It’s an early Christmas present! The BCHL and the Powell River Kings have launched a new website system and stats upgrade that’ll take effect beginning December 30th. It means that all 17 teams received new websites to build and fans will get a different look at team and player stats as well. The system is the same one that the Canadian Hockey League uses for its leagues (WHL, OHL, QMJHL) and is closely tied in with FastHockey, the league’s PPV video provider.
The launch of the new website means some changes for the blog, as I’ve made the decision to combine the two. For the last few years the main source of Kings news was the blog, while the old website often got overlooked by myself. Game recaps were rarely posted and it often sat un-updated for days. With the blog and website combining, it means (nearly) daily fresh content on the website and one spot for Kings fans to gather information on the team.
So after 4 and a half seasons, 989 posts and 300,000 views…this will be the last post on this incarnation of “Kings of the Castle”. To continue reading the same content, game previews, news and information, simply visit http://www.powellriverkings.com. Archived blog content content is available through http://www.powellriverkings.com/category/blog.
Enjoy Kings fans!
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A lot of positives and a more complete effort, but some costly errors resulted in the 2nd loss of the road trip, this time in regulation by a 5-2 score.
- Frustrating in some ways as a couple of simple errors really hurt the Kings tonight and took away from an overall decent game. By no means ‘great’, but certainly better from Friday’s effort. I thought the Kings did well keeping a lot of Salmon Arm chances to the outside and in the first period despite Salmon Arm outchancing the Kings in quantity, the Kings had better quality.
- Much like Friday vs Trail at home, Stefan Wornig and the Kings D started slowly. The first couple of goals in the 1st period were a little soft defensively, but following that things really tightened up. Wornig in particular showed a marked improvement from minute zero to sixty with a lot of puck handling issues early turning into some good kick saves and a sharp glove after the opening 10-12 minutes.
- In that 1st period, you can pretty much pigeon hole the struggles in between minutes 7 and 13…outside that the Kings were quite good.
- Into the 2nd and every chance the Kings had at momentum was not taken advantage of. Tristan Mullin scores a beauty but the Kings don’t build on it. Liam Lawson snipes another goal and the Kings conceded not long after. Missed opportunities to take control of the game and gain a lead, but the fact that the Kings generated those goals is a positive.
- 5 goals, 2 assists for 7 points. That’s Tristan Mullin over the last 4 games. He says he doesn’t feel any additional responsibility trying to make up for Kyle Betts and Carter Turnbull’s absence, but he’s certainly lifted. He’s 7-2-9 in December’s 6 games as well. This from a player who surprisingly can be very very quiet through stretches. It’s not that’s he’s not doing anything, it’s just that he might not make much noise when he’s out there. However he’s got that extra switch and gear to jump to.
Here’s what Brock Sawyer had to say in the post-game show (no video due to physical restrictions in Salmon Arm):
The Kings wrap their 3-in-3 road trip and the pre-Christmas schedule at 2:00pm in Vernon against the Vipers.
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Game: Powell River Kings vs Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Arena: Shaw Centre
Puck Drop: 7:00pm
Broadcast: Starts at 6:40pm
95.7 Coast FM in Powell River
Kings Broadcast Network
FastHockey PPV Video
Kings Record: 18-12-0-2 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 20-9-2-2 (2nd Interior)
The Kings dropped their 2nd game in overtime last night, a 4-3 loss in Langley against the Rivermen. You can read and watch more on that game here. Austin Kamer, Mitchell Hawes and Tristan Mullin scored in the effort.
Salmon Arm visited Trail last night and came away empty handed, a 6-3 loss. It’s the 2nd straight loss for Salmon Arm after they defeated Penticton in the first leg of a home in home last weekend.
- The Kings let a point slip not only in the game, but the standings last night. Both Nanaimo and Cowichan got up in their games against Prince George and Alberni respectively. It means the Kings are now 3 back of Cowichan and 9 behind Nanaimo, but still with 3 and 4 games in hand respectively. It means that the Kings will need Prince George to take points from Cowichan in order for the Kings to have a chance of finishing 2nd in the Division come Christmas. Nanaimo is in Victoria.
