POWELL RIVER, B.C. – His team is 3-0 to start the BCHL season and has the second stingiest defence in league, but Powell River Kings head coach Tyler Kuntz isn’t satisfied.
“(We were) all over the place; good at times, terrible at times, okay at times, but not near where we want to be,” Kuntz said, after the Kings posted back-to-back, 4-2 wins over the Nanaimo Clippers at Hap Parker Arena last weekend.
“I would say winning was good and for us… we’ve got lots of work to do.”
Kuntz was hesitant to point out the play of one player in particular, but rather assessed the team as a whole.
“Everybody kind of catches your eye right now, both ways, good and bad,” he said. “There are lots of teachable moments, I guess, for the players. The importance for them right now is to bring that compete and to play hard, and then they’ll give themselves a chance when they do that. When they don’t, then there are lots of other issues.”
But the Kings are off to a much-needed quick start – and that’s what matters most in a 58-game season that will most assuredly have its ups and downs.
“We’re sitting in a decent spot and there are teams right now that aren’t,” Kuntz said. “We’re definitely not taking for granted that we have three wins in the bank. We’re obviously happy that we have those (wins) but at the same time we’re definitely not resting on the fact that we’ve won three hockey games. We’ve got a long way to go.”
Sept. 14 – Kings 4, Nanaimo Clippers 2
The Kings trailed 2-1 near the midway point of the final frame, before tallying the final three goals of the night.
Liam Lytton tied the score at two goals apiece at the 9:42 mark of the third period before Ben Berard tallied his second and third goals of the night to cap the scoring.
Berard notched the winner with 3:04 to go in regulation, and then added an empty netter with 1:12 to remaining.
Kings netminder Mitch Adamyk stopped 22 of 24 shots fired his way.
Sept. 15 – Kings 4, Nanaimo Clippers 2
Game two of the back-to-back doubleheader at the Hap was almost an instant replay of Friday’s contest, as the Kings erased a 2-1 third period deficit with three unanswered goals.
Ryan Brushett with his second of the night tied the score at the 4:59 mark of the third, and just when the game looked destined for overtime, Kyle Kawamura snapped the 2-2 deadlock with 1:33 to go in regulation.
Neal Samanski added an insurance marker with 49 seconds to play.
The Kings outshot the Clippers 40-25.
Next up for the Kings is the BCHL Showcase at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre.
The Kings will look go continue their season long unbeaten streak on Thursday at 4 p.m., when they take on the 1-3 Coquitlam Express.
Then, on Friday morning at 10 a.m., the Kings are back on the Prospera ice to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters.