Few flashes of brilliance weren’t enough to overcome a lackluster start, middle and end for the Kings, dropping a 4-1 game to the Nanaimo Clippers on Sunday afternoon.
- Not much to say from a game where, outside of a few good shifts, was slow and disappointing from start to finish. While the start from the Kings was better than in previous games from minute zero out, the effort wasn’t sustained and once Nanaimo got the 1st goal things began to fall apart. Whatever momentum the Kings could get back via Keats’ tally in the 2nd was immediately snuffed out via Jacob Jackson and from there, there were few things to enjoy.
- To take some positives out of the game, Kurt Keats continues to score big goals. A nice move and recognising an opportunity resulted in his 11th of the season. Other positives, the 4th line of St. Amand, Evans and Findlater saw some big minutes and rose to the occasion accordingly. St. Amand has continuely improved this season, Findlater is beginning to re-find some of the speed he had in last year’s playoffs and Evans continues to be difficult to take the puck away from despite his size. Defensively, Ross Hnidy’s size is refreshing to see being used effectively.
Here’s what Brock Sawyer had to say in the post-game show:
The Kings hit the road for 3-in-3 next weekend, in Chilliwack, Merritt and Prince George beginning Friday night.
Game photos from Alicia Baas:
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It’s a little weird talking about myself, especially when this blog is about the team and its players. However in an effort to pass on all things Kings in the media world, here is a feature on my history as a broadcaster and how I landed in Powell River back in 2011. It’s part of this week’s edition of the “BCHL This Week” program that is produced by Jeff Patterson and TSN Radio Vancouver.
The feature covers my start, how I related to hockey being a foreigner, and what being a focal point and link between the team and the community is like in a town like Powell River.
Thanks to the BCHL’s Brent Mutis and TSN Radio’s Jeff Patterson for arranging the interview and having me on.
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It was a game of extremes for Powell River, extreme highs and lows. After falling down 4-0 early in the 2nd period, the Kings chipped away at the lead, tied the game at 4 with plenty of time left but were on the wrong side of a double overtime game winner, falling 5-4 to the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday night.
Some thoughts from the game:
- I can’t help shake the feeling that once the Kings learn to play a 60 minute hockey game, they are going to be a very very dangerous team, and an incredibly fun one to watch. The talent on the top unit of Pritchard-Keats-Luko, combined with some speed and skill with guys like Hiff and Leung, and mixing in some good work ethic and ability by the McCarrick’s, Gomerich’s and Kamer’s of the lineup really make for a well balanced team. Early in the season it was back to back goals, now it’s the start that’s hurting this team.
- Kurt Keats arguably the best player on the ice tonight in my opinion. There was a real sense of Keats stepping up big time with the way he scored his 1st goal, skating almost end to end for his 9th of the season. You could argue that the way he scored it was maybe bigger than the goal itself, and I could liken it to Cole Arcuri’s tally in game 1 of the playoffs last year against Nanaimo in that the manner in which it scored provided a bigger boost than the actual goal.
- The 2nd goal was the turning point of the game. Brock Sawyer mentioned in the post-game show (below) that the message on the bench was that 1 more in the 2nd period would set the Kings up for a good 3rd and it did just that. Chasing 2 is “do-able” and certainly attainable in this league. Chasing 3 is all the more difficult and a huge mental barrier. Combine that with Luko’s inside the opening minute and it was a completely different game.
- Tony DeVito was real solid in his first BCHL game. Didn’t play a lot of key minutes, but was full value for what he did play. His role will develop as we see him get more game action and I imagine it’ll grow in the same (or similar) manner to Ross Hnidy, who had a tentative start last Friday night, but has produced some good performances since as confidence and chemistry grows.
- On the Prince George side of the puck, they were a lot of fun to watch through 30 minutes, and equally intriguing for the final 30 to see crumble. First half there was confidence, tic-tac-toe passing, excellent player movement off the puck that lead to two goals directly. Perhaps 4-0 up, the team eased off and then when they got it back, it was too late.
