Archive for the ‘Game Day Previews’ Category


STATSGame: 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

NUMBERSKings Record: 18-12-0-2 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 20-9-2-2 (2nd Interior)

TRENDSThe 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.

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  • 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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STATSGame: 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

NUMBERSKings Record: 18-12-0-1 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 18-13-0-1 (3rd Mainland)

TRENDSThe 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.

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  • 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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STATSGame: Trail Smoke Eaters vs Powell River Kings
Arena: Hap Parker Arena
Puck Drop: 7:15pm
Broadcast: Starts at 6:55pm
95.7 Coast FM in Powell River
Kings Broadcast Network
FastHockey PPV Video

NUMBERSKings Record: 17-11-0-1 (3rd Mainland)
Opposition Record: 13-17-0-0 (5th Mainland)

TRENDSThe Kings had a 5-game win streak snapped on Sunday against the Victoria Grizzlies, a 4-1 score. The Kings also had a 7-game streak of earning at least a point on Sunday, that one dating back to November 10th also against Victoria.

Trail are starting a 3-in-3 through the Island Division. They’ll hit Alberni and Cowichan tomorrow and Sunday before a long trek back home overnight on Sunday and into Monday. The team is coming off back to back wins at home last weekend, shutting out Alberni 1-0, then beating Wenatchee 4-2 at Cominco Arena.

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  • Again no Betts or Turnbull this weekend for the Kings, and next as well. The pair made Team Canada West, which means they’ll be out of the Kings lineup until after the Christmas break, missing a total of 7 games including the pair last weekend. Expect re-inforcements from the Island and the Kings network of affiliates which they take great pride in maintaining and using at various points throughout the season.
  • Certainly Sunday’s loss still stings, especially against a team that the Kings blew out of the water the night prior. The excuse will certainly not be used that the Grizzlies had travel legs on Saturday and were fresh Sunday (although that arguement’s already been made), quite simply the Kings slipped back into some bad habits after apparently kicking them after the November 10th loss to Victoria.
  • It’s been a big week in practice as this team wants hit the Christmas break on a high note, instead of limping in like can so often be the case (not just with the Kings, but league wide). It’s a big distraction as players who haven’t been home or seen family in months can sneak their minds ahead 2 weeks and an 8-day break. There’s 5 games to go first, and 10 points on the line that the Kings quite honestly need if they stand a realistic chance of finishing the Division on top come March 1st. While no-one expects Nanaimo to run the table, despite being on an impressive 9-game win streak, the Kings need to keep touch and lost their grip on 1st by 2 points with Sunday’s result. With 3 games in hand (6 potential points), the Kings are currently 8 back of the Clippers who they will see a lot of in 2016.
  • In net, it’s hard to ask for much more than what Jeff Smith is giving. He’s been a routine topic of conversation in the post-game show and even joined us upstairs a couple of weeks ago. Stefan Wornig is back from Team Canada West camp and will be looking to stake his claim for ice time. He hasn’t played in Kings colours since November 1st with Smith’s hot play keeping him sidelined. Do we see him this weekend?
  • Trail travelled down yesterday as it’s nearly impossible to do a game day trip to Powell River from Cranbrook. That means the Smokies slept in their beds at the hotel last night, had an early game day skate today and will be 100% into tonight’s game. In net, Bailie MacBurnie will likely get the start in leg 1 of a road trip. He’s a former BCHL Player of the Week from earlier this season and has the bulk of Trail’s starts this year, posting a 9-3 record in 24 appearances.
  • Up front, all the big guns are here and healthy. Much like the Kings, the Smokies don’t boast that high scoring sniper in the same manner of a Brayden Gelsinger (Victoria) who is alone and away in point production. Nick Halloran (25) and Jake Kauppila (20) lead the way, with former Eagles captain Kyle Star (17) and 4th year BCHL’er Harlan Orr (18) also up there. Also watch for Connor Brown-Maloski, who has been impressive with both Salmon Arm and Trail when the Kings have played either club. Plus big defenceman Cooper Leitch, who is a former Prince George Spruce King.
  • What this Smokies lineup lacks in potent scoring, they make up for in experience. 7 rookies skate with the club, not including both netminders.

