Archive for the ‘Game Recaps’ Category


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The Kings got goals from 5 different players en route to a 6-3 victory against the Merritt Centennials and the Kings first win at the Nicola Valley Arena since 2010/2011.

  • In many ways, a very similar game to Chilliwack 24 hours prior. But in just as many ways a very different game. Different in the sense of the styles. More whistles, more icings/offsides that were called, more penalties, messier play as teams skated in a rink that’s 3/4 the size of the ice the Kings played on last night. The same in the fact that the Kings dominated the first 40 and held on for dear life in the 3rd. Tonight the Kings got the victory, but it wasn’t as easy or as desisive as it should have been.
  • Merritt opened the scoring, but the Kings quickly countered. It was almost as if the opening 3 minutes was a lesson in school and Nick Fiorentino’s goal was the bell to dismiss the class. From that point on, Powell River was consistently the better team (at least through 40). They adapted well to their confines and skated like a club that had played in ice that small many times before.
  • On Merritt opening the scoring, the 6-3 win is now the first time this season the Kings have won when conceding first. Now 1-7.
  • Lets get to the 3rd as Merritt came out of the room firing and really took it to the Kings. Credit them for the push back as they were determined not to be beaten soundly in their own building. They skated better, won races to pucks and took advantage of a Kings team that had switched off in a lot of areas.
  • Jeff Smith the difference in the 3rd period. He battled and was stellar in the final frame, making a couple of point blank stops on guys like Gavin Gould and Collin Grannery. As Brock Sawyer says below, could have been a 5-5 game going to overtime if not for 1 in net.
  • Good for Jake Kohlhauser to find the back of the net. The heater to my broadcast right blocks that end of the ice without some maneuveuring and I didn’t see that he had scored with a second remaining. He gets a pair, taking his tally to 3 and we saw a more offensive Kohlhauser take a few tips from Nick Nonis in the way that he jumped into the rush and created opportunities.
  • All of the above is all ok, but what really propelled the Kings to victory tonight? Ugly Christmas sweaters. A few of the Kings getting in on the act for a team contest, including Assistant Coach Brock Sawyer.

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

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Austin Kamer (Kings) – 1 goal, game winner
  2. Jake Kohlhauser (Kings) – 2 goals, 1 assist
  3. Tyler Ward (Centennials) – 1 goal

The Kings wrap their road trip on Sunday afternoon against the Prince George Spruce Kings, a 3:00pm puck drop. In the lone game against Prince George this season, the Kings won 6-2 at the Hap a couple of weeks ago.

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They played well enough to win, they put themselves in a position to win, but the result wouldn’t go the Kings way as they lost in overtime for the first time this season, and helped Chilliwack’s streak to 10 on the back of a 3-2 result at Prospera on Friday night.

  • We used the term “heartbreaking not disappointing” in the post game show (below). The result is heartbreaking, but how we got here isn’t disappointing. The Kings certainly played more than well enough to win and with a go ahead goal with 3:01 remaining, they did everything they needed to, to get the result.
  • 1st period and we went about 4:30 without a whistle and that would signal what we had to come in the 55:30 ahead. The Kings certainly established themselves well off the opening draw, immediately going in on the offense. Turnbull gets a bit of a weak goal on an opportunistic shot and the Kings are full of confidence going into the room 1-0.
  • The 2nd period, for my money, stands up as one of the best 20’s the Kings have played this season. It was as close to total dominance as it gets. Twice did the Kings execute a long offensive zone change, pinning Chilliwack in their own zone so much so that Chiefs boss Jason Tatarnic was forced to call his time out on an icing call midway through. The timeout didn’t phase the Kings as they went straight back to work.
  • What hurt in the 2nd was the radio timeout which was extended due to a pane of glass popping out of its spot, bringing the rink crew on the ice. The Chiefs got a chance to rest, the Kings stopped moving and much like the opening 5 minutes of the 1st indicated what we could expect moving forward, the resumption of play saw Chilliwack start to get themselves back into the game.
  • They get rewarded with a really fortunate goal, not unlike the luck the Kings got for the 1-0 tally. Jordan Kawaguchi blocks a shot and the rebound off the legs falls beautifully in his skating track down the left wing, he makes a nice move and all of a sudden the Chiefs tie it up against the run of play.
  • The 3rd period was where the Kings became a little passive, battled the puck consistently and weren’t able to generate the same emotion and intensity they did through the opening 40…almost out of gas it seemed, which I know isn’t the case in game 1 of a weekend.
  • Mullin’s go ahead marker was as greasy and gritty as they come and really should have stood up as the game winner. Credit Chilliwack for pushing, but the Kings really let this one slip with shot blocking and D-zone coverage to allow the 2-2 goal with 30.1 seconds remaining.
  • How many times did we say tonight “through the top of the crease” or “through the low slot” to describe a pass coming out from the corner or goal line. Well, one too many as the Chiefs tried that play all night long to no success…but it winds up leading to a game winner as Jordan Kawaguchi made a nice pass into the low slot to find a stick and a game winner.
  • The biggest take away from tonight’s game? Boy the Kings were good and deserved a better fate. Credit the Chiefs, they’ve won 10 in a row for a reason, but the Kings will certainly look to turn heartbreak into two points in Merritt. Heads up after this one.