- There was a lot more chatter this game than I expected from two teams with not much history. Especially early, a lot of post-whistle conversations and scrums. Also a lot of talking between benches and as guys were heading off for shifts. It will be interesting to see what next Sunday brings given the close proximity of the penalty boxes and the benches (all in a row on the same side). Should make for a fun broadcast too as my perch is right above the Kings bench.
Here’s the post-game show with Brock Sawyer:
The Kings have Saturday off from game action, and will return Sunday against Nanaimo at the Hap Parker Arena, a 2:00pm start.
Game photos from Alicia Baas:
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The Kings and Spruce Kings square off tonight at the Hap Parker for leg 1 of this year’s Battle Royal. It will be a special night on and off the ice as the Kings are also holding their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night, with a host of activities and fundraising opportunities to raise money towards research and a cure.
Here are the game notes for tonight’s tilt against Prince George:
- Short Season Series
This year’s edition of the BCHL Battle Royal will last all of 9 days. The Kings make the return visit to Prince George next Sunday.
- Power Players
Both the Kings and Spruce Kings have enjoyed success on the powerplay early this BCHL season. The Kings have scored a powerplay goal in 9 of 10 games this year and sit 3rd with a 28.57 efficiency, while the Spruce Kings are 4th at 27.50 having scored 3 fewer goals on 9 fewer attempts. Prince George’s penalty kill has been better than the Kings this year, with the Spruce Kings operating at 80% in 9th, while Powell River sits 15th at 72.34 and gave up 1 goal in each game over the mid-week road trip.
- Evenly Matched
These teams often see each other no more than twice in any given season and are evenly matched historically. Since 2003, both clubs have played 2 games (1 home and 1 away) 9 of the 11 seasons. Only twice has there been a season series sweep, both times for the Kings back between 2009 and 2011. Everything else has been a split, typically with the home team earning the two points. The Kings almost had the sweep last year, dropping a 3-2 overtime decision in December in Prince George, before winning 2-1 on home ice to start January.
- New Personnel
The Kings made a move on Friday, switching up players on the blue line. The Kings bring in Tony DeVito from the Lincoln Stars in the USHL, who before playing in the USHL spent two years in the Ontario Junior Hockey League as a member of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres scoring 4 goals and adding 22 assists in 70 games. To make room on the roster, the Kings dealt defenceman Cole Arcuri to the Merritt Centennials in exchange for future considerations. Arcuri joined the Kings in January 2014 scoring 2 goals and adding 6 assists in 41 regular season and playoff games. Best of luck to Cole on the remainder of his Junior career with the Centennials.
- Going Streaking
Kurt Keats is riding a 6-game point streak after a goal and assist on Wednesday in Nanaimo. The Winnipeg, Manitoba product has 7 goals and 5 assists in that stretch playing with Jarid Lukosevicius mainly on his right, and a combination of Jarryd Leung and Jacob Pritchard on his left. Going about his business quietly is Stephen Hiff who has assembled points in his last 6 as well. Hiff has put a focus on his offensive game this year and it’s paid off with 3 goals and 6 assists during the stretch. Other notables include Jarid Lukosevicius (points in 5 of last 6) and Jacob Pritchard who had a 7-game point streak snapped on Tuesday night, but started a new one on Wednesday with a 1-goal, 2-assist game.
Opening faceoff is at 7:15 from the Hap Parker Arena. If you’re out of town, I’ve got the broadcast live on the Kings Broadcast Network beginning at 6:45 with the pre-game show. You can listen in here.
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It was close, right to the last second. However the Kings used a great road period in the 1st to earn a 2-1 win against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Tuesday night to move to a share of 2nd in the Island Division.
