PENHOLD — With all of the cancellations due to weather this weekend, Red Deer College Kings men’s hockey head coach Trevor Keeper probably wishes Saturday night’s debacle with the Augustana Vikings (10-4-1-2) was among the casualties.
The Kings (6-8-0-1) twice led the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference game by three goals and blew a two-goal third period lead to lose 6-5 at the Penhold Regional Multiplex.
In the process, they lost goalie Kraymer Barnstable to an injury and then lost their composure late in the final period as the game slipped away.
“Going into the third period when you’re up by two (goals) you need to find a way to lock it down,” said Keeper. “One of those ways is by not taking penalties, even if the refereeing is not very good, you can’t get frustrated and take more on top of the calls that are maybe questionable.”
Logan Sproule, Devon Hobbs, Dane Bonish, Alex Rodgers, Jeff Lorenz and Scott Swiston scored for the Vikings while Joel Danyluk stopped all 16 shots he faced after replacing Andy Williams in net at 16:21 of the second period.
Nick Bell, Joel Topping, Riley Simpson, Greg Lamoureux and Logan Sceviour scored for RDC while Mike Salmon allowed three goals on 19 shots after coming in to start the third period. Barnstable made 27 saves on 30 shots in the first 40 minutes.
This was a game the Kings should have won handily after going up 4-1 at 3:39 of the second period and then later lead 5-2 at 10:08 of the middle frame.
But they could not hold the lead as their previously stingy penalty kill fell apart in the final 20 minutes.
Lorenz got the score to 5-3, 16 seconds after Bell scored RDC’s final goal and the score went into the second intermission as such.
With Kings defenceman Blair Mulder in the box for roughing, Hobbs cut the lead to one goal at 5:45.
Swiston then tied the game at 13:00 with an even-strength marker as the Vikings overwhelmed the Kings.
Then with RDC winger Pat Martens in the box for goaltender interference, Sproule put the Vikings in front for the first time at 17:01.
It was salt on a wound for the Kings who watched their goalies get run throughout the game, knocking Barnstable out of the game in the second intermission after he banged his head on one of the collisions. Barnstable had stopped 27 of 30 shots before being taken out. He will be revaluated today by doctors after hitting his head on the post during one of the collisions with a Vikings player.
“We lose a goalie and put another one in and they’re still making contact, and we do it once at their end (and get called on it),” said Keeper. “Usually I can’t complain about the officiating, I know it’s a tough job, but it was absolutely brutal in the third period and that led us to some frustration and loss of emotional control. He was doing a good job and for whatever reason he wanted to be one of the stars of the game, I guess.”
When RDC leading scorer Riley Simpson was called for roughing at 19:07, the Kings lost control as defenceman Nick Bell was given two 10-minute misconducts and a game misconduct and Lamoureux was also given a 10-minute misconduct, both for arguing with the referee, effectively ending any chance at a late come back.
“Their guy runs into our goalie then we do the same accidentally and we get a goalie interference,” said Keeper. “It was very inconsistent in the third (period). It’s too bad because it was a good game and we got a little frustrated because there was some poor officiating and then we lost emotional control.”
The Kings had not played in 14 days due to last weekends home-and-home series with the Portage Voyageurs out of Lac La Biche being snowed out, and Thursday’s game in Camrose against the Vikings also suffered a similar fate.
The games with Portage have been rescheduled for next semester while Thursday’s game will now be played on Thursday in Camrose at 7:30 p.m.
“We know what they’re about and we know how we match up against them,” said Keeper. “We have a few days of practice and then we have to go back up there and win a game in Camrose.”
NOTES — Augustana was 3-for-9 on the power play while the Kings were 0-for-5 on their opportunities … There is no word yet on make up games for the RDC Queens hockey team whose game in Calgary on Friday agaisnt the SAIT Trojans was snowed out.