Kings got the best of the Alberni Bulldogs on Friday night with a great effort from all four lines and some timely secondary scoring.
In front of a large crowd of 1110, thanks to the First Credit Union and the Youth Resource Center, the Kings responded with a solid first period that yielded plenty of scoring chances.
They outshot the Dogs 15-3 in the period but unfortunately couldn't get the puck by Alberni's netminder Frank Slubowski.
The game's third star stopped everything he could see and a lot of pucks he couldn't see and the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes.
The line of Forbes, Schmidt and Renner was giving the Dogs fits all night and after a shift where they each had a couple of meaningful hits, they also got the first goal of the game.
“I was supposed to be the high man,” smiled Renner after the game, “but I saw an opening and when the puck came across I shot it and it hit him but it went in.”
It was nice to see the Kings' hard work payoff finally and the goal at 12:51 looked like it might be the only one of the night.
Not until the ninth minute of the third period would there be another goal scored and once again hard work and pressure created a great situation for Carter Shinkaruk.
Justin Dasilva took a shot from the point and it was knocked down where Adair spooned it ahead to Shinkaruk.
He wove his way through traffic and across the top of the crease until he had worked his way past Slubowski and he slipped it into the open net.
Nice patience shown by Shinkaruk on that one and the two goal lead looked to be insurmountable for the Dogs.
But they never quit and on one of the few miscues by the Kings' defense, Casey Bailey picked up a puck deep in the Kings' zone and he made a similar move to Shinkaruk's and beat Garteig to make it interesting at 2-1 with 8 minutes remaining.
Kings got back to work and systematically shut down the Bulldogs for the remainder of the game while getting a few glorious chances to score themselves.
Garbowsky was one King who couldn't seem to find the handle tonight but he and Niddery were all over the ice creating some great looking plays.
How about Garbowsky killing a penalty and drawing one from Renz with his tenacious effort. His next shift has him set up by Niddery but he shoots just wide, then backchecks to deflect a puck to the D-man who sends him back into Dog territory where he ties the puck up with three of the opposition. The guy never quits.
Niddery had his chances too but the prettiest was in the third when he sort of did a reverse spinorama in the faceoff circle and then with a strong bachkhand hit the short post.
Hit of the game has to go to Forbes who inadvertantly bowled over Ryan Benbow in his haste to get into the play. Benbow by the way called a pretty darn good game tonight.
There were many more but the point is that the Kings worked hard and secondary scoring pulled out another win for them. It seems that even with Waugh and Schuler on the 'DL' the so called grinders find a way to fill in when the top scorers can't click. That and a virtual wall of defenders, a league leading PK and it's easy to understand why they are successful. Confidence grows from that knowledge but there is also a deep respect for each opponent.
“We need to come out every game with a strong effort,” said Dasilva after the game.
Looking ahead to Cowichan he promised, “we won't be taking them lightly.”
“They have some good offensive weapons and they're going to be tough in their own building.”
At the end of the game tonight, just like in the Caps game he was attacked by a couple of Dogs, Casey Bailey and Josh Mitchell.
Dasilva just shrugged later smiling, “being bigger makes me a bigger target I guess.”
Ron Armitage Mens Wear Three Stars:
1. Justin Dasilva
2. Matt Garbowsky
3. Frank Slubowski