Thoughts from the game:
- Great start. Whenever you near-triple your opponents shots on goal, you know you’re doing something right. For the Kings they played a fantastic opening 20 minutes, made all the more impressive that they did it on the road. Everyone was clicking with some great chances up and down the lineup. Credit Caps goaltender Lane Michasiw for making some good saves and keeping his team tied through 20.
- The 2nd and 3rd were less impressive, but the Kings consistently ‘did enough’ to win the hockey game. The team let off the pressure a little in the 2nd as the Caps got more in the game. What impressed through the remaining 40 were the clearances around the Kings net. What stayed in front of Brett Magnus was quickly moved aside. Even when the Kings seemed to be scrambling, the team was able to get a blocked shot or a good clear to take away any 2nd or 3rd chances in close. These were the goals the Kings had been giving up so far this season.
- Speaking of goaltending, Brett Magnus was full value Tuesday night. He looked confident, calm and in control all game. He made quality saves with both pads, the blocker and a beauty with the glove in the 1st period. His judgement playing the puck was better and communication between he and the defence seemed better too, with barely any mix-ups. It was the perfect game for Magnus to build confidence…getting a solid 31 saves under his belt and a victory to boot.
- Kurt Keats has been on a big roll lately. His goal Tuesday night was his 7th of the season and the 3rd straight game he’s notched a goal. He’s showing much more patience with the puck this season and it’s showing on the scoreboard in both the goal and assist column. The goal moved Keats into 12th in league scoring, just behind his part-time line mate Jarid Lukosevicius in a share for 5th.
- Nick Gomerich had a tough night and was a victim of “red tape”. Due to a pre-game error on the game sheet, Gomerich was in illegible player and was forced to leave the game. The Kings were lucky to have this caught early as certain circumstances could have resulted in them receiving a penalty or worse, losing the two points they’d earned. Ultimately it means a missed game in front of some friends and family. Gomerich is expected back in the lineup Wednesday against Nanaimo.
- That ending. Go back and watch it. The puck, a few inches away from tying the game up on the last second. Again, credit Magnus for challenging on the first shot and the back-tracking defenceman for some good positioning. Another foot above the goal line and LePage tucks it in easily to force overtime and a massive momentum swing for the Caps. Not to be and the Caps drop another 1-goal game, something that’s become an early season trend for the club.
- Finally, on the defence, a good game from Nick Nonis and Colton Sandberg in particular who were shouldered with extra special teams responsibilities when Jeremy LeClerc decided to drop the gloves in the 2nd period and ejecting himself from the game. In the 3rd period when both Cole Arcuri and Jordan Burns took penalties, it left just 4 defencemen to kill it off, meaning some more challenges for both rookies. Both answered the call well.
Here’s the post-game comments from Brock Sawyer:
The Kings move to a share of 2nd in the Island Division with the Victoria Grizzlies, and are 3 back of the Nanaimo Clippers. The Kings can close that gap to just 1 point with a win in Nanaimo on Wednesday night. It’s a 7:00pm puck drop at the Frank Crane Arena.
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A disappointing 5-2 loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday night was offset slightly by a dramatic 7-6 win over the defending BCHL Champion Coquitlam Express on Sunday afternoon to give the Kings 2 out of 4 points on offer through 2 games.
Here are the highlights from Friday night:
And Sunday afternoon (note: there were some recording issues on my end, so there are only 4 goals in this highlight pack):
The Kings hit the road starting Tuesday night in Cowichan against the Capitals. It’s a 7:00pm puck drop and the pre-game show is live on the Kings Broadcast Network starting at 6:30. Wednesday, the Kings visit Nanaimo for the 2nd time this year, also a 7:00pm start.
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The Kings will not only host a pair of teams Friday and Sunday, but also around 30 family members of the Kings players for Parents Weekend at the Hap Parker Arena. It’s an exciting time when the families get to see first hand what their sons experience on a daily basis, and it always makes for a good atmosphere at the rink for the fans. Who doesn’t love seeing a proud mother or father seeing their son score a goal, or make a big save?
