Red Deer, AB - The RDC Kings made a late charge against the SAIT Trojans, but couldn't score the equalizer, dropping a hard fought 3-2 home decision.
The SAIT Trojans capitalized on a pair of early opportunities to take a 2-0 edge. The quick start included Dean Allison's 13th goal and league-leading 32nd point.
At 11:54 of the second period, Tyrell Mappin cut into SAIT's lead. The Thudium brothers set up Mappin's fourth goal and 20th point of the season.
Kurtis Rutledge restored the Trojans' two-goal lead at 6:53 of the final frame. As time was winding down, Kings Head Coach Trevor Keeper pulled Arik Weersink for the extra attacker. Fifth-year Tanner Butler made a cross-ice pass to an open Chase Thudium, who made no mistake, helping the home team pull within a goal with 13.8 seconds remaining. The clock ran out and the Trojans picked up a 3-2 road win.
Arik Weersink made 35 saves (0.921), earning the Kings Player-of-the-Game. Payton Lee was strong at the other end as well, turning aside 29 shots (0.935).
Colton McCarthy was recognized as the Trojans' top player, recording a pair of assists.
"We battled hard the rest of the game trying to score but they have a good goaltender," says Keeper.
After the weekend series, the RDC Kings (13-7-1-1) sit in fifth with 28 points, but the top half of the standings remain close. There still could be shifting of positions before the playoffs begin. NAIT (18-6-0-0) leads the way with 36 points, but have also played two more games than the Kings. SAIT (16-5-0-0) is in second place with 32 points and MacEwan University (15-5-1-0) is only a single point back. The University of Alberta Augustana Vikings (14-7-1-0) are fourth with 29 points and only one point up on the RDC Kings.
The Red Deer College Kings have five games remaining. Next weekend, the Kings will travel to Lac La Biche and take on the Portage College Voyageurs (3-18-1-0) in two games. On Friday, February 22, the RDC Kings will play the MacEwan University Griffins in the rescheduled game at 1:30 p.m. in Sylvan Lake. To wrap up the regular season, the Kings will travel to Saskatchewan and challenge the Briercrest College Clippers (4-17-1-0) on March 1 and 2.
Next weekend, the SAIT Trojans will compete against the NAIT Ooks in a home-and-home series.