Archive for the ‘Game Recaps’ Category


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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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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.

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  • 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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Two recaps in one due to a busy Saturday personally for me.

Kings vs Trail 12.11-0010

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:

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Kings vs Merritt 12.12-0015

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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Note: Technical difficulties prevented me getting video cut up after the game. This is also the reason that there will be no Three Things this week.

Kigns vs Victoria 12.06-0011

A disappointing finale to a weekend double header against the Grizzlies saw a flat Kings side drop their 4th game this season against the Grizzlies, this time by a 4-1 score.

Everything was summed up by Brock in the post-game show

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Kigns vs Victoria 12.05-0009

For the 2nd weekend in a row, the Kings opened up a double header against an Island Division foe with a big victory on home ice to earn their first points against that team this season. This time, a 5-1 decision over the Victoria Grizzlies for the Kings 1st win in 4 attempts against Victoria, and 5th victory in a row.

  • Both teams had their own setbacks heading into tonight. The Kings were without 5 regulars, with three in Calgary for Canada West Selection Camp, and another 2 on the shelf with injuries. That meant a lot of minutes but also a lot of opportunity for players to step up into roles. I thought that Liam Lawson was a natural fit for Tristan Mullin and Curtis McCarrick, and that trio was very good for their first time out in game action. Hunter Findlater also continued a good stretch for him recently.
  • On Findlater…he’s inventing ways not to score in Powell River. How close has he been, particularly against Victoria in both the 2014 playoffs and then again Saturday night. His chance in the 2nd period where he deked out the goalie only to be stopped on the goal line is as close as they come.
  • Back to the setbacks. While Powell River were shorthanded, Victoria were short prepped. A winter storm meaning ferry cancellations between Vancouver Island and Powell River sent Victoria the long way and turning a 4-5 hour travel day into a 12-13 hour one. Their arrival was delayed further by an over turned car south of Powell River which backed up traffic off the boat. They arrived at around 6:10 and were on the ice for warmup at 6:50. Did that impact the game? Probably a bit, how could it not, but it’s situations that crop up from time to time in this league which travel is certainly unique to perhaps any other league at this level.
  • The first, and I’m not sure what I saw that Brock and Tristan didn’t (see below) but I thought it was a pretty messy opening 20. Perhaps my expectations were too high going into 20 and I thought the Kings would blow Victoria out of the water considering the long travel day. Brock conceded a slow 5-10 minutes, but better as the game went on. Certainly the 2nd period with the early goal was more what my expectations were through 20. Regardless a 1-0 lead you take any day.
  • Into the 2nd and the Kings tightened the noose with a quick start and some insurance, but look at the Kings goals tonight. Lawson, a point shot and a redirect that I didn’t really appreciate at the time but was a near carbon copy of that shutout buster in Victoria in October. Evans around the net on a rebound, Halagian around the net after a dump in and regain control…all greasy, all hard work. That’s where the difference was tonight.
  • 3rd period and Tristan Mullin got involved in the game. Perhaps I was unfair, saying that he was quiet, but in honesty he was. Perhaps it was just one of those games where he did a lot of things right but didn’t get noticed…that can often be a good thing. He turned it on in the 3rd though, sealing the victory.
  • Tough for Jeff Smith. Probably should have 4-5 shutouts on the season, he’s certainly worked hard enough for them but just not meant to be. A breakdown in front spoiling that, but he’ll gladly take 31 saves and his 15th win of the season. With 15 wins from 23 appearences, Smith is on pace for a 37 win season. That of course assuming he plays as much as he has which I wouldn’t anticipate all the way through to the end of the year. Regardless, Smith is on pace to better his 2013/2014 numbers where he posted a 20-10-1 record and won the BCHL Goaltender of the Year Award. He’s 6th in save percentage, 2nd in wins, 3rd in save percentage 3rd in shots against and 4th in minutes played.

Here’s what Tristan Mullin and Brock Sawyer had to say in the post game show:

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Jeff Smith (Kings) – 31 saves
  2. Liam Lawson (Kings) – 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Tristan Mullin (Kings) – 2 goals, 1 assist

The Kings entertain the Grizzlies in the 2nd leg of the weekend double header on Sunday afternoon, a 2pm start at the Hap.

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Kigns vs Cowichan 11.27-0010

It took 5 games, but the Kings have their first points and first win as they took advantage of 6 chances on the powerplay, converting 4 times en route to a 6-1 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday night.