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 our pre-game show we’ll talk with Kent Lewis about the news that Betts and Turnbull will be missing until after Christmas, plus what the week in practice has been following Sunday’s loss to Victoria. We’ll also talk with Smokies Head Coach Nick Deschenes about his team’s first half, and where they need to improve to get past Vernon and into the playoffs. In the 1st intermission, we’ll have chats with Mitchell Hawes and Rylan Ball. In the 2nd break, we’ll air John Grisdale’s appearence on TSN Radio earlier this week. Brock Sawyer will join us after 60 in the post-game show.

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STATSGame: Victoria Grizzlies vs Powell River Kings
Arena: Hap Parker Arena
Puck Drop: 7:15pm
Broadcast: Starts at 6:55pm
95.7 Coast FM in Powell River
Kings Broadcast Network
FastHockey PPV Video

NUMBERSKings Record: 16-10-0-1 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 11-16-0-4 (4th Island)

TRENDSThe Kings are coming off a weekend sweep of the Cowichan Valley Capitals, wins in their last 4 games and points in the team’s last 6 dating back to a November 10th defeat at home to the Victoria Grizzlies. While the Kings slipped to 3rd in the Division on Friday night, the Kings hold 2 games in hand over Cowichan (1 point up) and 3 in hand over the Nanaimo Clippers (6 points up).

The Victoria Grizzlies have begun to turn their horror start around, and are now up on the Bulldogs for the final spot in the Island Division playoffs. Games in hand will factor in down the stretch, but for now the Grizzlies are 4 up on the Bulldogs. Victoria were last in action on Tuesday night, falling 2-1 in double overtime to the Nanaimo Clippers. The team has been inconsistent through the latter part of November, going win-loss-win-loss in their final 4 games. They’ve picked up just 3 wins in the 9 games since beating Powell River before Remembrance Day.

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  • First off, the game is on. Despite weather making it a pretty tough travel day for the Grizzlies today, we’re still a go for tonight’s puck drop. Victoria are going the “long way”, through Vancouver and up the Coast, so things may be pushed back a little bit depending on Victoria’s arrival, but a decision on that will be made closer to puck drop. Plan for a 7:15pm start.
  • Interestingly enough, the only other time the Grizzlies have come to Powell River this season was that November 10th game where they were put through the washing machine from Vancouver Island to Powell River on a day not too unlike today. A 1 hour and 10 minute crossing lasted more than 2 hours as the Grizzlies made their way over. Whatever sea sickness there was didn’t last, a 5-2 win for the visitors that day.
  • Finally on the weather. Not the first time in recent history these two teams (or at least 1) head along the Coast. Game 5 (of a 5 game series) in the 2013 playoffs was in Victoria after the Kings won game 4 to even the series at 2. A storm rolled in overnight after the Kings win forcing both teams to go bumper to bumper for 9 hours from Powell River to Victoria to play the deciding game…also won by the Grizzlies 3-2 in overtime.
  • Final final thought on all this weather stuff….who says Cats don’t like water?
  • Onto the game and the Kings will do it the hard way tonight, not due to injury, but due to missing 3 players for the Canada West selection camp in the Calgary area this weekend. Stefan Wornig goes for his 2nd tryout, while Kyle Betts and Carter Turnbull all make their debuts. If any of the 3 make the squad, they’ll be out of the lineup until after the Christmas break. It’s a double edged sword. The Kings are thrilled that 3 players are getting this opportunity and would dearly love to be without them until New Years, but it obviously created a few holes in the lineup. You’ll hear the word “opportunity” a bit tonight and potentially over the next couple of weeks.
  • Victoria will ice a complete lineup tonight with a new addition from the last three games between these clubs. Jared Virtanen (cousin of Canuck Jake) was added by the Grizzlies late last month after asking for a trade from the struggling Calgary Mustangs of the AJHL. No points yet in 2 games against Alberni and Nanaimo.
  • I talked a lot about discipline last weekend, with the Kings being the league’s least penalised team, the Capitals the most. This weekend is a bit of a flip on that, at least with the opposition. While the Kings remain the least penalised team (88 times shorthanded), the Grizzlies are equally saintly in 14th (105 TSH).
  • Despite the lack of match practice, both team’s penalty kills come up successful more often than most. The Grizzlies are 3rd, the Kings 5th when shorthanded. The Kings have conceded 3 powerplay goals in their last 7 games, going perfect 4 times.
  • It is very easy to draw some comparisons between this weekend and last weekend. Tell me if this sounds familiar as I describe the matchup this weekend. “A weekend double header against an Island Division opponent that the Kings haven’t beaten so far this season.” Last weekend the Kings faced that and put together a pretty complete effort on Friday, then got the job done despite some hiccups Saturday. The Kings aren’t thrilled with how they’ve played through 180 against Victoria so far, leading for just over 27 minutes of that time.

