A night after Marc-Olivier Daigle stole a win, the RDC Kings exacted a measure of revenge in their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men’s hockey home opener.
RDC shelled the MacEwan University Griffins goalie for five goals on 23 shots Saturday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in a 6-4 victory, after Daigle stopped 40 in a double overtime win for MacEwan Friday.
Kings head coach Trevor Keeper preached patience to his squad heading into the opener and believed that if they could get a goal behind Daigle early, they’d be able to roll from there.
“We just talked about doing the same thing (as Friday) and not being frustrated if we didn’t score early,” Keeper said.
“We talked about keeping the pressure on, keep going to the net and keep making passes east and west and tire him out. Finally, when we got a couple he started to get a bit frustrated… we did the job by baking a 5-1 lead.”
RDC did just that, as third-year Jake Wozney opened the scoring in the first when he ripped a shot from the slot past Daigle.
Then, just 22 seconds left in the period, second-year forward Ryley Smith jammed a loose puck in at the side of the goal.
In the second, the onslaught continued from the home side.
RDC buried twice in the first two and half minutes of the frame to open up a 4-0 advantage and they cruised from there.
Rookie Regan Doig also scored his first career ACAC goal at 12:22 of the second.
MacEwan made things interesting in the third, with two goals in the first seven minutes of the period and then another with nine seconds left in the game. Keeper said it was just a case of his group taking the foot off the gas a little too early.
“(MacEwan) started to send two guys on the forecheck and they were pinching harder down the wall in our zone. We knew they were going to do that. They had a big hill to climb and had to burn a timeout t settle the guys down,” he said.
“When you’re at that point and the momentum switches, you can’t make plays that you regularly do– try to beat guys one-one with the puck. We tried to get pucks in behind their defencemen and grind it out in the corners and below the goal line.”
Chase Thudium had two goals and an assist in the win, while Donavan Lumb, Carter Wolski and Dylan Thudium each notched a pair of assists.
“(Chase) keeps his feet moving all the time. It’s the same in practice,” said Keeper.
“He’s one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever coached. He doesn’t like to lose anything. He really pushes the pace and even when we’re up 5-1, he’s making plays at high speed.”
Arik Weersink stopped 18 shots for the victory.
The Kings were one-for-four on the power play, while the Griffins missed on both man-advantage opportunities.
RDC will travel to Camrose and play the University-of Alberta-Augustana Vikings on Oct. 18, before welcoming the Vikings to the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre on Oct. 19.