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Kings make the most of long road trip

Weekend Recap is presented by Iris Optometry. Photo by Vicki Brown | MyLight Sports Photography

Coming off a 5-2 win in Duncan against the Capitals on Sunday the Kings were back on the road for a lengthy road trip in Prince George and Chilliwack.

The Kings made the nearly 15 hours drive up to Prince George on Friday to take on the Spruce Kings for the first time since 2019 and the only time this season.

There would be no scoring in the first period with the help of Liam Vanderkooi who came up with 14 saves in the opening frame as the Spruce Kings out shot Powell River 14-7. In the second the Kings would find themselves on back to back penalty kills which they managed to kill off giving them a big boost of confidence. The good guys would open the scoring 5:14 when Turner Richards wired a wrister on a 2 on 1 past Jordan Fairlie for his 3rd of the season. That lead would shortly expand to two 5 minutes later on a power play when Karter McNarland fed Anthony Lucarelli who shot it over the block of Fairlie for his now team leading 15 of the season. With momentum full on their side the Kings would add one more in the final minute after Parker Lalonde notched his 10th of the season on a rebound as the Kings headed to the third with a 3-0 advantage.

Prince George would get their first off an offensive zone faceoff at 4:26 when Ben Lefranc’s point shot deflected in to make it 3-1 Powell River. The lead would be reduced to two but it didn’t last long as the Kings would restore the 3 goal lead on another power play when Parker Lalonde and Anthony Yu connected on Anthony Lucarelli’s second of the game on a backdoor play to make it 4-1 which would be the final score.

Liam Vanderkooi would earn 1st star honours making 36 saves on 37 shots while the special teams was key with the power play going 2 for 3 and the penalty kill going 4 for 4.

It would be a quick turnaround for the Kings who then had to make the long trip to Chilliwack for a Saturday night game against the Chiefs who have defeated the Kings in all three meetings so far this season.

The long travel didn’t seem to affect the Kings early in this one as they would jump out to an early lead 3:30 on a 2 on 1 when Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero fed Noah Eyre who put in his 8th on the season to make it 1-0. Then just over 2 minutes later Karter McNarland would make it 2-0 after he put in the rebound off a Will Jones shot. The goal would be McNarland’s 13th of the season. Liam Vanderkooi got the start in net in this game and continued right where he left off in PG making 19 saves in the opening period.

Very early into the second period the Kings would find themselves on a power play and would convert when Cam Symons went cross ice to Anthony Lucarelli who scored his 3rd power play goal of the weekend for his 17th to make it 3-0. The goal would also mark the 6th straight game the Kings have scored on the man advantage. The Chiefs would get themselves on the board later in the period when Michael LaStarza finished off a 3 on 2 to make it 3-1 Kings which they held going into the third.

In the third the Chiefs would press trying to capitalize on a tired Kings team and they would get within one 4:18 after a Kings turnover in their own end. The puck came in front to AJ Lacroix who them hammered a one timer in to make it 3-2. Now back within one the Chiefs didn’t take too long to tie it up as a slap shot from Brian Morse found it’s way in 35 seconds after Lacroix’s goal to knot it up at 3-3. Both teams would be unable to score in regulation as the Kings and Chiefs headed to OT for the third time this season.

The Chiefs would have a early opportunity when a trailing Mason Kesselring got the puck and went towards the net. He would deke to the forehand but was denied by the right pad of Vanderkooi. Shortly after the Kings would have a opportunity but Casey Aman was denied twice in tight. Off the second rebound the puck would be flipped to center ice where AJ Lacoix turned of his jets to get the puck before the Kings. He would go in on a breakaway and score in a wrist shot 1:53 into overtime to win the game for his team.

Despite giving up a 3 goal lead in Chilliwack it would still be a great weekend for the Kings who picked up 3 of 4 points on a difficult road trip. The Kings now have a record of 15-23-4-3 with 9 games remaining in the season. The Kings will be back at home this weekend for a doubleheader vs the Victoria Grizzlies and will have a chance to clinch a playoff spot on Saturday regardless of the result on Friday.

Friday is Western Night presented by Rural Septic Services and Saturday is billet appreciation night. Both games are at 7pm.

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