last season but there were two goalies on the roster when she arrived and so she bided her time.
“There was no spot for me to even battle it out so I just said that’s o.k., I’m here for the school either way and I love hockey, I’m passionate about it so I will stick with it and I will get my chance when it’s my time,” she said.
She stayed on the practice roster with the Queens for the season, getting a little bit of ice time but she wanted the two roster goalies to get the work as they were playing the league games.
“I took it as a learning opportunity. I think that was huge, even just paying attention during the games and watching how the players played, the systems of the league,”she said.
Another note she made was how tight the games are in the ACAC and she made a point of seeking out help to make herself a better player.
“ I said to my goalie coach with the Queens, I need you to show me how to play tight games and how to win tight games for my team. That’s my goal.”
If the numbers mean anything then she has been a good student of the game as Frisk has a sparkling 0.99 GAA, a .954 save percentage and the only blemish on her record with the 6-1 first place Queens is a shootout loss to Olds College earlier this season.
“Her commitment coming in here and wanting to show and prove that she could be a starter and not only a starter but be a dominant goalie in the league and I think that’s really shown how perseverance has come into play,” said Queens head coach Kelly Coulter.
He agrees her practice time last season gave her a chance to experience some of what the ACAC game is like and although he had never watched her play until this year, he likes what he sees in the rookie.
“She wants to get better every day and she wants people to be shooting on her. I think that work ethic is fantastic,” he said.
He also noted her confidence level is quite high with the success she’s had to this point of the season.
“I’m confident and I’m comfortable,” she said. “I’m definitely comfortable. You don’t want to be overly confident because you still have to respect your opponent.”
Having a goalie with that level of confidence, backed by a good measure of skill, is comforting for the rest of the team and it makes their jobs just a little more manageable, said Coulter.
“The defence and the forwards know that if we do make a mistake that we’ve got a very capable goalie in the net. Ultimately at the end of the day everyone makes mistakes and the goalie is the last line of defence but we’ve been fortunate enough thus far that both our goalies have been doing an excellent job of stopping shots.”
Growing up Frisk was able to use her dad, a former goalie, as an example to work from.
“ As a kid I was always wearing his goalie helmet and watching him play. He just said when I started skating and playing hockey that was the position I enjoyed the most and they threw me in net most of the time because nobody wanted to do it.”
She credits playing against boys in her early years as part of her development as a goalie and she still goes up against guys when playing roller hockey in the off season.
“ I’m a lot tougher. The shots come at me a lot faster so my reflexes improve,” she said. “ I’m able to work on my rebound control just because they do come at the net a lot quicker.”
Her positioning in the net also gets a workout as well as playing her angles as the boys have a more accurate shot, she said.
If there is one area her coach feels could use some improvement it would be her on-ice communication with her team mates.
“ We’re hearing that on the ice now that she’s starting to communicate a bit more. I think goalies play a big part on the ice communicating with their d-men, talking on the ice. Just small little things like that continue to put her in the upper echelon of goaltending here in the ACAC,” said Coulter.
She says playing at the highest level possible is where she wants to be which may lead her to the CIS ranks but that’s not as easy as you might think even with her skill level. She would transfer into a university in order to play but she only would need one or two years academically for her career path and that doesn’t really work well for a goalie.
“ You’re going to come in as a third string and you’re not going to get to play unless they promise me something like they need a second string goalie or they were willing to play me, then definitely I would consider it.”
Barring that move her eyes are focused on completing her schooling and alongside that, helping the Queens win some hockey games.
“ I battle real hard. I’ll battle for every puck. I’ll battle until the end.”
Given her patience and determination you can expect more wins for the Queens.