Kings 4 Thunder 1
PENHOLD — With six games remaining in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Hockey League regular season, RDC Kings hockey head coach Trevor Keeper had a brief talk with his players.
He talked about finishing strong and heading into the playoffs on a high.
They did just that, picking up 11 of their final 12 points., including a 4-1 victory over the Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder at the Penhold Regional Multiplex Saturday.
“It was important we started executing our best and playing our systems,” said Keeper. “We needed to be competing at a high level and I believe we are ready for the playoffs.”
The Kings face the University of Alberta, Augustana Vikings in the best-of-three league quarter-finals, beginning Friday in Camrose. The second game is Saturday at 7 p.m. in Penhold.
The Kings are coming off a strong showing against the Vikings, taking three of a possible four points against them, prior to the home-and-home series with the Thunder.
“It was good to play them late in the season,” said Keeper. “But really we both know each other and I think we’re evenly matched. It will come down to executing.”
The Kings jumped into a 1-0 lead Saturday when team scoring leader Tyler Berkholtz notched his 14th goal of the season at 7:26 of the first period.
Scott Ferguson got his 10th at 17:11 of the middle stanza and Dustin Gorgi potted his seventh at 7:06 of the third period.
The Thunder’s Ian McLellan beat Troy Trombley with the goalie out at 13:57. Ferguson completed the scoring with his 11th into an empty net. He finished second to Berkholtz in goals scored on the Kings.
“Scott has worked hard all season and has a good shot,” said Keeper. “Once he started to score we moved him onto the second line and he’s played well.”
Trombley finished with 15 saves while Connor Dobberthien had 37 for Concordia, who finished sixth in the league, just behind RDC.
“It was good to play them as they have speed and play hard right to the end,” said Keeper.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca