Array

Kings give poor effort in loss to SAIT

RDC Kings head coach Trevor Keeper believes his team has enough offence to compete with any team in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Hockey League. He also understands it will come down to defence, and winning one-on-one battles if they expect to have success in the playoffs.

RDC Kings head coach Trevor Keeper believes his team has enough offence to compete with any team in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Hockey League.

He also understands it will come down to defence, and winning one-on-one battles if they expect to have success in the playoffs.

On a day the Kings learned they had secured a playoff spot in the league — the top six teams qualify — they turned in one of their poorer defensive efforts in dropping a 6-1 decision to the SAIT Trojans at the Penhold Regional Multiplex.

“All week you work on skills, with your D-men, forwards, penalty kill and power play and none of that means anything if you’re no good one-on-one and today we were soft with the one-on-ones,” said Keeper.

“I know SAIT is an older, bigger team with good skill, but we had a lot of soft players who didn’t finish checks, lost one-on-one battles and were getting stripped of the puck. The end result was a reflection of that kind of play.”

Both teams had their chances early in the first period, with the Trojans Ryan Matthews and Clay Howe taking advantage of a pair of rebounds to score at 14:05 and 16:59.

Neither team played a lot of defence in the first period with the shots 18-15 for SAIT.

The Trojans added two more goals in the middle stanza with Mitchell Board connecting on the power play at 6:26 and Ben O’Quinn stealing the puck and scoring while shorthanded at 9:31.

Former Red Deer Rebel JD Watt made it 5-0 at 10:22 of the third period on a screened shot past Kraymer Barnstable. Davis Claffey got the Kings on the board at 11:25 with a blast from the point with Mikael Jung completing the scoring at 15:39.

The Trojans finished with 43 shots on Barnstable while the Kings had 35 on Brayden Hopfe.

“We have no trouble when we have the puck where we can use our speed and skill and generally this year we’ve been good defensively and battled hard,” continued Keeper. “But for whatever reason lately we’ve been going through a bit of a rough stretch and this was the icing on the cake in terms of poor play defensively. The guys have to figure that out in practice and decide to get back to work. The offensive side of our game will take care of itself once we start winning the battles and getting the puck back as quickly as possible.”

The Kings wrapped up a playoff spot Saturday when seventh-place Concordia tied Keyano which left them 14 points back of RDC and seven games remaining. Kings own the tie-breaker.

The Kings are third with 34 points, one ahead of Augustana. Both teams have four games remaining. SAIT is first with 42 points, three up on the NAIT Ooks, who has four games in hand.

“The important thing is we’re in the playoffs but we still want to be seeded as high as possible,” said Keeper. “We were looking at finishing second, but now is the time to turn our habits around and play playoff hockey over our final four games. You can’t expect to suddenly turn the switch on when you get into the playoffs.”

The Kings travel to Caronport, Sask., for a doubleheader Friday and Saturday against Briercrest then finish their season with a home-and-home series against Portage College, ending March 1 at Penhold.

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read