Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer, AB – The Red Deer College Kings controlled many aspects of the game against the MacEwan University Griffins. The Kings had more shots, more offensive chances and pushed the pace, but unfortunately weren't rewarded with the two points in the standings.
The visitors sat even (2-2) with RDC for most of the third until MacEwan's Zach Webb tallied with less than two minutes remaining. The Griffins added an empty netter and picked up a 4-2 road win, but it wasn't for a lack of effort from the home team.
"I thought our guys played well. They had to handle a little bit of adversity right at the beginning of the game," says Kings Head Coach Trevor Keeper. "Our goaltender who was slated to start (Arik Weersink), took a shot in the mask and couldn't play. Nathan Alalouf stepped in and didn't have a lot of time to get his head prepared, but he did what he could do. It was a tough situation to lose our starter in warmup."
MacEwan University struck first. Cam Gotaas found space behind Alalouf at 18:30 of the first period.
"We accomplished most of the goals that we set out to do. We had the majority of the time with the puck," says Keeper. "Lots of good offensive zone chances. Lots of traffic in front of Daigle."
In the middle frame, Kings captain Scott Ferguson scored back-to-back markers. At 4:55, the Bachelor of Business Administration student connected on the power play. Then ten minutes later, he beat Marc-Olivier Daigle, providing the home team a one goal edge. Chase Thudium assisted on both markers.
It looked like the Kings would skate into the intermission with the lead, but MacEwan University evened the contest. Cameron Reagan found the back of the net with 24 seconds remaining.
When overtime looked a viable possibility, MacEwan's Colin Schmidt and Jordan Taupert set up Zach Webb for the eventual game winner with 1:54 remaining. Keeper pulled Alalouf for the extra attacker and then Kole Gable tacked on the Griffins' fourth into the empty net. The MacEwan University Griffins took the road game 4-2.
"The penalty kill was four-for-four, power play was one-for-five. Tons of good opportunities," says Keeper. "The only thing we were at fault I guess, is a couple times coming back in our zone not having guys' sticks picked up - being right tight on them when we were backchecking."
Sylvan Lake's Scott Ferguson was recognized as the Collegiate Sports Medicine Kings Player-of-the-Game. Zach Webb received the award for the Griffins.
"Scott just brings his work ethic and competes hard. He goes to the front of the net and scores most of his goals from within five to ten feet," says Keeper. "He did that and was leading by example. I thought everyone did a good job of that, but he got rewarded for leading the way."
The Kings outshot the Griffins 32-17.
The second place RDC Kings (12-2-1-0) will look to get back into the win column against the MacEwan University Griffins (10-5-0-0) in Edmonton on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 6:00 pm.
"We want to keep trying to get better from now to the end of the year on the defensive side of our game," explains Keeper. "Part of that is tracking back in your own zone, being right locked on a guy."