The RDC Kings, who dominated the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association men’s hockey program in the late 1970s, will be inducted into the 2011 Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame, June 11 at the Capri Centre, along with long time coach Dave Manning of Red Deer.
The Kings, under the direction of head coach Al Ferchuk, won the Canadian championship in the 1976-77, 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons and were second in 1977-78.
They were the first team in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference history to finish first in the league five years in a row, win four 4-West championships and win back-to-back national titles.
The 1977 league final was one of the best of all time. The Kings needed three overtime periods to edge the Mount Royal Cougars 3-2 on a goal by Bob Graham in the final game of the best-of-three series before over 1,300 fans at the Arena.
The Kings went on to beat Cariboo College of Kamloops in the 4-West final and the host Sheridan Bruins of Oakville, Ont. 5-1 in the national final.
The Kings lost 5-4 to Cape Breton in the 1978 national title game but came back next year to post a 21-2-1 record during the season.
A string of injuries cost them in the ACAC semifinals as they were upset by NAIT, who lost to SAIT in the final. But RDC received a wild card berth to the nationals and whipped SAIT 11-4 in the CCAA final.
In the 1979-80 season the Kings had a 20-3-1 record and beat the SAIT Trojans 3-1 in the best-of-five final. They won the 4-West title with a 10-3 win over Red River College of Winnipeg, then rolled through the CCAA championship, which was held in Red Deer, beating SAIT 14-1 in the final.
Manning began his coaching career in 1974 and coached the Red Deer major midget Chiefs (now Rebels) until the 1984-85 season.
Under Manning’s leadership his teams won the Alberta title five times and also won the inaugural Mac’s major midget tournament in Calgary in 1978.
Manning’s contributions to the hockey community didn’t stop with coaching.
He served as director on the board of the Red Deer Athletic Association for 10 years and held the role of president for four years.
He also provided legal council to Hockey Alberta for 25 years and the Alberta Junior Hockey League for 10 years.
In 1992 he received the Red Deer Sportsman of the Year award and in 1995 sat on the World Junior Championship host committee.
The Kings will be honoured in the achievement category at the induction banquet along with the 1999-2000 Canadian champion University of Alberta Pandas and Roger Bourbonnais of Riviere Qui Barre.
Bourbonnais played junior hockey with the Edmonton Oil Kings and competed for Canada at the 1964 and ‘68 Olympics. He also competed for Canada at the world championships in 1965, ‘66 and ‘67.
Manning joins the Hall in the builder’s division along with Leo Wurtz of Lloydminster and Loretta Normandeau of Sherwood Park, while Edmonton Northlands will be honoured in the Pioneer category.