The RDC Kings celebrate a second-period goal in ACAC play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Saturday. (BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Kings edge NAIT Ooks

Kings 4 Ooks 3

Resiliency powered the RDC Kings past the NAIT Ooks Saturday night at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

The home side erased a pair of one-goal deficits in the second period and got a strong third-period performance from Arik Weersink in the 4-3 victory.

Kings head coach Trevor Keeper said it was good for his team to bounce back against the Ooks after a 4-1 loss on Thursday.

“We came back and we know what they’re about. We knew what we had to counter with and little things, like being better in the neutral zone. I thought we made it harder for them to get into our end,” Keeper said.

“When you do that, you spend less time in your own end and you have a lot more gas left to play offensively… we’re learning and getting better at not panicking and being posed no matter what happens.”

Weersink made 31 saves on the night but saved his best work for the final frame when he turned aside all 18 NAIT shots to preserve the win.

“It’s really important for your goaltenders to make timely saves. He made a couple at key times. They could have been goals for them,” Keeper added.

Third-year defenceman Tyler Podgorenko led the way for RDC with a goal and two assists while Dylan Thudium chipped in a pair of goals and Chase Thudium added two assists.

It was also a few unheralded performances from a couple of lesser-known Kings that caught the attention of Keeper in the win.

That included a highlight-reel shorthanded goal from Kyle Salaway with 1:13 left in the second period that turned out to be the game-winner.

“He had 63 points in his last year of junior A and shorthanded, he takes the puck down, dangles a guy through the stick and dekes the goalie and goes backhand shelf,” Keeper said.

“Little things like that, guys are having fun and they like playing with each. And they understand their roles. That takes a little while.”

With the win, they moved to 4-1-1 on the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season. The Kings penalty kill is also firing on all cylinders this season, perfect through six games with 24-of-24 kills.

The Kings will host the Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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