Kings came on strong in the dying minutes of their game against the Alberni Bulldogs but as Buddy Holly's song says, “It's too Late” – and they lost a tight one 3-2.
The hockey evening started with a noisey tailgate party put on by Villani and Company, Coast Realty and RBC. Buddy Holly (Jim Baron and his band) not only entertained at the party but also, to the enjoyment of the fans, between the 1st and 2nd intermission. The entire evening was fantastic and cudos to the marketing staff and volunteers who made it possible.
There was also a great hockey game to be played.
Reid Campbell got the Kings off to a dream start when he slapped the puck in from the point at just 0:28 into the game.
After his goal Campbell pasted Tyle Lewis to the boards and the large crowd of over 1100 was in a very good mood.
They lost some momentum however after taking a number of minor penalties and their penalty killers worked their butts off to help them to hold on to the 1-0 lead.
Things settled down somewhat but out of the blue the Bulldogs got one of the ugliest goals you'll probably ever see. Jeff Reppucci floated a wrist shot at the Kings net from just inside center. Josh Watson must have taken his eye off the puck as it sailed in over his trapper and in top of the net for the tying goal.
The sudden turn of events quieted the crowd and then Mitch MacMillan's one timer from down low with just seconds to go in the first period definitely was a stunner.
Kings tied it up on a crash and bash play with Niddery shooting and banging away at the rebound when Cody Rainaldi roared in and flipped in the bouncing puck.
With the score tied 2-2 at 13:37 of the second, both teams settled in to a tight checking game with not too many chances on either side. Shots at the end of the second period were 20 apiece.
In the third period the Bulldogs had the better of the chances early and after hitting the post a couple of times, Mark MacMillan finally beat Watson cleanly to go up 3-2.
Kings' captain Mat Bodie was sent off for cross checking with 1:50 to go and even shorthanded the Kings made a valiant effort to tie the game. Niddery and Garbowsky had some good chances in close but Slubowski was solid in goal and held on for the win.
The large crowd was in this one all the way and it was good to see them standing, cheering and applauding the effort of the Kings right to the last whistle.
After the game assistant coach Shane Lukinchuk said, “They were opportunistic – they scored when they had scoring chances and we didn't.”
“We had just as good scoring chances especially in the third so we got to make sure we're concentrating more when we have opportunities.”
The slip against the Bulldogs means the Kings need to win against the Clippers on Saturday night to maintain the pace with the teams chasing them.
Hopefully all 1115 come back and bring some friends.
Armitage Mens Wear Three Stars:
1. Mark MacMillan
2. Teagan Waugh
3. Mitch MacMillan