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 our pre-game show we’ll talk with Kent Lewis on being without some pieces to the lineup, and an 0-3 series scoreline against the Grizzlies so far. In the 1st intermission, we’ll have chats with Canada West bound Stefan Wornig, forwards Austin Kamer and Tristan Mullin plus defenceman Jeremy LeClerc. In the 2nd break, a feature with BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale on his thoughts as we near the midway mark of the season. Brock Sawyer will join us after 60 in the post-game show with a player of his choosing.

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STATSGame: Cowichan Valley Capitals vs Powell River Kings
Arena: Hap Parker Arena
Puck Drop: 7:15pm
Broadcast: Starts at 6:55pm
95.7 Coast FM in Powell River
Kings Broadcast Network
FastHockey PPV Video

NUMBERSKings Record: 14-10-0-1 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 14-8-1-3 (2nd Island)

TRENDSThe Kings are coming off arguably their most successful weekend of the season after picking up 5 of a possible 6 points during a tough Interior road trip in Chilliwack, Merritt and Prince George. The trip featured a very solid 60 in Chilliwack that didn’t go the Kings way, the team’s 1st win in Merritt since 2010 and a sweep of the Spruce Kings. The Kings have taken points in each of their last 4 games, winning 3.

Cowichan Valley have had an up and down last couple of weeks, but are coming off a 5-3 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Wednesday. The team is 5-3-0-1 through November and 2-1-0-1 in their last 4 games. The Caps also had a Interior road trip this month, winning in Trail and Merritt (in OT), but dropping a one-goal game in Penticton to go 2-1.