- After a very impressive 8-0-0-1 record into action last night vs Mainland division opponents, the Kings are a 500 team both home and away against the Interior Division. 2-2 at home, 1-1 on the road with a win in Merritt and a loss in West Kelowna.
- For Salmon Arm, it’s their last game before Christmas and caps a busy December with 7 games in 19 days (including tonight). The team is 2-3-0-1 with wins against Penticton and Vernon, but losses to the Vees (OT), Langley, Cowichan and Trail last night.
- Lots of returnees leading the way for Salmon Arm, who with 137 goals scored are the 3rd highest scoring team in the BCHL. Taro Hirose, Carson Bolduc, Ross Reidt and Josh Laframboise are all veterans not only in this league but with the team and are leading by example.
- As noted above, the offensive output is spread out. The Kings are led in scoring by Mullin (28) and Halgian (27). 7 Silverbacks have more points than that, including the IR’d Nick Hutchison who was putting together a great season with 30 in 23 before an upper body injury.
- Experience in goal as well. Angus Redmond is a 3rd year (full time) guy and is thriving with a good team in front of him. Last year was his first as “the guy” after having a more experienced goalie with him in years prior, but now at 20 years old he’s experienced and is putting together a good season with a 2.88 GAA and 903 sv% to go along with his 15-8-2 record.
- Stefan Wornig goes tonight for the Powell River Kings. He was very good in a loss on Friday against Trail at home. After a bit of a shaky start, the 2nd year King responded with some good kicks in the 2nd and 3rd, keeping the Kings in it.
The broadcast goes live on 95.7 Coast FM in Powell River at 6:40pm. It will also be online on the Kings Broadcast Network and FastHockey PPV. In the 1st intermission, we’ll have chats with Jake Kohlhauser, Jeremey Leipsic and Austin Kamer. In the 2nd break, we’ll talk with Joe Mastrodonato on the Kings dream lottery. Brock Sawyer will join us after 60 in the post-game show.
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For the first time this season, the Kings failed to win when leading by a pair at any point in the season…relinquishing 2-0 and 3-2 leads en route to a 4-3 double overtime loss on Friday night in Langley
- Kings now 15-0-0-1 when leading by a pair at any point, 14-1-0-1 when leading after 2 and 13-1-0-2 when leading after 1. By all accounts, a statistical anomaly, but that’s why you play the games.
- How’d the Kings get here? There is a real sense of letting this one get away. Certainly the last overtime loss (and only one to date) for the Kings against Chilliwack was one that the Kings probably should have had but the team only led with 3 minutes remaining…not for the bulk of the game as was the case on Friday night.
- The opening 20 was excellent. After a bit of an adjustment period and maybe some road legs, the Kings got out to a flyer and were dominant through much of the opening 20. The two goals the Kings scored were both different, but both near perfect in their execution. The powerplay goal was just a well moved puck. A couple of attempts down low and some good passing, the Kings get a good slapshot from the blue line and Mitchell Hawes redirects it home (It’s currently credited to Kohlhauser, but that’ll get changed). The 2-on-0 was exactly how you practice it with a crisp return from Jeremey Leipsic.
- Nice unselfish play from #18 there as you could probably have forgiven him for a shot on the play, especially considering he’s been a bit snake bitten over recent weeks and had a few good chances through Friday’s game.
- The 2nd period had some pear shaped segments, but the Kings still skated in with the lead despite some defensive breakdowns. As talked about in the post-game show below, the 1st goal was one that Jeff Smith would very much want back, the 2nd was a failed clear from the Kings and into the 3rd period the game tying goal was a bunch of green jerseys standing around. It’s both frustrating and a positive to see clearing mistakes on the 2nd and 3rd ones. Frustrating due to the simplicity of them, but a positive that there’s little mystery for players and coaches about what went wrong.
