Red Deer, AB – The Red Deer College Kings hit the ice at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre knowing they had to win to continue the best of three semi-final against the MacEwan University Griffins, and ultimately their season. After the opening two periods were tight, the Kings started to elevate their game in the third period and used that momentum to down the two-time defending champion Griffins 1-0 in overtime. The home victory evened the semi-final at one game apiece, sending the series back to Edmonton for a third and final contest.
Over the opening 40 minutes, both teams were sound defensively and the two goaltenders rose to the occasion when called upon. Troy Trombley was busier than Marc-Olivier Daigle, turning aside all 27 shots. Daigle made 15 saves to keep the game scoreless.
"It was a tight game and we were down in the shot clock," said Kings Head Coach Trevor Keeper. "We knew that if we were going to win we would have to catch up and pass them."
The Kings increased their offensive chances in the final 20 minutes, outshooting the Griffins 12-4, but both netminders were unbeatable. Momentum started to sway in favour of the home team.
In the first overtime period, the RDC Kings capitalized on the power play. The Kings' defence kept a Griffins' clearing attempt inside the blue line, and Lynnden Pastachak set up Chase Thudium for the one-timer. Daigle stopped the initial shot, but Dylan Thudium pounced on the rebound at 6:07, giving the home team a 1-0 victory.
"It was a loose puck and a really nice pass to Chase back door for one-t. I was just standing in front hoping for a rebound, or getting in the way, or a tip," said Dylan Thudium. "It popped out and sat there right for me."
Dylan Thudium was selected as the Kings Player-of-the-Game. Andrew Kartusch was recognized for the Griffins with a strong effort.
Trombley stopped all 33 shots for the shutout. Daigle was strong at the other end, making 33 saves out of 34 shots.
The Red Deer College Kings connected once out of three power plays. The Griffins went 0-for-2.
On Saturday at 6:00 p.m., the RDC Kings will face-off against the MacEwan University Griffins in Edmonton in the final game of the best of three semi-final.