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  • If ever there was a case to call a pair of games an 8-point weekend, this is it. Powell River, chasing Cowichan in the standings and within striking distance. Let’s set up what’s on the line. A pair of wins, or a win and a tie would have the Kings leapfrog the Caps for 2nd spot in the Island Division, while a pair of wins could also have them overtake Nanaimo, but they’d need Nanaimo to have their 4-game win streak snapped (and then some). Cowichan is the focus this weekend, and a pair of wins would put the Kings 1 up with 1 in hand nearing the midway point of the season.
  • The season series has been anything but confidence inspiring from a Powell River perspective. 4 games in and still searching for their first point, let alone a first win. A building that the Kings have owned in recent seasons was the venue for 4 of the team’s most lacklustre performances this year, with the 7-5 loss being the only real bright spot where the Kings can point to some good things happening. The Kings have been outscored 21-9 in the 4 games thus far, including spotting the Caps an 8-2 advantage in the 1st periods alone.
  • With the numbers above, no surprise to see that the Kings haven’t led in a game against Cowichan this year. Not only haven’t the Kings led, they’ve trailed for over 90% of the 240 minutes played to date.
  • On that note, the first goal and playing with a lead is so important for the Kings. The wins in Merritt and Prince George were the first games this season where the Kings failed to get the first goal but still win the game (now 2-7). This opposed to scoring the first goal, 12-3-0-1.
  • If the Kings are going to get back into this season series and eye to even it up, the top 4 will have to do a lot more. As of this game, the Kings top 4 scorers (Halagian, Betts, Mullin and Turnbull) have combined for 1 goal against Cowichan. Their counterparts in red, white and blue (Kehoe, Osczevski, Burton and Meek) have notched 8-10-18 against Powell River.
  • On team scoring, the Kings are led in the season series by Liam Lawson (3-0-3), Chris Protopoulos (1-2-3) and Jeremy LeClerc (2-1-3).
  • Enough stats. Let’s look ahead to the game. The Kings are as close to healthy as they can be. Curtis McCarrick missed Sunday’s game in Prince George with a minor injury, but he has been skating with the club all week. While a few players have been carrying minor knocks through the season, the Kings have been very active and very quick to manage them and use all 22 players to do so. The return on the back end of Colton Sandberg gives the Kings flexibility, while up front McCarrick and Liam Lawson (who also missed Sunday) should be available for selection on Friday night.
  • This opens up the possibility of both 12-6 and 11-7, with a final decision likely not to come until warmup. The Kings rolled both formations to success over the weekend with 12-6 in Merritt and 11-7 in Prince George.
  • Cowichan had a big absence from their roster on Wednesday against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs…that was defenceman Carter Cochrane (younger brother of former King, Tanner). Cochrane is reportedly practicing with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants this week, so his status both short and long term with the Capitals isn’t 100% clear, at least from the outside looking in.
  • Also different for the Caps will be in net. While Storm Phaneuf has started and won all 4 games, the Caps have Lane Michasiw back for them. He has been out for the bulk of the season with mono, returning only recently. It does give the Caps options, however I’d expect to see Phaneuf on Friday.
  • For the Kings, neither Jeff Smith (0-3 in 102:57) or Stefan Wornig (0-1 in 136:43) have had much luck with the Caps.

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 our pre-game show we’ll talk with Kent Lewis about the season series, plus a look back at the weekend road trip and the positives to take from it.. We’ll also talk with Bob Beatty about why he feels his team has been successful against Powell River this year. In the 1st intermission, we’ll have chats with Kyle Betts and Carter Turnbull on the WJAC Selection Camp, plus Tristan Mullin on dealing with NCAA distractions. In the 2nd break, we’ll break down 4 games so far with Caps broadcaster Jeff Sargeant. Brock Sawyer will join us after 60 in the post-game show.

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STATSGame: Powell River Kings vs Chilliwack Chiefs
Arena: Prospera Centre
Puck Drop: 7:00pm
Broadcast: Starts at 6:40pm
95.7 Coast FM in Powell River
Kings Broadcast Network
FastHockey PPV Video

NUMBERSKings Record: 12-10-0-0 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 15-5-1-2 (1st Mainland)

TRENDS

The Kings continued their Jekyll and Hyde play through the latter stages of October and into November on Friday night. 3 days removed from a sluggish and disappointing 5-2 loss to Victoria, the Kings scored 9 and had their highest offensive output in a game since February 2012 in a 9-3 win over Langley.

The Chilliwack Chiefs are the 2nd hottest team in the BCHL, riding a 9-game winning streak. Most recently, a 4-1 win last weekend over the Prince George Spruce Kings.

