The Powell River Kings have won their 30th game of the season, eclipsing their totals from all of last season with a 5-4 win over the Nanaimo Clippers on Tuesday night at the Hap.
In search of their 6th win of the year against Nanaimo and their 30th overall, the game got off to a physical start with early hits from both teams setting the tone for what would be a spirited game. The Kings would open the scoring on a nice pinch down from Ryan Pouliot who had a wrap around chance on the backhand, that wound up sitting in the crease for Ryan Brushett to beat out Ben Thomas to push it home. Brushett’s league-leading 34th of the season made it 1-0.
Five minutes later the Clippers went to a powerplay thanks to a Neal Samanski major penalty for kneeing, but it was the Kings to cash in as Josh Coblenz intercepted a pass on his own blue line, then turned on the jets to create a breakaway on Jordan Naylor, his 16th of the year and 2nd shorthanded goal and it was 2-0. Nanaimo would claw a goal back on the tail end of the powerplay, Tyler Williams beating Mitch Adamyk and it was 2-1 at the break.
Nanaimo tied the game early into the 2nd through Sammy Steele who got a quality chance in the slot and buried his 15th of the year, but the Kings got it back midway through the period with Levi Glasman the benfactor of a nice play off a neutral zone faceoff from Ryan Brushett who carried in along the wall and centred for Glasman, his 20th and a 3-2 Kings lead. The Clippers got a lucky bounce not long later to tie the game as a centering feed came off a Kings stick and looping over both Jayden Lee in front and Mitch Adamyk in net, the goal credited to Thomas Samuelsen.
The third period saw the Kings get an ideal start with Ben Thomas scoring on the game’s opening shift on a nice move into the slot for his 9th of the year and a 4-3 Kings lead. Nanaimo got it straight back with Mackenzie Merriman beating Adamyk and a 4-4 score. The eventual game winner came through a great individual play from Christian Buono who chased a Clippers forward for the puck, taking possession then going in on a break on Naylor, Buono’s 10th and a 5-4 advantage that held through 60.
Mitch Adamyk earns his 22nd win of the season with 23 stops, while the Kings move to 30 wins on the season and leapfrog the Victoria Grizzlies into 1st place in the Island Division standings.
Christian Buono joined Alex Rawnsley for the post game show, along with all three of the Kings coaches.
The Kings now hit the road for a pivotal three in three on Vancouver Island beginning in Alberni on Friday night against the Bulldogs, before a double header in Victoria on Saturday and Sunday. All three games are live on 95.7 CoastFM.