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

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Jordan Kawaguchi (Chiefs) – 1 goal, 2 assists
  2. Jeff Smith (Kings) – 31 saves
  3. Darian Craighead (Chiefs) – 1 goal, game winner

The Kings fall to 12-10-0-1 and drop in overtime for the first time this season. The road trip continues Saturday in Merritt against the Centennials, 7:30pm puck drop.

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Kyle Betts had a pair, including the Teddy Bear Toss goal, and led 8 different goal scorers as the Powell River Kings found their offensive touch by routing the Langley Rivermen 9-3 on Friday night

  • What a night from start to finish. If you were at the game on Friday night you got your money’s worth…12 goals, 90 shots and some fast-paced wild action end to end. That doesn’t count the several near misses and mad scrambles that went both ways. Might take a few days to process everything that went on tonight through 60 minutes.
  • Kyle Betts gets “the goal”. He breaks a nice pattern that had developed with a veteran (Dalrymple), rookie (Hiff), veteran (Leung), rookie (Evans) scoring the previous 4. Betts capped off a nice rush down the ice by Curtis McCarrick and Tristan Mullin, who eventually teed up Betts at 1:22. That line was very very good all night…but to be fair, that’s something that could have been said about all four forward lines tonight.
  • Jake Kohlhauser finally gets his goal. I waited an extra moment to make sure this was his, but a shot off the left point from a faceoff found the back of the net past Bo Didur a week to the day after we thought he had his first.

  • To continue on the scoring trend, every line got into the action tonight. Carter Turnbull was the only forward not to register a point as the scoresheet sands right now, however it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Lawson, Betts and Mullin all had 3-point nights, McCarrick and Halagian had pairs while everyone else outside of Turnbull, LeClerc, Long and Nonis were held off. I said it on air, but you could really substitute just about anyone for the 3 stars tonight…everyone contributed.
  • Credit the Langley Rivermen for not quitting. A 9-3 scoreline isn’t reflective to the chances they had or how this game could have gone if certain bounces had worked their way. How many times tonight did we see pucks in the slot hop over sticks, or passes into the crease get caught in skates?
  • Defensively, the Kings were pretty good. Not great, but enough. 9 goals will win you way more games than you lose, but the Kings got away from things a little in the 3rd period when the Rivermen pushed and got the game within 3. The Kings stopped skating, stopped controlling the play and struggled to stay with Langley as they got two quick ones.
  • Also defensively, 3 goals isn’t flattering for Jeff Smith but boy was he very very good. 47 saves is his busiest night in quite some time…since his shutout of the Wenatchee Wild in October. It is however the 1st time this season he’s faced 50 shots, beating out the 48 by Nanaimo in September.
  • The powerplay clicked again, 1/3 and scoring in the 4th straight game…the longest streak of the season. It took until the 3rd period with Betts’ 2nd but it now marks 6 goals in 4 straight games on 18 opportunities.
  • Offensively, the 9 goals is the highest output of the season in a single game, bettering the 7 put up against Alberni and Coquitlam in September. It’s also the most number of goals scored in a game by the Kings since February 2012 when the Kings beat a dismantled and undermanned Victoria Grizzlies 13-1. The Kings also beat them 10-2 in Victoria earlier that season. The Kings put up 8 goals on 4 separate occasions last season.