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  • Lets start with the Kings and that result last Friday night. 9 goals from 8 different goal scorers (Betts was the only multiple), 14 of the 18 skaters getting points, 11 of the 12 forwards, and a massive confidence boost for a club that sorely needed it. Now the challenge will be to ensure that it’s more than just a flash in the pan. Certainly the 6-2 win over Prince George was thought to be a confidence boosting, slump busting result…but that didn’t happen the following Tuesday.
  • 3 games in 2 and a half days is a daunting task and this is the first road trip of its kind this year. Yes the Kings have done 3-in-3’s, but they’re a little different when you can set up in a hotel on the Island and each game almost feels like a home one. This time it’s a lot of travel and a lot of different stops along the way that add a bit of challenge. Looks for the vets to lead by example. Everyone last year did this exact same Chilliwack, Merritt, PG road trip where the Kings went 1-2.
  • Tonight’s game will be an interesting test for both teams. As noted for the Kings, they’re looking to get on a roll and test themselves against one of the top teams in the BCHL. For the Chiefs, they’ll put their streak on the line against a resurgent Kings squad. 9 games in a row is no easy feat but the Chiefs have taken full advantage of a struggling Mainland Division. Out of the 9 games, only 3 (Salmon Arm, Langley and Wenatchee) are against teams with 500+ records. The others coming against Surrey (4), Alberni, and Prince George.
  • What’s interesting about the Chiefs is that their style of play, at least the numbers their play is generating, in comparison to Chiefs teams of past years. Typically Chilliwack plays a physical style of game, but this year and particularly over the 9-game streak, the Chiefs have been saintly. They’ve taken 5 penalties in their last 4 games, including last weekend against Prince George where the Spruce King powerplay failed to get an opportunity. In the streak, the Chiefs are 13/16 on the kill and 6/6 in November (5 games).
  • Powerplay for both clubs is clipping along. The Kings have scored in their last 4 games for the first time this season, while the Chiefs are 7/37 in their streak and 20% in November. They’re not scoring a lot, 2 goals in their last 4 games, but the efficiency is good.
  • Watch for the Chiefs 3 leading scorers tonight, Viktor Sukumaran, Darian Craighead and Jordan Kawaguchi…although there has been a rumour that Sukumaran might be out…we’ll see come game time. Even so, Kawaguchi was a big bright spot on the Chiefs team last year and Darian Craighead has always played well against Powell River during his time in Cowichan.
  • Final point, despite 3 players with more points than Kings leading scorer Nick Halagian, both teams have 11 players with 10 or more points on the season.

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 our pre-game show we’ll talk with Kent Lewis about the test for the Kings tonight against one of the league’s top teams. We’ll also talk with Jason Tatarnic about this different style of Chiefs club. In the 1st intermission, we’ll have chats with Kyle Betts, Liam Lawson and Jeremy LeClerc. In the 2nd break, our alumni series continues with former Kings captain JJ Coleshaw, now at the University of Regina. Brock Sawyer will join us after 60 in the post-game show.

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STATSGame: Langley Rivermen vs Powell River Kings
Arena: Hap Parker Arena
Puck Drop: 7:15pm
Broadcast: Starts at 6:55pm
95.7 Coast FM in Powell River
Kings Broadcast Network
FastHockey PPV Video

NUMBERSKings Record: 11-10-0-0 (3rd Island)
Opposition Record: 12-9-0-0 (3rd Mainland)

TRENDSAfter snapping a 6-game losing skid against Prince George a week ago today, the Kings slipped right back into some bad habits en route to a 5-2 loss on home ice against the Victoria Grizzlies. The Kings have lost 7 of their last 8 games.

The Langley Rivermen are entrenched in a battle with Chilliwack and Wenatchee in the top half of the Mainland Division, but are beginning to drop away and currently sit 5 points back of both clubs for the Division lead. Langley are themselves mired in a funk, dropping their last 3 games including a pair at home last weekend to Salmon Arm and Coquitlam. Their last wins were a pair back to back against the Surrey Eagles at the start of the month by 5-2 and 10-4 scores.

