Kings 7 Voyageurs 6 (OT)
For a second straight game, the RDC Kings had to make it interesting against the Portage College Voyageurs.
Less than 24 hours after needing a third-period comeback to top the Voyageurs, RDC required some late-game heroics to complete the weekend sweep.
It was Kings veteran forward Chase Thudium who played overtime saviour Saturday in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men’s hockey battle, scoring his second of the day 3:27 into the first overtime in the 7-6 victory.
“He was taking some double shifts. He had his feet moving and he was skating a ton. We keep telling him that he can burn defencemen wide with his speed but he has to keep shooting and not overpass the puck. At the end, he cuts in and makes a move and snipes. That’s what he’s got to do,” said RDC Kings coach Trevor Keeper.
“Chase is so agile and shifty, he’s just got to keep shooting like that.”
RDC needed a frantic third-period comeback to even get the game to extra time.
They trailed 5-3 after 40 minutes, before goals from captain Scott Ferguson and a power-play tally by Austin Hunter tied the game at five.
With a five-on-three advantage just past the midway point of the period, Portage managed to rally. After the first penalty had expired, Kaleb Bell punched in his second of the afternoon to restore the one-goal advantage for the visitors.
Down one with 4:02 to play, RDC got some unexpected production from defenceman Boedy Donald. The blueliner blasted home a seeing-eye point shot, his first career ACAC goal to tie the game at six.
“He’s a solid, tough, stay at home defenceman. He does have some offensive upside, he hasn’t scored since preseason. Nice to see him get rewarded,” Keeper added.
Keeper was quick to credit the resiliency of his team, who managed to eliminate a 3-2 lead after the first and climb back from 5-2 deficit. He also noted that defensively the Kings didn’t play their best, especially on special teams where they allowed four power-play goals.
“On the positive side, finding a way to get back into the game and tie it a couple of times and take it to overtime and win, that’s a positive. You need to learn how to do that, especially for playoffs,” Keeper said.
“Our penalty kill has been good this year, for whatever reason, we gave up a lot of power-play goals and our d-zone coverage in tight around our goaltender, not scooping sticks or boxing out on loose pucks. Little things we’ve been working on. Some days it just goes that way.
“The important thing for us as a coaching staff is how our guys responded in the third period and overtime. They weren’t frustrated and they talked to each other into winning.”
RDC actually scored first 64 seconds into the game, but the Voyageurs notched three in the frame. Portage scored twice more in the first 11 minutes of the third before Lynnden Pastchak was finally able to cut the deficit with 2:58 left in the second.
Carter Wolski had a big night for the Kings with four assists, while Tyrell Mappin also added three helpers. Dylan Thudium also pitched in two assists and Arik Weersink stopped 12 shots in the win. Voyageurs goalie Jacob Gnidziejko made 25 saves in the loss.
With four games left in the season, the Kings sit second in the ACAC standings with a 17-5-2 record. They play their final home game of the regular season on Feb. 28.