Kings push Griffins to double-overtime but MacEwan advances to final

Trombley (36) and Costello (28) had strong games in Edmonton. Pic - Tony Hansen
Trombley (36) and Costello (28) had strong games in Edmonton. Pic - Tony Hansen

Brent Forster – RDC

Edmonton, AB  Not much separated the Red Deer College Kings and the MacEwan University Griffins. After the Kings and Griffins split the first two games of the semi-final in overtime, and had identical regular season records (19-7-1-1), it was no surprise that the third and final game of the series needed extra time.

Both teams had their power plays clicking during regulation, and Griffins' forward Cam Gotaas connected in double-overtime, edging the Kings 3-2 in a hard-fought series.

Bachelor of Business Administration student Dylan Thudium opened the scoring at 2:47 on the power play. The fourth-year centre received a pass in the slot from defenceman Trevor Costello and beat Marc-Olivier Daigle on the glove side, recording his third goal and fourth point of the series. Less than two minutes later, the Griffins' Brett Njaa capitalized on a rebound, evening the game 1-1 on the man advantage.

Dylan Thudium (13) Pic - Colby Brochu Photography

About mid-way through the second, Garan Magnes struck on the power play from the point, giving the home team a 2-1 edge. The Kings responded over six minutes later. With 3:58 remaining in the period, Tanner Butler one-timed a pass from Trevor Costello past Daigle on a two-man advantage, tying the game 2-2.

Tanner Butler (24) Pic - Colby Brochu Photography

Both Troy Trombley and Daigle stood tall in the third period and the first overtime. At 4:22 of double-overtime, Cam Gotaas skated up the right side and found some space high on the short side, sending the Griffins to a 3-2 win and a chance at a three-peat.

Talented fifth-year Tanner Butler was selected as the RDC Kings Player-of-the-Game in his final game in a Kings uniform. Cam Gotaas received the honour for the Griffins.

Trombley gave his team a chance to win and turned aside 55 out of 58 shots (0.948). Daigle made 47 saves (0.959).

The MacEwan University Griffins will advance to the best of three Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Hockey Championship final against the winner of the NAIT and SAIT series. Saturday evening, the Trojans evened the series 1-1 with the Ooks after a 5-3 win. Game three will be played on Sunday in Edmonton at 6:30 p.m.