Vikings 5 Kings 3
PENHOLD — The RDC Kings went into Saturday’s Alberta Colleges Men’s Hockey League meeting with the University of Alberta, Augustana Vikings on a hot streak.
That may have been their downfall as they looked a bit casual at times as they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Vikings at the Penhold Regional Multiplex.
“Last night (in a 4-1 win Friday in Camrose) we dominated in a lot of areas and we knew they would come back harder as they were upset they lost at home,” said Kings head coach Trevor Keeper. “It was all focus and concentration. Maybe they wanted to win more than we did for some reason. We were a little casual and relaxed. We were sharp the night before. There is no excuses for that that. We have to learn to do that every day.
“We were doing a great job the previous three weeks, maybe we needed a little wake up call.”
The Kings were down 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Owen Sobchak at 8:26. The Vikings made it 2-0 at 5:02 of the second period when the RDC defence allowed Patrick Thompson-Gale to cut into the slot off the right wing and beat goaltender Troy Trombley.
The Kings weren’t dead, and thanks to a strong forecheck on the power play, got back in the game when Dylan Thudium one-timed a cross-ice pass past Vikings netminder Curtis Skip at 10:07. Dylan Baer tied the game at 14:42 redirecting a Trevor Costello pass and the Kings looked to have all the momentum.
However, a letdown in the offensive zone in the final minute proved costly. The Kings weren’t strong on the puck, allowing the Vikings to break away and captain Jeff Lorenz found a streaking Connor McLaughlin at the edge of the RDC crease to put Camrose up 3-2 with 16.2 seconds remaining in the period.
“The guys on the puck and supporting the puck were too casual,” said Keeper. “From our goaltender to our forwards to our D partners no one was assertive and getting open and calling for the passes. I didn’t think their forecheck hurt us, but we weren’t supporting the puck carrier as an option. and coughed up some pucks.”
Adam Osczevski made it 4-2 at 12:24 of the third period on a sloppy play by the Kings by their own net. Trombley and the defenceman got tangled up with Osczevski and as the puck bounced around, it somehow slid under the RDC netminder.
The Kings pulled Trombley with two minutes remaining and David Heath scored on a screened shot at 19:15
“This year it seems when we pull our goalie we have a high percentage of getting a goal,” said Keeper. “But we were down by two, which was too much.”
The Kings managed to get Trombley out again, but Brett Ponich scored into the empty net with three seconds remaining.
The Kings special teams did continue to impress.
“We were 10-for-10 on the penalty kill and three-for-eight on the power play, so our special teams were good both days,” said Keeper. “
The Kings finished with 31 shots on Skip while Trombley, who allowed one goal for the first time in four games, faced 28 shots.
The Kings are at home Friday at 7 p.m. against Concordia. It’s the final home game in the first half. They play at Concordia Saturday and visit Briercrest Nov. 25-26.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at email@example.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca