The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings hockey team is hitting its stride with playoffs right around the corner.
On Saturday the Kings won their fourth consecutive game defeating the Briercrest College Clippers 4-3 on the road. This came a day after they beat the Clippers 3-2.
Head coach of the Kings Trevor Keeper said his team played well and the Clippers are a tough team to match up against.
“[The Clippers] work really hard and are very physical. Especially in their home rink, it’s a smaller old-school rink, and their tactics suit that,” he said.
The Kings attempted to match their physicality and it paid off in a hectic second period.
The Clippers scored the opening pair of goals to take a 2-0 lead near the midway point of the first period but with just under five minutes left Deegan Mofford scored on the powerplay.
Thirty seconds into the second period Parker Gavlas found the equalizer and two minutes after that the Kings took the lead after Erik Miller found the back of the net.
Later in the frame, Briercrest tied the game once again at the eight-minute mark but the Kings responded over a minute later to retake a 4-3 lead off the stick of Tyson Janzen. Both teams were held scoreless in the third period and the Kings held on for the victory.
“It’s huge and we have a by week coming up to get some guys healed up. We have a few injuries but it was a good way to enter the bye weekend and hit the reset button for the last four games before playoffs start,” Keeper said.
In addition to the winning streak, Red Deer has swept the season series over Briercrest 4-0. Last season the Clippers eliminated the Kings in the quarterfinal round of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference playoffs.
Red Deer has two games against NAIT on Feb. 17 and 18 before taking on Concordia University on Feb. 24 and 25. They also sit on top of the ACAC standings with a 13-6 record.
“We’re not focusing on staying in first so to speak. We obviously want to do that because we want to earn a first-round bye right to the semifinals and skip the quarterfinals,” he said.
“That’s a tough play in that best of three in one weekend in the quarters so we’re trying to finish in the top two and hopefully we’ll stay at number one. We’re going one weekend at a time. We’re not worried about who’s behind us and how close they are. We just want to keep moving our group forward and get better every week towards playoffs.”