Here’s what Kyle Betts, Nick Halagian and Brock Sawyer had to say in the post game show:

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Kyle Betts (Kings) – 2 goals, 1 assist, Teddy Bear Toss goal
  2. Tristan Mullin (Kings) – 1 goal, 2 assists
  3. Jeff Smith (Kings) – 47 saves, 10th win

The Kings are now idle until Friday when they hit the road for 3 games in 2 and a half days starting in Chilliwack at Prospera Centre.

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Kigns vs Prince George 11.06-0039

The Kings snapped a 6-game losing skid and collected their first points since early October with a 6-2 win over the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings, crowned by a Nick Halagian hattrick.

  • Just on a personal note before we get to the game. Those who watch the video above, obviously my error on 2 out of the 3 goals. The first was pretty messy, and my first instinct was that Evans had thrown it from below the net, it had come off a Spruce King leg and as the defender fell to the ice, he pushed it in. What I obviously missed was a touch from Hally in close. On the 2nd, there was a very obvious noise, but Halagian’s unselfishness in pointing to Kohlhauser the way that he did made me think it was a Spruce King deflection. No excuse, but reasoning for taking away two of Nick’s markers tonight.
  • Onto the game and boy was it a weird one. Let’s go through the three goals that left us scratching our heads tonight. The first one was above, off legs in the paint and an overplay on the wrap around by Sam Tanguay in net for Prince George. The 2nd was in the 2nd period with Evans, again down low throwing it towards the net and banking it off a Spruce King skate and in. The 3rd was the dump in from PG’s Alex Stoley that rimmed around the boards and stranded Jeff Smith behind thanks to that seam/hinge/bump by the zamboni doors. Just odd circumstances for all three.
  • The Kings got reinforcements back for the game. Carter Turnbull, Jonny Evans and Nick Halagian all missed Sunday in Cowichan and they must have spent the game talking about teaming up because all three were united during the week in practice and hit the ground running Friday night. Turnbull a snipe short side from a tough angle was the game’s 1st goal. Then Halagian and Evans went to work. All told, the line combined for 9 points (Turnbull 1-1, Evans 1-1, Halagian 3-2).
  • Everyone bought it tonight and it was one of the first times in a long time that the Kings truly rolled 4 lines with the “fourth line” of Lawson-Findlater-Rauser seeing regular action in the 3rd. Rauser rewarded for a nice move on the left wing for his 4th of the season. Lawson threatened all night and Findlater looked better than he has in the last few weeks.
  • Not a bad night for the blue line either. Ball, Kohlhauser and Stevens all registering a pair of assists, LeClerc had 1 assist, Nonis made some really nice plays and jumped up offensively almost scoring, while Jack Long got his first Junior A fight out of the way in a nice tustle with Cavin Tilsley.
  • There seemed to be a real “pissed off” attitude with the group tonight, a club that was going to take no prisoners en route to victory. Not in a dirty sense, but the Kings showed no give. Jarod Hovde comes through the crease and makes contact with Smith, he steps up and gets in Hovde’s face. It happened a 2nd time, same response. Jack Long gets run from behind, he steps up and gets in Tilsley’s face, leading to the fight. “Attitude” might be a better word for it…it was nice to see.
  • Powerplay goes 2-for in the 2nd straight game…2/8. Again, the first time that’s happened since back to back 7-goal wins (7-0 and 7-2) in September. 4th time this season the Kings have scored multiple on the powerplay in a single game. Unfortunately though, a Kings powerplay which jumped more than a percentage point with the 2/8 effort, falls to 16th in the league, ahead of only Victoria.
  • From a Prince George perspective, despite the 6 goals against, their goaltender Sam Tanguay was very nearly 3rd star tonight. This game is a rout without him in net as he made several highlight reel saves. I had him penciled into that 3rd star spot for that reason heading into the 3rd period.

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

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Nick Halagian (Kings) – 3 goals, 2 assists
  2. Jonny Evans (Kings) – 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Jeremy LeClerc (Kings) – 1 assist

The Kings have a couple of days off before entertaining the Victoria Grizzlies on Tuesday night at the Hap Parker Arena, a 7:00pm puck drop.

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Credit: Garrett James (Twitter: @garrettjames22)

Lots of slumps were broken on Sunday. Chris Protopoulos got his 1st, the powerplay clicked for a pair, the Kings got their biggest offensive output since Wenatchee…but the result was the same with the Kings dropping their 6th straight contest, a 7-5 result in Duncan against the Caps.

