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Kings get closer to a playoff spot after win over Grizzlies

Weekend recap is presented by Iris Optometry.

Coming off a split against the Bulldogs, the Kings home stand continued with two more games against the Victoria Grizzlies who were at the Hap for the first time since the home opener in September. For the fourth week in a row the Kings entered 4 points behind the Capitals for a playoff spot and were looking to gain some ground to kick off the final month of the season.

It was a quick start for the Kings on Friday who found themselves on a power play right from the get go after Victoria took a penalty for an improper starting lineup. The Kings converted 1:04 in on a power play goal from Anthony Lucarelli to gain the early lead, then 5 minutes later Kristians Samitis scored his second of the season to give the Kings a two goal lead which the carried over to the second.

The lead got bigger 5 minutes into the period when Will Jones and Anthony Lucarelli set up Ryan Arnold on the power play to make it 3-0. The Grizzlies then answered with their first in a 4 on 4 situation just under 2 minutes later, then they got within one at 12:43 when a centering pass deflected off the skate of Luc Pelletier and in. We move a head to the final minute of the period, and the Kings restored their two goal lead with 36 seconds left on Anthony Yu’s 17th of the season, but with 8 seconds left the visitors found themselves on a power play and only needed two seconds to score and all of a sudden the Kings lead was back to just one.

Feeding off the late power play goal the Grizzlies took over and dominated the third period. They tied the game for the first time since the opening minutes at 5:21 off a deflection from Julian Cull then with 7 minutes remaining they took their first lead off a long point shot from Nathan King found the back of the net. Now trailing the Kings would start to find some offence which was lacking in the period but it would be too little too late as the Grizzlies added an empty netter to win 6-4. It was the second time this season the Grizzlies game back from a 3 goal deficit at the Hap this season, as they did the same thing in the home opener.

The Grizzlies outshot the Kings 12-5 in the third period and 45-31 overall. Vincent Lamberti made 39 saves in the loss while Owen Bresson stopped 27 shots. The Kings special teams were solid as usual with the power play going 2 for 4 and the penalty kill 2 for 3.


On Saturday the Kings looked for a big bounce back performance still 4 points out of a playoff spot. The Grizzlies picked up where they left off the night before but some great goaltending from Justin Katz kept it a scoreless game in the early portions. For the second game in a row the Kings managed to open the scoring. Adam Mendelson had the puck in front of the Grizzlies goal but before he could get a shot off Oliver Genest would poke at the puck and luckily for the Kings the puck went up in the air and over Jack Fialkoff in net to put the Kings up.

With a one goal lead heading into the second the Kings wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the period. First 20 seconds in a Anthony Yu shot would deflect off the skate of Luke deVries and in the back of the net as deVries scored his first BCHL goal, then 37 seconds later Ryan Arnold found the back of the net again to make it 3-0, and shortly after that Jaxon Fuder notched his 4th of the season as the Kings scored three times in 1:39 to take a four goal lead over the Grizzlies. With the memory of a comeback in the previous games fresh in their minds, the Grizzlies looked for a response. They started to apply some pressure and they found themselves on back to back power plays but Justin Katz and the Kings were having none of it, keeping them off the scoreboard. Before the period ended the Kings added one more to their total when Ryan Arnold scored his second of the game and third of the weekend on a power play to give the home side a 5-0 lead going into the third.

In the final period the Grizzlies got themselves on the scoreboard early at 2:41 when Devin Nagra scored right after a power play, then they got their second at 8:49 to drop the Kings lead to three. With two goals against in the period the Kings were determined not to have a repeat of the night before and not even a minute after the second Grizzlies goal, the Kings answered with Christian Maro’s 12th on the year to restore the 4 goal lead. Anthony Lucarelli added one more late in the game, scoring his team leading 20th on the power play as the Kings defeated the Grizzlies 7-2.

The final shots were 40-33 for Victoria with Just Katz making 38 saves for his second win with the Kings, while the special teams were strong once again with the power play going 2 for 5 and the PK going a perfect 5 for 5. Anthony Lucarelli had himself a 6 point weekend with back to back 3 point games, Anthony Yu picked up 4 assists on Saturday for his third 4 point game of the season, while Thomas Belzil, Christian Maro, Jaxon Fuder, Simone Dadiè, and Ryan Arnold all had a multi point game in the win.

With two big points claimed by the Kings and with some help from Chilliwack and Langley who both beat the Capitals on the weekend then Kings find themselves now 2 points behind the Caps for the final playoff spot.

Coming up for the Kings is a very important stretch with 6 of their final 8 games being played of the road. Next weekend the Kings head to Victoria for one more meeting with the Grizzlies on Friday, then on Saturday they will be in Alberni to face the Bulldogs. Both games are at 7pm. The Kings final two home games are on March 15th and 16th which are against the team they are chasing in the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Friday March 15th is at 7pm with a tailgate party being hosted by Royal LePage, and Saturday March 16th is at 5pm which is also Tla’amin Nation Night. Let’s pack the Hap! Buy your tickets now online at 

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