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Kimball and Berard Notch Pairs, Kings win 7-4

Ethan Kimball scored his 4th and 5th shorthanded goals of the season, while Ben Berard added a pair of his own as the Kings outpaced the Merritt Centennials 7-4 at the Hap Parker Arena in Friday night.

A slow start from the Kings despite taking the first lead of the hockey game through Ben Berard leaned on an old favourite of a move, stepping off the right goal line and shooting short side on goaltender Jacob Berger for his 23rd of the season and a 1-0 lead. Merritt countered midway through via Brendan Schneider and it was 1-1 through 20 with shots favouring the visitors 13-11.

Into the 2nd and the Centennials took the lead on an early powerplay through Zach Risteau. However the lead was shortlived with the Kings scoring a pair in 2 minutes. First, Neal Samanski scored his 8th of the season before Ben Berard got a bit of luck as Samanski made a nice save at the blue line, floated a puck into the slot for Berard to spin and line drive to goal, beating the goaltender for his 24th and a 3-2 Kings lead.

The Kings extended the lead again five minutes later shorthanded with Ethan Kimball and Carter Turnbull scrambling around the net before Kimball slid home his 11th of the season and it was 4-2. Merritt would pull a goal back via Rylan Van Unen before Kimball went back to work penalty killing, poking a puck loose at the blue line and going in on a partial break and converting for his 2nd shorthanded goal of the game, his 12th goal of the season and a 5-3 advantage. Merritt scored late in the period, again on the powerplay through Nicholas Wicks and teams skated to the 2nd intermission with the scoreboard reading 5-4 Powell River. Shots 28-25 Kings.

The third period was for the most part, all Powell River. Hunter Findlater got in on the action to make it 6-4 with a goal midway through, then Nick Abbott notched his first in the BCHL with an empty netter 2 minutes from time to make it 7-4. Affiliate goaltender Alex Rolfe stopped 27 shots for his 2nd BCHL win.

Here is our Facebook Live postgame show with Nick Abbott and Brock Sawyer:

Three Stars of the Game

1. Ethan Kimball (Kings) – 2 goals
2. Ben Berard (Kings) – 2 goals, 1 assist
3. Zach Risteau (Centennials) – 1 goal, 2 assists

The Kings continue a seven game home stand on Saturday night, hosting the West Kelowna Warriors for a 7:15pm puck drop.