  • There’s Chris Protopoulos’ first BCHL goal after 18 games of close calls and near misses. The goal showcased Proto’s two biggest assets which are his speed and his quick release. Speed to get to the puck and make it look like he was the only one skating off the faceoff, then the hands to make a move and release past the goalie. Not a bad celebration in the corner either and I imagine a massive relief for the rookie.
  • Finally….we can talk about powerplay goals. We talked a lot about the 196:27 between goals that got snapped this past week, but another slump that was developing in the background. The powerplay had gone 0/21 since the last goal and that was snapped on the 2nd chance of the game when Jeremy LeClerc lobbed a puck on goal and found something 5-hole. The Kings added another in the 2nd through a nice re-direct by Mitchell Hawes and all of a sudden a struggling powerplay that had limped along had its 3rd multi-goal night of the season and 1st since the Showcase. It helps the percentage a little and the Kings move up to 15.79% (from 14.14) and 15th (up from 16th) in the league standings. Baby steps.
  • On the powerplay, no doubt the message from the coaches this week will be “look at how simple that was”. LeClerc get a shot to net and gets lucky, but if it didn’t go it, it could have very well generated a rebound or caused some panic. On Hawes’ goal, a Rylan Ball point shot that found a stick in front. Simple plays, not over complicating things.
  • Good news from the game is that the Kings scored 5 goals, something they haven’t done since the 6 in Wenatchee last month. That’s more than enough to win at this level but the defensive side of the game let the team down on Sunday. Of the first 3 goals, too much time and space were granted Capital defencemen to make plays. Mitch Meek teeing up Ayden MacDonald for the 1st goal, Carter Cochrane skating in for the 3rd. You have to wonder if those gaps are closed up, is this a different result? Hindsight is always 20/20.
  • Good for Liam Lawson to have a bit of a breakout game and to have his first multi-goal game in the BCHL. His 2nd showed some pretty hands too, walking off the wall. That’ll be a big confidence booster moving forward.
  • On the defence again, a couple of players had rough games. Rylan Ball battled the puck early but got better as the game went on. Andy Stevens looked far from his confident, striding self. I thought Nick Nonis made some very good plays and was more aggressive in his skating when jumping into the rush, but also got himself caught a couple of times. It’s frustrating to see in pieces what this team can do defensively, it’s a very dangerous unit, but often to comes at the expense of other areas. If/when it’s all put back together again, it’ll be a very very fun team to watch.
  • Still with the defence, Jack Long finally lines up all the pins and gets a near perfect 10 for this hip check on Caps leading scorer Ryan Burton.

  • The game winner is one that’ll sting for a while for the Kings and Stefan Wornig. He came into the game saying how much he hated playing in Cowichan and hearing their goal horn…despite playing very well at the Island Savings Centre through his career. A dump in from the Caps was a half volley for Wornig who was caught in two mins and ended up maybe being in the worst spot for it. It came off the top of his pad or blocker and sat out in front for Luke Santerno to slide it home. Back breaking and for that to stand up as the game winner really hurts.

No post-game show yesterday due to a bit of a mess with the ferries. The Kings had to book it out of the ISC to even have a shot at making the last boat, so Brock Sawyer turned bag boy and was carrying equipment out of the rink in an effort to load the bus. Then some mechanical/operational issues caused some havoc at the terminal. Ultimately, everyone got home eventually but at the expense of a post-game show chat with the coach.

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Carter Cochrane (Capitals) – 1 goal, 3 assists
  2. Ayden MacDonald (Capitals) – 2 goals
  3. Liam Lawson (Kings) – 2 goals

The Kings wrap a real busy portion of their schedule with a lot of time spent away from the Hap. They’ll now not only get a chance to head home, but to also slow down. 3 games in 18 days are ahead for this team to focus on winning and heal up. Expect Nick Halagian back on Friday, same with Carter Turnbull. Jonny Evans is skating and close. Colton Sandberg is a couple of weeks back.

Next up, the Kings host Chad van Diemen and the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday night at the Hap, 7:15pm puck drop.

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Austin Kamer provided the lone highlight for the Kings en route to the team’s 8th loss of the season and 5th in as many games, a 3-1 score against the Victoria Grizzlies on Thursday night.

