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Preview: Kings host Clippers for final homestand

The Powell River Kings (35-18-1-0) are set for their final two home games of the 2016-17 regular season as they welcome their rival Nanaimo Clippers (21-26-5-1) to the Hap Parker Arena for a double header.

The Kings are coming off a nine-day break after playing two mid-week games last week against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Victoria Grizzlies. Nanaimo meanwhile is looking to officially clinch a playoff spot in the Island Division. With 48 points as of Wednesday, all they need is three points in their final five games to eliminate the Bulldogs from playoff contention.

Powell River is looking to carry the momentum they’ve had since the Christmas break as the team is 13-2 since December 30. The run all began against the Clippers when the Kings beat them 4-1 at home, then won eight more games in a row. While it is still mathematically possible for the Kings to catch Victoria for first in the division, the odds grow slimmer by the day.

With 71 points, the Kings can finish with a maximum of 79 this season. Victoria has 77 points, and has five more games remaining. One more loss for the Kings, or one more win for Victoria, will practically guarantee the Grizzlies top spot.

This weekends games against the Clippers are the final time the two rivals will meet this season, unless Nanaimo can overtake the Cowichan Valley Capitals for third in the division. The Clippers won two of the first three meetings this season, with a 7-1 Kings win in-between, but since then Powell River has won three straight against Nanaimo. The most recent being an 8-0 drubbing at the Frank Crane Arena January 13.

Season series

September 11 Powell River Kings 2 @ Nanaimo Clippers 5
September 28 Powell River Kings 7 vs Nanaimo Clippers 1
October 8 Powell River Kings 2 @ Nanaimo Clippers 4
October 30 Powell River Kings 6 @ Nanaimo Clippers 4
December 30 Powell River Kings 4 vs Nanaimo Clippers 1
January 13 Powell River Kings 8 @ Nanaimo Clippers 0
February 17 Powell River Kings vs Nanaimo Clippers
February 18 Powell River Kings vs Nanaimo Clippers

Leading scorers

Powell River Kings
Jonny Evans 35 G 41 A 54 GP
Tristan Mullin 34 G 33 A 54 GP
Cam Donaldson 31 G 34 A 51 GP

Nanaimo Clippers
Ben Solin 12 G 21 A 49 GP
Matt Creamer 17 G 15 A 51 GP
Tristan Crozier 10 G 19 A 48 GP

Special Teams

Powell River Kings
Power Play – 25.5% (1st in BCHL)
Penalty Kill – 80.6% (8th in BCHL)

Nanaimo Clippers
Power Play – 15.6% (15th in BCHL)
Penalty Kill – 83.1% (4th in BCHL)

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