LACOMBE- The RDC Kings didn’t have their best effort Sunday in their final preseason game and it showed on the scoreboard.
RDC dropped their sixth and last preseason game 6-3 to the Rosetown Red Wings in the Allan Cup Hockey West Showcase. Head coach Trevor Keeper said his team wasn’t at their strongest and after they fell behind 4-0 it was tough to come back.
“We were okay. It was maybe not one of our better games in the preseason out of the six. In saying that, they got some fortunate goals, on some good shots. One off the stanchion that hits our goalie in the back and all of a sudden you’re down 4-0 and it’s hard to keep the positive energy going,” Keeper said.
I thought our guys battled back and worked to get back in the game but it’s just really hard to keep your energy going when you’re down that many.”
Rosetown opened the game with a goal just under two minutes in, then added another late in the first. The Kings were slow again out of the gate in the second and the Red Wings added a power play goal and it was 4-0 midway through the frame.
RDC finally got on the board on an unassisted goal from Landon Kletke. Late in the period the Kings cut the deficit in half when Donovan Lumb added a marker with just 1:31 left.
They had an opportunity to cut the lead to one goal midway through the third period when Red Wings forward Kirk Pearce took a five minute major for spearing. Keeper said the power play just couldn’t click in that moment.
“We had some penalty trouble. We had some key guys in the box, then we get a five minute power play and we’re down a bit on personnel,” Keeper said.
“Then when guys get tired on the power play the first thing that happens is they make mental mistakes and we weren’t as Sharp. There was an opportunity to really get back in the game we let it slip through our fingers.”
Rosetown added two goals late in the third from Kyle Stroh and Jordie Johnson. Both Red Wings had two goals in the game. Defenceman David Heath also scored for RDC in the third.
He said the biggest lesson that his team took away from playing against Senior AAA teams on the weekend was how fast players at that level can still play and process the game. The head coach said he hopes with some good practice this week they’ll be ready to open the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season on Friday.
“I think what are guys realizing is they have a lot of speed and they’ve got some good skill,” Keeper said.
”They work hard when they believe in themselves they can be successful. The guys practiced last week at a high tempo, now it’s all about confidence. They know what they have, heading into league play it’s just carrying that forward with confidence.”
RDC drops the puck on the ACAC regular season on Oct. 6 in Edmonton before their home opener Saturday in Penhold.