- Liam Lawson seems to have taken his game up a notch, as evidenced with his assist, but key role in Tristan Mullin’s 2nd period marker. A real nice cut into the slot through traffic and a backhand aimed for the pads generated a rebound and a go ahead goal. It was a nice power move from a smaller forward who seems to be finding his game this season.
- As noted below, a potential disasterous ending to the game with Jake Kohlhauser in his own zone in overtime going D-to-D with a view of moving the puck up the ice, instead the pass hit the referees skate and a breakaway resulted for Adam Sinclair that Jeff Smith was able to turn aside. A real heart in mount moment that thankfully didn’t decide the result.
- Great turn out in Langley from some Kings fans. Many bought signs and the group included King alumni Jarid Lukosevicius who is back from Denver on Christmas break.
Here’s Brock Sawyer in our post game show:
The Kings continue their 3-in-3 on Saturday in Salmon Arm against the Silverbacks, a 7:00pm puck drop.
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Game: Powell River Kings vs Langley Rivermen
Arena: Langley Events Centre
Puck Drop: 7:15pm
Broadcast: Starts at 6:55pm
95.7 Coast FM in Powell River
Kings Broadcast Network
FastHockey PPV Video
Kings Record: 18-12-0-1 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 18-13-0-1 (3rd Mainland)
The Kings bumped a 2-game slide with a 4-3 win over the Merritt Centennials on Sunday afternoon. The Kings got out to a 3-0 and 4-1 lead before a late Merritt push made the final stages very interesting. The Kings are 2-2 in December with 5 games remaining.
Langley are coming off a Saturday/Sunday double header last weekend, dropping a 7-4 game at home to Vernon then tying Surrey 3-3. They are 1-1-1 in December.
- Crucial weekend for the team as they make up 1 game against both Cowichan and Nanaimo. The Kings are 2 back of Cowichan with 3 in hand and can overtake them with a successful weekend and/or some out of town help. Nanaimo will finish top of the Division heading into Christmas, but the Kings can close the game just a bit heading into a double header in Powell River at the start of January.
- Kings 8-0-0-1 against the Mainland Division this year. The team has swept the season series against both Wenatchee and Prince George, recorded 2 victories against Coquitlam (1 at the Showcase), beaten Surrey at the Showcase and Langley in Powell River in November. Chilliwack got a 4-3 OT win in November to dent the record slightly.
- We talked a lot about 1st period scoring on Sunday. 18-6 at home through 20 minutes are the Kings this season. On the road, 15-14…an advantage but a small one. Quick starts still the key for this team…it’s also one that likes to play with the lead early.
- Short benches tonight from regulars. Justin Fregona and Bo Didur from Langley, along with Kyle Betts and Carter Turnbull all getting set to play for Gold on Saturday and won’t be in action tonight, nor until the Christmas break.
Catch a full preview of the weekend in this week’s “Three Things”
The broadcast goes live on 95.7 Coast FM in Powell River at 6:55pm. It will also be online on the Kings Broadcast Network and FastHockey PPV. In the 1st intermission, we’ll have chats with Tristan Mullin, Nick Nonis and Chris Protopoulos. In the 2nd break, from TSN Radio, a chat with alumni goalie Sean Maguire. Brock Sawyer will join us in the post-game show.
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Three Things returns with a look back at the final pair of games during a 6-game stint at the Hap Parker Arena. Also, Alex Rawnsley previews 3 games in 2 and a half days through the lower Mainland and Interior of BC.
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Two recaps in one due to a busy Saturday personally for me.
After a focus was put on the physical side of the game, or lack thereof, from Sunday’s loss to Victoria, the Kings failed to find the edge required and fell for the 2nd straight year against the Smokies on home ice, this one a 4-2 decision on Friday night.
