Butler scores a pair, Kings defeat the Thunder in Edmonton

Tanner Butler (24) scored a pair of goals as the Kings skated to an opening night victory. Photo - Tony Hansen
Tanner Butler (24) scored a pair of goals as the Kings skated to an opening night victory. Photo - Tony Hansen

Brent Forster - RDC

The Red Deer College Kings began the 2017 - 18 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Hockey season on the right foot Friday night in Edmonton. After the Concordia University Thunder opened the scoring on their home ice, the RDC Kings elevated their game in the final 40 minutes and scored 4 unanswered goals. The Thunder tried to get back into the game and pulled their goaltender late, but the Kings eventually earned a 5-2 road win. 

Concordia hit the scoresheet first to take a 1-0 lead. The Kings' captain, Tanner Butler, responded with a pair of goals of his own. After 20 minutes, the RDC Kings were up 2-1.

In the second period, the Kings began to settle in and they controlled the puck. Tyler Berkholtz and defenceman Zak Hicks tallied to give the Kings a 4-1 edge. After 40 minutes, the Red Deer College Kings held the 3 goal lead.

In the third period, Tyler Benko pulled Concordia within a pair. As time was running down, the Thunder pulled their goaltender but Dylan Thudium scored into the empty net to seal a 5-2 victory.

Kings Hockey Head Coach Trevor Keeper thought the team played a solid 40 minutes. "We had a slow start in the first period but in the second period the guys really picked it up. They did a better job of managing the puck and they cycled the puck effectively," said Keeper. "The team played the same way in the third. Tanner Butler and Dylan Baer played really well together on defence. Tanner finished with 2 goals and an assist and Dylan added 3 assists."

Dylan Baer was named the Kings player-of-the-game with 3 points. Chad Hurtubise was the recipient for the Thunder. 

On Saturday, the RDC Kings will host the Concordia University Thunder at 7:00 p.m. at the Penhold Multiplex.