Kings knock off first place Ooks by a pair

Dylan Thudium (13) assisted on the game winning goal by Berkholtz. Photo - Tony Hansen
Dylan Thudium (13) assisted on the game winning goal by Berkholtz. Photo - Tony Hansen

Brent Forster - RDC

Saturday in Penhold, the Red Deer College Hockey Kings faced the NAIT Ooks, and after the Kings took a lead they didn't look back and handed the first place Ooks their first regulation loss of the season. 

Fifth-year Mike Salmon was the starting goaltender for the Kings while Nathan Park was in net for the Ooks. 

At 10:28 of the first period, Damien Kulynych, a former member of the SAIT Trojans, beat Park to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. Tyler Podgorenko picked up the assist. The Kings tested Park 5 times while the Ooks sent 8 shots on Salmon over the first 20 minutes. 

At 1:49 into the middle frame, Tyler Robertson knotted the contest up 1-1. On the power play, Damien Kulynych scored his second of the game to put the Kings up by a goal. Tyrell Mappin, a first-year forward from Big Valley, assisted on the go-ahead-goal at 14:51. The Kings continued to push ahead and Tyler Berkholtz found the back of the net at 17:12 to give RDC a 3-1 edge. Dylan Thudium and Lynnden Pastachak added the helpers. NAIT outshot RDC 15-9 in the period.

At 16:08 of the third period, Jason Miller, a Mechanical Engineering Technology student, gave the Kings a 3 goal cushion. Donovan Lumb and Jacob Wozney assisted on the Kings fourth goal. With 1:21 remaining, Jared Hauptman pulled the Ooks within a pair but they couldn't complete the comeback. Park was pulled late in the third period for an extra Ooks' skater but Salmon couldn't be beaten. The Kings picked up an impressive 4-2 home win. Salmon stopped 11 out of 12 shots in the third period and Park turned aside 2 out of 3 Kings' shots.

Over 60 minutes, Salmon, from Red Deer, turned aside 33-of-35 shots while Park stopped 13 out of 17 shots. The RDC Kings finished 2017 on a very positive note and showed the league that they are becoming one of the elite teams in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Hockey. 

The Kings (9-4-1-0) will host the Concordia University Thunder (4-8-1-0) in Penhold on Friday, January 5, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. The RDC Kings and the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings share second spot in the standings with 19 points. The NAIT Ooks lead with 24 points.