  • It’s sounding like a broken record. Not ready, not committed and not complete. Even without 3 goals inside 8 and a half minutes like on Wednesday, the Kings fell behind early shots on goal 6-1 thanks to a powerplay for the Grizzlies and several failed and weak clears that kept the Grizzlies north of centre.
  • The puck control and use of it was a constant theme throughout the evening. As we talk below, a lot of passes were just nowhere near tonight. Lots in skates, lots behind players, in front of players, to the side of players. What passes were on the tape were bobbled or fought. And what passes were bought in clean were quickly poked, swatted and otherwise dispatched by Grizzlies defencemen.
  • Tough night in goal from Jeff Smith who was the victim of a Kings team in front of him who made some key defensive errors. Individually though he didn’t look overly comfortable as the evening went on when you compare him to his very lofty usual standards.
  • Scoring woes continue. Just one goal on the night from Austin Kamer as the Kings buried right after the expiration of a powerplay. The goal obviously doesn’t help out with special teams as the Kings go 0/3, now 2/31 in the team’s last 12 and 0/19 since the last goal on the man advantage.

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

The Kings return to Powell River on Friday and then head back to Vancouver Island for a day trip on Sunday to take on the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the Island Savings Centre.

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The Kings found their scoring touch, but it was at a point where the game was ultimately beyond reach in a 6-3 loss to the Capitals on Wednesday night.

  • 23 seconds, 4:18 and 8:26 and it’s 3-0. A disaster start for the Kings who conceded on shots 1, 3 and 5 from the Capitals who chased Jeff Smith from the goal. Simply not ready from the get go and Cowichan clearly playing for the top of the division. Two of the three were a case of the Kings D just standing completely still and having guys go through them.
  • On this, a very frustrated Smith went to the bench after getting the pull. You get the sense there was equal frustration at himself and the guys in front of him with the early goals and the nature that they were allowed.
  • Sticking with goaltending, you factor in the final 50 minutes of this one, Stefan Wornig is clear and away the 1st star of the game. No-one on the ice was busier or better but his impact on a game that was pretty much gone on the scoreboard was unfortunately and ultimately negligible…but very noticible. It’s tough coming in cold for a netminder, even one like Wornig who prepares for every game like he’s starting, but he came in and stopped 31 of 33 in a very busy night.
  • Let’s fast forward to the 3rd period and a Kings side that finally woke up and it was a disallowed goal that sparked the Kings. Ruled incidental contact with the goaltender, the Kings went straight back to work, set aside the disappointment of finally scoring only to have it waved off, to score for real. A great tip by Liam Lawson cutting through the slot to stop the clock at 196:27 between goals…both scored by Lawson. 1:10 later, Kyle Betts buried an end wall rebound from an Andy Stevens blue line shot. Not long from there, Nick Nonis gets credit for a puck off Mitchell Hawes’ skate and in on a smart pinch from the defenceman and all of a sudden the Kings are in with a shot.
  • The Caps seemed to wake up after a few shifts off and made life tough the rest of the way. The back breaker though was the insurance marker via Adam Osczevski who was in the right place at the right time. Jake Kohlhauser behind his own net tried to speed play up by firing a 2 to 3 line pass to get the Kings on the attack, but it cannoned off Osczevski’s leg in front and it past a stunned Wornig and all the Kings momentum was gone. An empty netter sealed the deal.
  • The game coming up on Sunday is certain to be very interesting. We’re already seeing some bad blood develop between these two clubs as there were several hits and chops that got called tonight. Both Kohlhauser and Halagian were ejected for minor checks from behind. Osczevski also took 2 minutes for slashing the back of Nonis’ legs after the 3rd Kings goal and Ayden MacDonald was a constant thorn in the Kings side. This rivalry is simmering this season in much the same fashion as the Kings and Grizzlies or Clippers last year.
  • Powerplay “oh-for” on the night. 0/6 and now 2/38 in team’s last 11 games. PK allowed 1 goal for the 3rd straight outing (3/10) on 6 chances.
  • Good news? The Kings snap not only the shutout skid but also they outshoot an opposition team in the 1st period for the first time in 9 games. However as we talk below, that was a little misleading.

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Kade Kehoe (Capitals) – 1 goal, 1 assist
  2. Kyle Betts (Kings) – 1 goal
  3. Ryan Burton (Capitals) – 1 goal

The Kings wrap their 2-game set on Vancouver Island on Thursday night, looking to snap a 4-game skid against the Victoria Grizzlies in game 2 of the season series. Victoria won the opening contest in Victoria 2 weeks ago by a 5-2 score, a game which started the Kings 3+ hour scoreless drought.

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