Trojans 4 Kings 3 (OT)
PENHOLD — Going into overtime the RDC Kings had to feel good about themselves.
Not only did they score with less than a second on the clock to tie the game, but they’re usually one of the better teams in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Hockey League in overtime.
But it didn’t turn out that way as the SAIT Trojans scored three minutes into the four-on-four five-minute period to take a 4-3 victory at the Penhold Regional Multiplex Friday.
”It’s tough, when you go into overtime, anything can happen,” said Kings head coach Trevor Keeper. “Usually we’re very successful in overtime as we’re a very aggressive team and when we don’t have the puck we’re usually on our man like a dog on a bone. But in this case we get caught three or four feet off a player and we get (Jordan) McTaggart injured on the shot. That resulted in giving them space for a second shot.”
Dean Allison, a second-year forward who was on the left point, rifled a perfect shot high to the glove side on a screened Mike Salmon.
“Salmon was in position, but they got a chance to get the shot away through a screen and it was just under the bar,” said Keeper.
The Kings trailed 3-1 late in the third period, but Zak Hicks darted in off the point to grab a loose puck and score on the power play at 14:28 and then Dustin Gorgi potted his second of the game in the final second to tie it.
The tying goal came off a perfectly set up play. Riley Simpson won the draw with six seconds remaining and with Salmon on the bench. He got the puck back to the left point. The puck was quickly moved cross to the right point which resulted with a shot on goal and a wild scramble.
“We’ve worked on that play and when we called the time out the guys talked about it and were zoned in right away,” said Keeper, who was pleased with the team’s overall effort.
“We were happy with the way we competed and fought back,” he said. “We found a way to get that power play goal and the game tying goal. I’m proud of the guys.”
The Trojans grabbed a 2-0 first period lead as Hunter Mills redirected a shot past Salmon at 9:05 and Matthew Saharchuk back-handed a perfect shot high over Salmon after the Kings lost containment in their zone when they got caught running around trying to take the body.
Gorgi scored at 9:57 of the second period and Michael Lyle put SAIT up 3-1 at 3:15 of the third period.
Salmon finished with 29 saves while former Red Deer Rebel Bolton Pouliot made 26 saves for SAIT.
Gorgi was named the RDC player of the game.
“He’s been good all season,” said Keeper. “He’s works well with his linemates, does a good job of finding space and is strong on the puck and can score. He doesn’t play like a first-year player.”
The teams meet again tonight at SAIT while the Kings return home Oct. 29 against MacEwan University.
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