The ACAC Men's Hockey best of 3 quarterfinals between the Red Deer College Kings and University of Alberta (Augustana) Vikings came down to Sunday's game in Camrose. Both teams picked up wins on their home ice to send this exciting series to a 3rd and deciding game and home ice was once again a factor tonight. The Vikings picked up a 4-0 win at the Encana Arena and won the best of 3 series, 2 games to 1.
Mike Salmon started in net for the RDC Kings while Curtis Skip was the goaltender of choice for the Vikings. At 5:59 of the 1st period, Owen Sobchak, a former player with the Keyano College Huskies, opened the scoring for the Vikings. After 20 minutes, shots were even 8-8.
In the 2nd period, Connor McLaughlin scored a pair of goals to give Augustana a 3-0 lead. McLaughin scored 27 seconds into the middle frame and at 9:07. The Vikings outshot the Kings 12-4 in the 2nd period.
On the power play, Adam Osczevski put the Vikings up 4-0 at 4:06 of the 3rd period. The RDC Kings tested Skip 13 times in the final period but the Augustana goaltender couldn't be beaten. The Vikings sent 10 shots on Salmon. The Augustana Vikings picked up a 4-0 home victory and advanced to the semi-finals. Over 60 minutes, the Vikings outshot the Kings 30-25.
The Kings went 0-for-4 on the power play while the Vikings clicked on 1-of-8 opportunities with the man advantage.
Kings Hockey Head Coach Trevor Keeper credited the Vikings' goaltender.
"Tonight, Augustana's goalie, Curtis Skip, was outstanding and we had a hard time scoring," said Keeper.
Keeper was proud of his team in a hard fought series.
"All year our team competed hard," said Keeper. "The 2 teams are very evenly matched and if this series was a best out of 5 or 7, it probably would go the distance."
The Red Deer College Kings Hockey team will look forward to using the experience in 2017-2018.
"Next season, we will have most of the players returning including goaltenders Troy Trombley and Mike Salmon," said Keeper. "This will give us a solid building block and we will only be adding 6 players."
The U of A Augustana Vikings will advance to the ACAC Men's Hockey semi-finals to face the NAIT Ooks. The Ooks captured top spot during the regular season and received a bye to the semis.