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RDP Kings win back-to-back ACAC Men’s Hockey Championship titles

Champions once again
RDP Kings captain Chance Longjohn lifts the ACAC trophy after winning back to back ACAC Men’s Hockey Championship title on Friday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Kings 3

Thunder 2

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings won their second straight Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men’s Hockey Championship on Friday night.

In front of a packed crowd at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, the Kings defeated the Concordia University Thunder in 3-2 in double overtime Game 3 to sweep the series.

Kings Jaxon Steele scored the game-winner to lift the Kings to back-to-back championships for the first time since 1976-78.

“It’s the end of my RDP career so it’s really special,” Steele said after the game.

“At the end of the day, I’m just super happy that we got it done and we’re the champs again… Not many guys get the chance to go back to back. We just had the confidence that we were always going to get it done. I’m really proud of the boys.”

After a scoreless first period, the Kings found the back of the net midway through the second period.

In the third period with just under 13 minutes left to go the Kings took two penalties within a minute of each other to give the Thunder a 5-on-3 powerplay.

They took full advantage scoring shortly after to tie the game 1-1 but the Kings killed off the second penalty.

With less than four minutes to go, forward Erik Miller put the Kings up with a powerplay goal in close from the left side of the net off a fantastic feed from captain Chance Longjohn.

However, the Thunder didn’t quit tying the game once again with less than two minutes to go. Ultimately, the Kings got the victory in the extra frame.

Head coach Trevor Keeper said this championship feels better than last years.

“It was a different path to get here and we had a lot of adversity this year. We had forwards learn how to play defence. It was just a grittier effort to get back here,” he said.

Goaltender Arik Weersink was named the playoff MVP for a fantastic postseason run. The graduating netminder also made some big saves on Friday night to lift the Kings to victory.

Keeper had nothing but great things to say about his goalie.

“He turned it on in the last half of the year… We had to manage his minutes but we found a way to win three straight in the finals.”

Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Dawson Leroux moves the puck through the offensive zone in Game 3 of the ACAC Men’s Hockey Championship against the Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder on Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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