The game will carry some extra importance as the team is partnering with First Credit Union and other local businesses to raise some money for a local family. Anakin Fretts was involved in a car crash a few weeks ago and the family is in need of some help for medical and other expenses. The Kings are hoping a big crowd comes out and takes advantage of a guaranteed $2000 50/50 jackpot, plus a donation from every adult walk up ticket sold.
Here’s The Faceoff for this weekend, featuring interviews with JJ Coleshaw, new King Ross Hnidy and forward Austin Kamer:
Here are some more details tonight’s game:
Friday October 10th, 2014
Powell River Kings vs Trail Smoke Eaters
- Season Series
This will be the 2nd matchup of 3 this year between Powell River and Trail. The Smoke Eaters got a big win at the BCHL Showcase over the Kings, scoring midway through the 1st overtime session to take full points on September 21st. Jarid Lukosevicius had a pair in that game, including one on a penalty shot, while Jacob Pritchard scored a beauty short handed for the Kings.
- Power Players
Special teams are proving to be an area of strength for both clubs. Tonight will be Trail’s top-ranked powerplay, up against the Kings 8th ranked penalty kill that has been in excellent form lately, rebounding from a tough first couple of games. On the other side of the puck, the Kings sit 4th on the powerplay and will tackle the Smokies 2nd-ranked penalty kill. Fun fact, Trail has scored as many shorthanded goals, as they’ve allowed on the powerplay…two. The Kings lone ‘shortie’ this season came via Jacob Pritchard against Trail.
- Home Ice Advantage
Trail has taken 2 points from Powell River, IN Powell River just twice in at least the last 11 years. In fact at the Hap Parker Arena/Powell River Rec Complex, the Kings are 9-1-0-1 against Trail. The loss in regulation came back in 2007, a 5-3 result for the Smokies in a game where current Kings assistant coach Brock Sawyer, played in (0 points). The overtime loss was a little more recent a 5-4 scoreline in January 2010 where teams traded goals through 60 minutes, only for Paul Mailey to end it in the 2nd extra session.
- Road Warriors
Making the longest road trip in the BCHL, the Trail Smoke Eaters got into Powell River on Thursday night and will have a full day of prep before Friday’s game. The team is embarking on the 1st of its big inter-divisional road trips and will head over to Vancouver Island to face Alberni on Saturday, before starting the trek home on Sunday with a stop in Surrey against the Eagles. The team does get the advantage of playing Powell River first, the Kings will see Trail in early December at the end of a 3-in-3, starting in Surrey and Penticton.
- Shots shots…shots shots shots
As is typical with the Kings, a barrage of shots usually leads to victory, or at least a better overall game. In the 6 contests the Kings have played this season, they’ve picked up 5 of a possible 6 points when firing more than 30 shots on opposition nets (2-0-0-1). Their record when it’s a quieter night for the other goaltender is 0-2.
- Lineup Changes
As noted in the video above, no JJ Coleshaw tonight as he’s out with an upper body injury, but could be available for next weekend’s home games. Ross Hnidy is expected to dress tonight, making his BCHL debut with a couple of former team-mates in Jeremy LeClerc and Nick Gomerich. With Coleshaw injured, and an otherwise healthy lineup, it’ll leave one scratch to be made by the team…a defenceman if the Kings want to go with the ‘traditional’ 12-6 formation. In net, both Brett Magnus and Stefan Wornig are coming off victories in their last games played.
- Busy Stretch
Tonight is game 1 of a 6-game in 10-day stretch for the Kings that will see them play 4 times at home and twice on the road. This weekend it’s Trail and Coquitlam, followed by Nanaimo and Cowichan on the road, then Prince George and Nanaimo back next weekend.
Opening faceoff is at 7:15pm from the Hap Parker Arena. The Kings Broadcas Network has the game live, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45. You can listen in here: http://www.powellriverkings.com/
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