Vikings 3 Kings 1
PENHOLD – There’s little to choose between the RDC Kings and the University of Alberta, Augustana Vikings whether it’s in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Hockey League standings or on the ice.
It comes down to who plays the more complete game and Saturday that proved to be the Vikings as they downed the Kings 3-1 to move back into second place in the league, one point up on the Kings.
“Last night we put the gas pedal down and outshot them 40-29 (in a 2-2 tie in Camrose) and we started like that today but in the second period we let down and our power play killed us,” said Kings head coach Trevor Keeper. “We weren’t moving the puck and were consistently on the perimeter and not getting the puck into the slot.
“They’re good on the penalty kill … they force the play and are aggressive but that leaves some holes and we weren’t getting pucks to those spots
“We killed a lot of time on the power play. In fact we had only one quality scoring chance in that period.”
The Kings got out of the period down 1-0 after Dylan Coupal scored a power play goal at 3:40.
The Vikings made it 2-0 five minutes into the third period when Connor McLaughlin rifled a shot from the left circle high to the glove side on Mike Salmon.
“They’re going to score a couple of goals but we needed to find a way to score more than one, which we have been doing lately,” said Keeper. “But today we weren’t shooting the puck enough.
“Everybody is a little tired and banged up, but so are they. We just needed to execute. To win we need to out compete the other team.”
The Kings were more effective in the third period, although they missed the net on several good opportunities against Augustana netmidner Andy Williams.
Tanner Butler got the Kings on the board at 14:14 with a blast just inside the blueline that picked the top corner on William’s stick side.
The Kings controlled the play following Butler’s marker, but Williams was solid.
“He’s aggressive and plays the puck well which makes it hard on our forecheckers,” said Keeper.
The Vikings put the game away with 10.8 seconds remaining with an empty net goal by Lukas Biensch.
The Kings finished with 32 shots on Williams while Salmon faced 29.
The Kings finish the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule against Concordia – Friday in Edmonton and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Penhold.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at email@example.com. His work can also be seen at www.rdc.ab.ca/athleticsblog.