- Before the game on Friday, Kent Lewis commented to me in the pre-game show that he needed to see hit counts rise and a physical edge from his hockey club moving forward. He stated that a few played only registered 3 hits in Sunday’s game against Victoria, which he was openly disappointed with. Despite that focal point before the game, the Kings failed to really generate the desired level of ‘edge’, and ultimately lost out on that side of the contest.
- Nick Nonis scores his 1st of the year and becomes the final King to notch a goal this season. This obviously excludes the goaltenders Jeff Smith and Stefan Wornig, a clarification necessary following a note (jokingly) from one fan after my tweet on Saturday. Through much of this season, both Smith and Wornig have been very good stopping goals, but if they want to start scoring them, they are most welcome.
- A 3-2 deficit late in the 3rd looked set to wind up the final score, but Tristan Mullin made things real interesting in the stretch. With the net empty, he went upstairs on Smokies goaltender Bailey MacBurnie, scoring his 14th of the year. Unfortunately gamble number 2 (by pulling Wornig again) failed to yield an equalizer.
- On Mullin, I’m going to spend some time this week going through his goals and seeing how many have been 3rd period markers. On nights where he isn’t the most visible on the ice through 40, as I thought was the case at points on Friday, he finds another gear and ends up dominating in the 3rd.
- On Wornig, 3 goals against isn’t flattering with two coming early in the 1st period, but I thought he battled real well on Friday night. It was his first game action (in the BCHL) since November 1st, with only practice time and Canada West camp in between. You look at the 3 that got past him and you don’t point the finger at the goaltender squarely. The Kings weren’t great picking up guys in their own zone in the 1st period and we saw a lot of 2-on-1’s, guys left in front of the net and as the case of the 2nd and 3rd goals, guys alone in the slot. In the 2nd and 3rd, Wornig kicked a lot away.
Here’s what Brock Sawyer had to say in the post game show:
Saturday rolled around and so did another Coastal winter storm which meant a short trip up Island and Merritt’s attempts to beat the storm resulted in the visitors leaving their hotel at 4am, arriving in Powell River at 6:00pm for a 7:15pm game. The Kings jumped on them early, then held on for a 4-3 win.
- Better jump, better start and better physicality from the Kings off the hop. Why? I’m sure Merritt’s lack of preparation had something to do with it, but there was a better sense of urgency from Powell River and it showed with a goal inside the opening 3 minutes through Tristan Mullin, who doubled up his game tally midway through the 1st.
- 2-0 through 20. 4-2 through 40 with the big blemish being a goal with 7 seconds to go in the frame. It was a goal that really should have happened with the Kings and Centennials perfectly happy to see the clock expire, the Kings started one more rush and a turnover wound up in the back of the net giving the visitors life, chasing only 2 in the 3rd instead of a more insurmountable 3.
- Despite a late one from Nick Fidanza on a nice setup from Gavin Gould, the Kings literally held on. The 3rd wasn’t pretty, but it was enough and it is two points. The pressure from Merritt was excellent late considering how tired the legs must have been and how little true rest the team got the night prior after a bit of a barn burner in Nanaimo.
- In response to the theme of Friday’s recap, the physicality was much better from the Kings who finished checks, jostled for position and out skated Merritt through a lot of the game. Gavin Rauser led the way, Chris Protopoulos had one of his better games in Powell River colours while Austin Kamer generated chances and Nick Halagian continued to be Nick Halagian.
Here’s what Nick Nonis and Brock Sawyer had to say in the post game show
With the win, the Kings move up into a share of 2nd in the Island Division standings with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, who play Sunday against Trail. At the close of the weekend, the Kings will be either level or up to two points back of the Caps, but with two games in hand. The Clippers lead the Division but had their 10 game streak snapped Saturday against West Kelowna. They’re 8 points up but the Kings have 3 in hand and that’ll move up to 4 games before Powell River plays again.
The Kings hit the road to wrap the pre-Christmas schedule, visiting Langley, Salmon Arm and Vernon beginning Friday night.
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