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  • Before we get to the game, it’s Teddy Bear Toss night at the Hap Parker Arena. Bring stuffed animals, teddy bears, toques, gloves, scarves or other winter wear and throw it onto the ice when the Kings score their first goal tonight. It’s a very fun atmosphere with lots of anticipation leading up to the first goal. Thankfully, Kings fans haven’t had to wait long in recent years and that will hopefully be the case tonight. Jonny Evans got the goal last season on some nice forechecking from Liam Lawson and Hunter Findlater. Jarryd Leung the year prior.

  • Sticking with the Teddy Bear Toss theme, as noted on Facebook yesterday, this isn’t the first time in recent history the Kings and Rivermen have met on this occasion. Two seasons ago, the Kings (and Rocco) visited the Langley Events Centre for their Teddy Bear Toss game. Jarid Lukosevicius opened the scoring on a beauty shorthanded and a small section of Kings fans started throwing their bears…tempting a few Rivermen faithful to throw as well. Of course it’s typically the first HOME goal, but it made for a bit of a funny moment.

  • To the game itself. No secret here but it’s been a tough but short week for the Kings. The team skated hard both Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for tonight’s game and that’s the sort of preparation you can afford when you’ve got only 60 minutes on the schedule this weekend. Despite the tough pair of practices, the group remains up beat and positive with a feeling that it’s a group more than capable of turning this around. As one eloquent poster on Facebook pointed out, yes things are a bit messy right now, but this team is full of talent…it’s there, we’ve seen it.
  • As Kent Lewis mentioned on Tuesday’s pre-game show, the Kings are relatively healthy at the moment. Only Colton Sandberg remains the automatic scratch, but he’s getting closer to returning from a lower body injury and started skating with the club in practice this week. It makes choices tough for the staff to decide who goes and who doesn’t. Jeremey Leipsic and Hunter Findlater sat on Friday and Tuesday respectively.
  • Hockey is a team game, but I think you can look back and see that Jeff Smith battled on Tuesday against the Grizzlies. While the support wasn’t there for the most part in front of him, he’ll tell you that goals in the 1st and 2nd periods were ones that he would normally have nabbed. Even after those, he didn’t seem overly comfortable so expect a bounceback game from him. If there’s been a constant in Smith’s game through now 1 and a third seasons in Powell River, it’s his ability to rebound after a tough break, a rough game or a bad bounce. You saw that embodied in his and the team’s response following the 2-2 goal last Friday against Prince George.
  • Anytime you see Langley show up on the schedule, you know you’re in for a physical game. They’re a rough and tough team that hit and skate hard. To their credit they’ve riden that line well this season as the last 3 years the team has been 1st, 2nd and 4th in most times shorthanded. Into action tonight, they sit 9th at an even 100 though that’s still 30 more than the Kings have had in the same number of games.
  • Of those 100 opportunities the Rivermen have conceded on 22 of them, coming in at 78% on the kill and 13th spot in the league. The Kings are 13/70 (81.43% and 9th). It spells potential opportunity for a Powell River powerplay which seems to have gotten some sort of mojo going the last 3 games, scoring 5 times in that span including one against the Grizzlies (ranked 2nd) on Tuesday.
  • Finally on a bit of a personal note, tonight is game #300 for me with Powell River (regular season and playoffs). A big thank you to Kent Lewis and the Kings staff and players for their support and encouragement over the last 4 and a bit years, and to the fans and listeners who tune in and watch/listen to the media that I help create and distribute. It’s cliche, but I really couldn’t have asked for a better spot to call games in the BCHL.

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 our pre-game show we’ll talk with Kent Lewis on this short week in practice. In the 1st intermission, we’ll have chats with Jonny Evans about returning to the lineup the last 2 games, and his recollection of the Teddy bear toss goal last season that he scored. We’ll also talk with Curtis McCarrick on his unique memories of the Rivermen and finally Kyle Betts and Rylan Ball on the return of the Kings powerplay. In the 2nd break, we’ll catch up with another King alumni who has connections to scoring a Teddy Bear Toss goal…Ohio State University senior Craig Dalrymple will talk on that and his collegiate career. Brock Sawyer will join us after 60 in the post-game show.

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