An aggressive forecheck in the first period set the tone for the rest of the evening as the Kings got 8 goals from 8 different goal scorers en route to an 8-2 win over the Victoria Grizzlies on Friday night at the Hap Parker Arena.
Here are your game thoughts:
The Kings completely dominated the opening five minutes of the game, establishing a strong forecheck early shift after shift. Each line got in aggressive time in the offensive zone and generated a couple of early chances.
Credit the Grizzlies for pushing back. Minutes 6 and 7 really felt like they came into the game, but that momentum was snuffed out by Jack Long’s season opening goal. The message for the Kings defence this year is jump up and be more offensive and it showed with both Long and Volpe scoring in the first period, both through smart jumps into the play. Long on the pass from Berard to tee up the shot from the faceoff circle, and Volpe jumping into a rush and finding himself at the side of the goal for a tap in.
Four point night for Jonny Evans who picked up tonight right where he left off last year. Multi-point nights as well for Turnbull, Coblenz, Bell, Berard, Kawamura and Volpe.
On Evans, the unit of Evans, Turnbull and Obssuth caused issues all night for the Grizzlies. Obssuth skated very well for a bigger player and created a lot of space for Evans and Turnbull to work. Watch the 5-0 goal that Obssuth scored and you’ll see how dangerous this unit can be.
For Turnbull, a three point night on his 19th birthday means he passes the 100 point milestone in the BCHL (regular season). His goal also puts him at 49 career BCHL goals.
Seven debutants tonight for the Kings, with three of them scoring. Obssuth, Kawamura and Kelly all scored their first BCHL goals. Kawamura was a nice play around the net and sticking with the puck even as he got taken down, and Kelly was a bit of luck. The good thing is they don’t ask how, just how many. For eight Kings…the answer is one.
Credit Mitch Adamyk for his role in this tonight. He was very active in his crease, playing as a third defencemen at times. He also did well to stay engaged in the play when shots weren’t coming his way. 14 shots in the first two periods is tough as a goalie. He stayed the course well in the third where the Grizzlies doubled their shot totals. 16th win the BCHL for Adamyk.
Second leg of a double header is always interesting and we’ll see what Saturday brings. No doubt the Grizzlies will be upset with the way their season started and expect them to come out a different group.
Of note, Grizzlies forward Shawn O’Malley left the game in the third period after a nasty fall into the boards. Looking back on video, O’Malley gets a shot away and then receives a shoulder bump from Turnbull near the faceoff dot. O’Malley then looks to have his right leg buckle, lose balance and fall awkwardly into the boards. He headed to hospital after the game to be evaluated and had some dental injuries as well.
Watch our live video post-game show featuring Jack Long and Brock Sawyer (the interviews begin at the 11:10 mark):
The Kings and Grizzlies complete the season opening double header on Saturday night at 5:00pm from the Hap Parker Arena.