Brent Forster - RDC
Despite a 5-2 victory Friday night in Edmonton the Red Deer College Kings weren't happy with their start, but in their home opener against the Concordia University Thunder they pushed the pace early. The Kings controlled most of the play and had strong special teams at the Penhold Multiplex on Saturday evening. After the Thunder scored a late goal to force overtime, the RDC Kings were eventually rewarded with a home win.
In the first period, the RDC Kings had the majority of the pressure in the Thunder's zone and had several quality chances to score but Tanner McCorriston made some key saves for Concordia University. With 3:17 remaining, Phil Dillon broke the scoreless frame off a 2-on-1 to give Concordia a 1-0 lead. Chance Thomas sent a pass to an open Dillon who scored on his backhand.
The RDC Kings outshot the Concordia Thunder 17-9 over 20 minutes. Troy Trombley made 8 saves in the first period for RDC.
The Kings continued to apply pressure and halfway through the game they had a total of 28 shots. With 9:23 remaining in the second period, Dylan Thudium tied the game 1-1 on the power play. Lynnden Pastachak picked up the assist. Thudium skated up the left side of the slot and quickly redirected a pass from behind the net low to McCorriston's glove side. With 5:32 left in the middle frame, Thudium struck on the power play again with a one-timer from a similar position to give the Kings a 2-1 lead. Tyler Berkholtz was credited with the helper. Trombley came up big with less than a minute left when the Thunder's Phil Dillon skated in alone but he couldn't find the back of the net.
The Kings fired 19 shots at McCorriston in the second period while the Thunder tested Trombley 4 times.
The play continued to be more in Concordia's zone in the final period but both goalies played well. Thunder Head Coach Dan Glegloff called timeout with 2:05 left in the third period and pulled McCorriston for the extra attacker. With 1:30 left, Thunder forward Cory Santoro tied the game. Over 3 periods, the Kings outshot the Thunder 47-20.
In the 5 minute 4-on-4 overtime period, Tyrell Mappin had a good opportunity to win the game. Mappin deked around the Thunder defender and just missed high on the glove side. But the Kings wouldn't be denied. With 2:25 left, Tyler Berkholtz set up Lynnden Pastachak charging the net and the student-athlete from Bienfait, Saskatchewan scored five-hole to win the game 3-2. RDC outshot Concordia 2-1 in overtime.
Kings Head Coach Trevor Keeper was happy with the effort and the results on special teams. "We did control most of that game - puck possession and the shots were 49-21. Our penalty kill was 2-for-2 and our power play scored 2 goals which were the difference in the game," said Keeper. "We were moving our feet and had pressure on them which drew some penalties and we had 6 opportunities on the power play. Those stats usually mean that you've taken care of the game and end up in the win column."
Keeper was pleased that Dylan Thudium got the puck on net and was rewarded twice on the power play. "Dylan is a skilled player and a good puck distributor," said Keeper. "We've been trying to get him to shoot the puck more which he has been. When he gets rewarded with some points his confidence goes up."
The RDC Kings are familiar with playing in extra time early in the season. "We've been in overtime now 4 times this year already including pre-season, so the guys know what to do. There is no panic," said Keeper. "They know that we want to have 3 players joining the attack and when we don't have the puck then it's man-on-man. They were calm and being there before it gets easier. I was proud of them and we finished it off."
Lynnden Pastachak was chosen as the Kings player-of-the-game with the game winning goal and an assist, while Tanner McCorriston received the honour for the Thunder.
The RDC Kings (2-0-0-0) earned 4 of a possible 4 points in the standings this past weekend and sit in a tie for top spot in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Hockey.
The Red Deer College Kings will host the University of Alberta (Augustana) Vikings, Friday, Oct. 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Penhold Multiplex.