VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – The Powell River Kings gave the Victoria Grizzlies a royal thrashing midway through the Kings’ road trip last weekend.
Coming off a 3-1 loss to the host Cowichan Valley Kings on Friday, the Kings went into Victoria’s Q Centre and eviscerated the Grizzlies’ defence and goaltending en route to a 12-5 victory.
The Kings scored on 30 percent of their 37 shots and built leads of 6-1 after the first period and 11-2 after 40 minutes.
Down by nine, the Grizzlies were better in the third frame, outscoring the Kings 3-1 to close out the night.
And even though they filled the Grizzlies’ net with 12 pucks, the Kings’ scoring was spread out.
Rowan Miller, Matt Fawcett, and Mitchell Williams each scored twice with singles coming off the sticks of Neal Samanski, Ryan Brushett, Ben Thomas, Kyle Kawamura, Ethan Schmunk, and Ryan Pouliot.
Kings coach Tyler Kuntz noted that the Grizzlies were missing their starting goaltender Kurtis Chapman to injury, and the Powell River snipers took advantage.
“Chapman has a .950 save percentage,” Kuntz said. “So 95 percent of the time he’s stopping it (the puck).”
And on top of facing an inexperienced goalie in the Grizz’s net, the Kings pounced on their opportunities.
Kuntz said in their 13 previous outings going into Saturday, the Kings had only been out-chanced on one occasion.
“The law of averages would say, ‘Man, it’s gotta start going our way a little bit, right?’ We’re getting tons of scoring chances and sometimes only scoring one or two goals, so it’s also a little bit of that. It started to average out.”
Some of the goals were soft, but Kuntz pointed out that the Kings did have four breakaways during the game while also cashing in on some two-on-ones.
“We got a little lucky,” Kuntz said. “I think we’re good enough to take advantage of the luck.”
Kings 2, Nanaimo Clippers 1
The Kings capped the trip with a 2-1 win over the Nanaimo Clippers at Frank Crane Arena on Sunday.
After a scoreless opening frame, the Kings built a 2-1 lead and then hung on for a one-goal victory against the Clippers.
Brushett and Jayden Lee scored the Kings goals. Lee’s marker, scored 1:48 into the third period, proved to be the winner.
The Clippers‘ Gunnar Wegleitner spoiled Kings’ goalie Hayden Missler’s shutout bid when he found the net with 7:53 to go in regulation.
“We were short bodies and playing AP’s and it was an afternoon game, so you’re playing three games in two-and-a-half days, and they (the Clippers) were a better team than they were,” Kuntz said. “They changed their whole roster, pretty much. Their skill is better and they skate better than they did at the start of the year when we saw them in Powell River.”
It boiled down to the Kings sticking to the process, skating hard, and getting good goaltending.
All three came together, translating into the Kings’ ninth win of the campaign.
ICE CHIPS: The Kings (9-6, good for second in the BCHL’s Island Division) are back in action on Oct. 26 and 27 when they host Vernon and Nanaimo, respectively, at Hap Parker Arena.
Saturday’s game against Vernon starts at 7:00 p.m. while Sunday’s match-up versus the Clippers gets underway at 5:00 p.m.