RDC Kings third-year left winger Chase Thudium tries to evade a SAIT Trojans defender in the first period of ACAC play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Friday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Kings improve to 7-0 on home ice with win over SAIT

Kings 6 Trojans 4

The RDC Kings are red hot in November.

RDC improved to 7-0 on home ice in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play with a 6-4 victory Friday over the SAIT Trojans.

The win was also the Kings eighth straight and they’ve outscored opponents 44-18 during that stretch.

“We know they’re a bigger team. We have more speed and they’re bigger and gritty. It’s a good battle but when they got behind a bit, they started getting a bit chippy and our message to the guys was just to suck it up and stay disciplined and earn some more power plays,” said RDC Kings coach Trevor Keeper.

“We had 10 power plays (Friday), we were two-for-10. The percentage doesn’t really matter, it’s how many power play goals do you have in total on the year. Get another couple tonight so we were happy with that.”

Friday, the Kings fell behind in the first but two goals in the final four minutes of the period put then ahead for good. Mathieu Lapointe had the first and Tyrell Mappin buried with 43 seconds left in the period.

Chance Longjohn scored the only goal of the second before an action-packed third.

SAIT got within a goal at 1:36 of the third period, before RDC notched its only two power play tallies of the game, in 10 opportunities. Tyler Podgorenko had the first and Jacob Wozney added another at 12:20 to put the Kings up 5-2.

SAIT scored twice to make it 5-4, including a tally with 1:16 to go. There was no panic on the Kings’ bench and Chase Thudium clinched the victory with an empty-net goal with only three seconds left.

“We’re getting a lot better this year at not panicking. There were some gaps in our d-zone coverage, there were some one-on-ones that guys got beat. No panic,” Keeper said.

“Right to the end, when we had to call a timeout with 11 seconds left and win a faceoff and get it out and not ice the puck and manage it that way, the guys were good.”

Kyle Salaway had two assists for the home side and Arik Weersink made saves when the Kings needed him most, finishing with 25 stops in the victory. Keeper also highlighted key performances from a few other players in his lineup.

“Goaltenders are looked to for timely saves and there were a couple of timely ones with Weersink. He was good,” Keeper said.

“Rosse Heidt was really good, he drew a lot of penalties with his speed and guys trying to get at him. There were several guys in the lineup that played with grit and competed.”

Kyle Dumba turned aside 25 saves in the loss for SAIT, while Colton McCarthy, Jackson McKinstry Eric Krienke and Mark Drohan all had goals for the visitors.

RDC will finish the first half Saturday night in Calgary against the Trojans.

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