  • Another game, another complete team effort when it comes from scoring. Merritt saw 6 goals from 5 players…Prince George was 7 goals from 6 players and tonight 6 different players chipped in 6 different goals. Also in on the act were a couple of unlikely sources with Colton Sandberg scoring his 1st and Andy Stevens his 3rd.
  • On Colton Sandberg, he has a knack for hitting the big goals. Two goals in the BCHL, both game winners. The 2nd one tonight and that goal against Victoria in game 6 overtime during last year’s playoffs.
  • While we’re talking scoring, a couple of streaks continued tonight. Tristan Mullin notched an assist on Jonny Evans’ goal to continue his point streak, now at 6 games. Unfortunately his goal streak is snapped at 4. Curtis McCarrick now has points in 5 straight games with his goal tonight. Also Carter Turnbull moves to a 4-game point streak with a pair of assists.
  • Look at the goals the Kings scored tonight. 3 from the blue line from shots with traffic in front of the net. Sandberg, Stevens and LeClerc all through good screens and making life difficult for Storm Phaneuf, and eventually Lane Michasiw. The others for Halagian and McCarrick were greasy, messy, 12-18 inches from the net. Jonny Evans’ was the only “nice” goal scorers goal. That’s the way the Kings play, will over skill, greasy and mucky around the net. When they’ve had success they’ve owned the boards and the slot. When they lose those battles, they typically lose the game.
  • The key word tonight was discipline. We talked about it from a Kings perspective with Kent Lewis in the pre-game show, saying it was a point of pride that the Kings have largely played the right way outside of a stretch in October. We talked about it with Bob Beatty and how he feels about his team leading the league. We talked about it with Jeff Sargeant in the 2nd intermission and it continued to be the talking point into the post-game show.
  • To add to that, quite simply, the Caps showed an undisciplined streak tonight and the Kings took advantage. Into the 3rd period, the game was still very much in the balance, the Caps Kade Kehoe took a 4-minute spearing call to really set things back. That penalty was pretty much game set match as the Kings scored in both halves of it and blew the game wide open. Add on another on a 5-minute powerplay courtesy a fight and some minors that cancelled each other out and and the game was well out of reach.
  • There was certain frustration from Cowichan’s bench on the calls, reaching a boiling point in the 3rd period with the situation on Rhett Wilcox. I can only imagine the frustration stemmed from Wilcox being assessed the 5 and Halagian only getting the double minor for roughing, which was offset by the original minor and the instigator call on Wilcox following a hit on Carter Turnbull. Is there an argument to be made for the Caps? Perhaps. Halagian and Wilcox certainly seemed to engage in a fight, but you go back to the genesis of the whole situation and a clumsy his on Turnbull which started the whole thing in motion.
  • Also some frustration from the Kings tonight as well as they were on the receiving end of a few bad hits. Turnbull was one, Gavin Rauser was another and forced him from the game. I would not expect Rauser in the lineup for the next little bit as it was confirmed after the game that there is a concussion to some degree, and at minimum there’ll be a week off via protocol to ensure he’s ok.
  • Having said all that…tonight, the least penalised team in the league and the most penalised team in the league both game up 6 opportunities. The difference was the double minor on Kehoe and the 2 goals and the fact that Cowichan took themselves off two powerplays in the early going, giving us extended 4-on-4 sessions in regulation.
  • Jeff Smith very good again tonight. Broken record, but very good. A quiet beginning with the Kings dominating the 1st, with the first shot coming midway through on a 2-on-1 shorthanded break with Ayden MacDonald. The one that beats him, a bad break from a turnover in the Kings zone that eventually pinballs off some legs and trickles over the goal line. In talking with Nick Nonis who was the d-man on the play, he was pretty up beat about the game…things happen…but did note that he’s keen to make that up to Smith and there might be a lunch in the future heading the netminders way from Nonis.
  • The win pulls the Kings within 1 point of Cowichan for 2nd in the Island Division, with the Kings also holding a game in hand. The Nanaimo Clippers won tonight so it puts 1st in the Division out of reach for this weekend, however the Kings hold 2 games in hand over the Clippers and are currently 4 points back.

Here’s what Jeff Smith and Brock Sawyer had to say in the post game show:

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Jeff Smith (Kings) – 29 saves, 13th win
  2. Jonny Evans (Kings) – 1 goal, 2 assists
  3. Jeremy LeClerc (Kings) – 1 goal, 1 assist

The Kings host the Cowichan Valley Capitals in leg 2 of the double header, 5pm Saturday at the Hap Parker Arena.

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The Kings rounded out one of their toughest road trips of the season with a convincing 3rd period and a 7-3 win over Prince George, helping the team earn 5 of 6 on the weekend.

  • A great end to a near-perfect weekend for Powell River through Chilliwack, Merritt and Prince George. One thing we really highlighted following the first two games were the 3rd periods. In Chilliwack it was a slip up of just a moment but it arguably cost the Kings 2 points and in hindsight a perfect trio of games. In Merritt, it allowed the Cents back into the contest. But in Prince George, there was no such slip. Shots were 22-9 in the 3rd period in favour of the Kings, nearly doubling their totals from the opening 40 (7 and 8 respectively).
  • A bit of a slow start from both clubs. You would have expected the Spruce Kings to have a bit better of a jump having come off a big win the night prior against Salmon Arm. You could maybe anticipate some bus legs from a Powell River unit that was short on rest and long on bus miles.
  • The 2nd period really was a carbon copy of the 2nd period between these two teams in Powell River…the only difference was a 2-0 Kings lead through 20. The Spruce Kings came out, scored early and eventually added a 2nd to draw the game level, then Powell River quickly responded to retake a 2-goal lead. In Prince George, with a tie game through 20, back to back Spruce King goals were quickly snuffed out by Tristan Mullin and Jonny Evans.
  • On Tristan Mullin, a very productive weekend for him with goals in all 3 games and he’s currently on a 4-game streak.
  • And the black jerseys finally break their hoodoo and get a win. Now 1-2 in the alternates.

Here’s what Brock Sawyer had to say in the post game show

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Tristan Mullin (Kings) – 2 goals
  2. Jonny Evans (Kings) – 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Ethan de Jong (Spruce Kings)

Powell River moves to 14-10-0-1 and is 3rd in the Island Division behind both Cowichan and Nanaimo, with games in hand on the Clippers. It sets up a massive weekend this Friday and Saturday at the Hap as the Kings kick off a 6-game home stand hosting the Capitals in a pair of 4-point games.

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