Another game, another rally, another point and another missed opportunity for 2 as the Kings dropped their 4th OT game of the year with a 5-4 result in Chilliwack against the Chiefs.
Here are some thoughts from the game:
- As evidenced by 2 goals inside 10 minutes, a good start from the Kings as they came out firing. It was again the top line doing the damage with Kurt Keats getting a home-town bounce off the Prospera glass following a Jarid Lukosevicius shot that went wide. In talking with Luko after the game, he said with a pretty big smile that he intentionally missed his shot to tee up Keats, but credit the end glass with a key assist on Keats’ 12th of the season which briefly tied him for the league lead in goal scoring. The goal did extend the point streak to 9 games and Luko’s run to 5 games.
- All Jarryd Leung on the 2nd goal, using a part of his game that he’s not overly known for. Some good speed down the left wing tracked down a loose puck and made a smart and good pass to Stephen Hiff who used his own speed to get position on the backchecking Chief, earn some space and go to the front of the net with his stick on the ice. Hiff did well to get it upstairs and give goaltender Mitchell Datz little to no chance for a save.
- Craig Puffer continues to be King cryptonite. 3 goals tonight, 3 more in exhibition play and 1 at the Showcase. He’s by far the most dangerous Chilliwack forward and showed why he leads the team by a long way in goal scoring. He took advantage of some slack Kings defending on the 2nd goal, being left along on the goal line and able to step out and roof past Magnus.
- Speaking of Magnus, it’s tough to say this after a 5-goal outing, but there were some key saves made tonight in the Kings net. Certainly goals 4 and 5 you really don’t want to give up, both squeezing through when Magnus was square to the shooter and seemingly was set, but there were some good glove saves and a nice stick one in the 1st period with the Kings up 1-0. That’s 8 straight starts for Magnus now too.
- The rally. It seems every game were talking about some sort of rally. On Wednesday, it was down 2-0 vs Nanaimo. Friday was down 4-0 vs Prince George. Tonight it was a 4-2 deficit with 4-straight Chilliwack goals. “Character” was a word that has been thrown around a lot in recent days…teams that can repeatedly come back from those types of situations clearly have character, but I’m certain that the coaches and players would prefer not to be in those situations at all, especially in a case like tonight where the Kings had a 2-goal lead.
The Kings have the day in Chilliwack before heading up to Merritt to take on Jonah Imoo, Cole Arcuri, James Neil and the rest of the Merritt Centennials at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, a 7:30pm start. It’s live on the Kings Broadcast Network and 90.1 CJMP FM beginning at 7:00pm with the pre-game show.
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After a week’s rest and practice following a grueling 6-game in 10-day stretch where the Kings came out with 6 of a possible 12 points (2-2-0-2), the team heads over and north to play one of the two longest trips they’ll face this season. Merritt and Prince George await Powell River on Saturday and Sunday respectively, but Friday night it’s Chilliwack and the Prospera Centre where the season began with the BCHL Showcase in September.
Tonight’s game is live on the Kings Broadcast Network beginning at 6:30 with the pre-game show, leading up to a 7:00pm puck drop. On the broadcast tonight is our first alumni feature of the year as we catch up with Aidan Wright and Kyle Chatham, both at Lake Superior State University in their first year of college hockey. LSSU is a young, BCHL-packed roster with 8 former BC-based players on the team.
Here are some game notes from tonight’s game:
- Sunday’s game vs Nanaimo was the first time the Kings didn’t manage a powerplay goal since the 2nd game of the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack against Trail. The Kings only got the one chance and went 0/1. During the stretch, the Kings went 14/51 or 27.45% on the man advantage and scored twice more often than not.
- Despite penalty kill issues continuing, however Sunday’s game against Nanimo featured a perfect Kings penalty kill on two opportunities. It’s a small step in the right direction for a team that has given up a powerplay goal in all but 2 games this season (Sunday included), and multiples on 4 occasions. Special teams for the Chiefs have been average, sitting 11th on the powerplay and 8th on the penalty kill.
- Chilliwack’s start has been night and day from last season, a year where the Chiefs finished a distance 5th in the Mainland Division. The team currently leads the Mainland Division with a record of 9-1-0-1, 1 point ahead of Prince George but with 3 games in hand. They’ve beaten the Kings once already this season, a 6-3 decision on opening night of the season.
- The Chiefs are led offensively by Craig Puffer, who has enjoyed some success already against the Kings this season, scoring both in exhibition and the Showcase games between the two clubs. He sits 13th in league scoring as well, but leads the league in goals with 12. The Kings Kurt Keats is right behind with 11.
- Speaking of league leaders, both Mitchell Datz and Aidan Pelino sit inside the top 10 of league netminders with 3 and 6 wins each. Pelino, who started the opening game at the Showcase and has had a bulk of the work to date, is 3rd behind the injured Jonah Imoo and Penticton’s Hunter Miska.
- On the subject of goaltenders, tonight looks like it’ll be Brett Magnus’ 8th straight start in net with Stefan Wornig out of the lineup following an injury last weekend.
- The Kings do get a big boost back to their lineup, with captain JJ Coleshaw returning after missing 6-games with injury. Brock Sawyer called him the “heart and soul” of the Kings, and that’s certainly a statement you can argue in favour of. In Coleshaw’s previous absences from the lineup, the impacts have been felt perhaps more than most. He’s a utility player that is key on the powerplay, penalty kill and of course 5-on-5, and taking him out of the lineup forces everyone up one spot. His return from injury last season was a big boost, especially on the kill, as it allowed the “usual” pairings of Keats/Luko, Dorantes/Scarfo and then Coleshaw/Hiff to be reunited.
Faceoff is at 7:00pm, again broadcast live on the Kings Broadcast Network beginning with our 6:30pm pre-game show.
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Rookie defenseman Mat Bodie’s first pro goal, scored with 17.9 seconds left in the third period, gave the Wolf Pack a 5-4 win over the Worcester Sharks Tuesday night at the DCU Center.
The Wolf Pack let a 4-2 lead slip away in the third, but with the game seemingly headed for overtime, Tommy Hughes and Danny Kristo combined to get the puck to Bodie, who moved to the left-wing faceoff dot and launched a shot that went high into the net behind Worcester goaltender Troy Grosenick, a former teammate, and roommate, of Bodie’s at Union College.
To read the full game recap, click here.
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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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