Brent Forster - RDC
Edmonton, AB - The Red Deer College Kings and MacEwan University Griffins were even after 40 minutes, but the Kings capitalized on a four point outing from Dylan Thudium and a 36 save performance from Arik Weersink, defeating the Griffins 6-2 and earning back-to-back victories over the defending ACAC champions.
After MacEwan's Brett Njaa opened the scoring about midway through the first period, the Kings pulled ahead before the end of the frame. Tyler Podgorenko redirected a precise pass behind Griffins goaltender Marc-Olivier Daigle. Donovan Lumb and Dylan Thudium had the assists. Then with 1:01 remaining in the period, Tanner Butler sent Scott Ferguson up ice while killing a penalty. The former right winger with the Spruce Grove Saints fed Austin Hunter and the Kings forward masterfully completed the two-on-one to give the Kings a 2-1 edge. The shorthanded tally was the Kings' eighth, which is second most in the league.
At 11:56 of the middle frame, Brett Njaa recorded his second of the game to knot the contest 2-2.
Scott Ferguson (17) Pic - Tony Hansen
In the third period, the Kings power play went to work, striking for three consecutive goals. Within one minute twenty-four seconds, Chase Thudium, Mathieu Lapointe and Ryley Smith scored on the man advantage, pushing the RDC Kings ahead 5-2. During that flurry, both Dylan Thudium and Trevor Costello had a pair of helpers. Lynnden Pastachak and Tanner Butler added single assists.
Chase Thudium's marker was his 17th, moving him into the goal scoring lead. It was also the Sylvan Lake forward's 34th point, which tied him for the most in ACAC Men's Hockey.
The Griffins pulled Daigle early with about four minutes remaining, but Dylan Thudium found the open cage from his own zone. The tally was the Bachelor of Business Administration student's 12th of the season, and 28th point. Arik Weersink and the Kings locked it down and wrapped up an impressive 6-2 road victory.
Arik Weersink had another strong performance in net, turning aside 36 out 38 shots (0.947).
Dylan Thudium and Brett Njaa were named the players of the game for their respective teams.
With the victory, the RDC Kings (17-7-1-1) took sole possession of third spot in the standings with 36 points, only one point behind second place MacEwan University (18-7-1-0). The NAIT Ooks (20-6-0-0) remain in first with 40 points. The SAIT Trojans (17-9-0-0) are fourth with 34 points.
This weekend, the Kings will finish the regular season in Saskatchewan. On Friday, March 1, the Red Deer College Kings will face-off against the Briercrest College Clippers (6-19-1-0) at 7:00 p.m. Then on Saturday the two teams will tangle at 2:00 p.m. The Clippers are in a battle for the final playoff spot. Briercrest College has 13 points in the standings, only a single point behind the sixth place Concordia University Thunder (6-18-1-1). The top six teams will play in the postseason.
The MacEwan University Griffins have a pair of games remaining against the NAIT Ooks.