The Vipers are a team everyone likes to beat but because of the history over the last two years, Wednesday's victory was a particularly sweet one for the Kings.
The two time national champs aren't the same team this year but the coaches, systems and young replacements for players like the Jones's, Gill's, etc are just as keen and disciplined.
There wasn't a lot of action around the nets at either end of the rink for the first 15 minutes of the first period, but the Kings got it going just before the break.
Cohen Adair got a shot off that deflected high off goaltender Voth and landed in a pile of players in front of the net. Carter Shinkaruk took advantage of the commotion and drilled a shot to give the Kings the lead at 17:05.
A couple of minutes later Daniel Schuler, in his first game back in a couple of weeks, scored on a Garbowsky rebound to put the Kings up 2-0 at 19:50 on the powerplay.
The second period was a period where the Kings had some great chances to put the game away but didn't.
Sones was sent in alone on a nice stretch pass from Forbes but Voth made a nice glove save.
Adair was sent away by Williams and had a breakaway as well and his shot from 15 feet was also saved by Voth.
Vernon, meanwhile, snuck in a powerplay goal at 15:56 to pull within one when Adam Thompson one timed a nice pass from Walchuk.
Kings had to feel the snakes putting the squeeze on them towards the end of the middle frame and it got even tighter when Michael Zalewski let go a hard shot that surprised Garteig and drifted into the top of the net.
Tied 2-2, the Kings seemed to step it up a bit and led by Justin Dasilva got a couple of quick ones to stop the bleeding.
Dasilva hesitated from his point position but then let a hard shot go that rang off the corner of the post and bar and dropped down just inches inside the goal line.
Asked what he hesitated for he said, “there were too many people in front of me.”
“I had to wait it out a couple of seconds and got lucky.”
Less than a minute later Matt Garbowsky continued his timely scoring by being in the right spot to put a rebound past a diving Voth.
His goal at 10:35 took a lot of pressure off the Kings and they succeeded in shutting the Viper attack down for the remaining 10 minutes of the game.
Vipers pulled Voth with over a minute to go but Mike Sones picked up a loose puck at the Kings blue line and skated over the center line to put the puck in for the Kings fifth goal and a 5-2 final.
Both teams were workman like tonight and Steven Schmidt said, “they are a solid systematic team – nothing flashy and they're just going to try and control the puck and slow the pace of the game down and then try and capitalize on their opportunities.”
Schmidt talked about the Kings spurt of offense late in the game.
“Everyone gets an extra boost – once we score one then the floodgates open and the next line wants to get right in there.”
The Kings were very aggessive in the offensive zone and Schmidt almost got caught being a little over zealous with a heavy bodycheck.
“He turned a bit on me but I still finished my check,” he smiled, “and I was just hoping I wasn't going to get a hit from behind there.”
He didn't and the Kings went on to win the game.
Kings hit the road for three games on the mainland over the weekend.
Ron Armitage Mens Wear Three Stars:
1. Matt Garbowsky
2. Justin Dasilva
3. Daniel Schuler