Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer - The Red Deer College Kings had stretches of strong play against the Lakeland College Rustlers and after trailing in the second half the Kings persevered and knotted the game up 3 - 3, earning one point in the standings.
The RDC Kings were energized early and in the 6th minute, Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz beat Zach Wagner, the Rustlers goalkeeper for an early 1 - 0 lead. About midway through the first half, the Rustlers responded. Lakeland College's Troy Trench tied the contest 1 - 1 in the 20th minute.
The second half featured four more goals. RDC's Matheus Alves gave the Kings a one goal cushion (2 -1) in the 60th minute. Eight minutes later, Mackenzie Longpre put the Rustlers back on even terms. On a penalty shot, Longpre notched his second of the game and gave Lakeland College their first lead of the afternoon, 3 - 2. But the Kings weren't finished. In the 80th minute, RDC's Theoren Gill scored low to the right side off a penalty shot and the game finished in a 3 - 3 draw.
Kings Head Coach Wade Groenewegen saw signs of solid play but not an overall consistent performance over 90 minutes. "One point is better than none but it wasn't our best. We didn't quite execute and it was a hard game to get into the flow," says Groenewegen. "The weather is rough and it was hard to build anything up. I thought the last 15 minutes when both teams were down a guy, we played better than we had most of the game. I guess we found that a little bit too-little-too-late today."
The Player-of-the-Game for the Kings was Lacombe's Hugo Janssen. Lloydminster's Chase Cal received the award for the Rustlers.
Groenewegen thought Janssen's play provided a spark. "Hugo came off the bench when one of our players went down and we were a different team when he got on," says Groenewegen. "Hugo was really moving the line today and really playing well. He had guys rolling and made us hard to defend. It wasn't that he was just good, he made the guys around him better as well."
After a couple of Kings exited the game with injuries, they will look to get back to full health and their winning ways in next week's rematch against the Rustlers. "We had two guys go down today with injuries and the home-and-home series always has implications in the next game," says Groenewegen.
Saturday, October 6, the second place Kings (4 - 1 - 2) will play the sixth ranked Rustlers (0 - 4 -3) at 4:00 p.m. on the road.