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Kings play tough against BCHL’s best

Weekend recap is presented by Iris Optometry

The Kings 8 game homestand continued this weekend, after winning the first two versus the Victoria Grizzlies they Kings would now host the top two teams in the BCHL in the Nanaimo Clippers and Penticton Vees.

On Friday the Kings took on a familiar opponent in the Coastal Conference leading Nanaimo Clippers who took two of the first three meetings this season. It would be the Kings getting off to the early start just 1:15 off the rush when Nic Porchetta send a pass cross ice to Casey Aman who wristed it in for his third to give the Kings the lead. The Clippers would tie it shortly after after an Ethan Mistry point shot his the stick of Sam Belanger and went through Kyle Metson as we were tied after the first.

In the second the Kings would regain the lead five minutes in when returning defenceman Sam Schoenfeld long wrist shot made it’s way past a screened Aidan Campbell for his second of the season. Like we’ve seen many times this season the Clippers kept coming back and they would tie it at 9:10 after a long puck battle behind the net the puck would coming in front for Willyam Gendron who one timed it in. Then at 14:31 Nanaimo would take the lead after Kyle Metson has some trouble handling the puck and Nick Sajevic would capitalize and tuck it in as the Clippers took a 3-2 lead into the third.

In the third the Kings would manage to tie it on the power play after Jack Blanchett put in the rebound for his 7th of the season. However, the Clippers would take the lead back on a man advantage of their own when Rylan Yates scored to put the Clippers up with 7 minutes to go. The Kings would find themselves on the penalty kill once again with 4 minutes to go and would try to press shorthanded but proved costly as a turnover at the Nanaimo blue line would send Jake Hewitt in on a breakaway who would extend the Clippers lead to two. The Kings would get one back with two minutes remaining after Aidan Campbell’s clearing attempt his Parker Lalonde who then buried it in the open net for his 8th as the Kings were in striking distance. They would continue to apply pressure with the extra attacker but were unable to get one more puck in the net as the Clippers would add a late empty netter to win 6-4.

Despite the loss the Kings were the better team in this game out playing the Clippers for a good majority of the contest and out shot them 47-32

On Saturday the Kings would have to turn their attention to the leagues best and undefeated Penticton Vees who game into this one with 22 straight wins. It would be the Vees who would get the first goal in this one when Vees forward Spencer Smith put a backhand towards the net which was tipped by Hiroki Gojsic and went through the legs of Metson at 9:54. The Kings would have an answer in a 4 on 4 scenario Jack Blanchett would take the puck around the net and find Anthony Yu who then rifled one past Vees netminder Hank Levy for his 8th to even the score. That sparked the Kings and would add another one just over a minute later when Dylan Hewlett’s wrist shot was tipped in by Cam Symons for his second as the Kings took a 2-1 lead just like that. That lead didn’t last long as 90 seconds later the league leading scorer Bradley Nadeau would find Brett Moravec in front who tipped in the pass to even the score at two after the first period.

It was a back and forth opening frame but in the second the Vees showed why they were the best team in the BCHL and started to take control and would take the lead 7:10 into the period when Spencer Smith snuck one by the pad of Metson to make it 3-2. Penticton would add to the lead late in a power play when captain Frank Djurasevic sniped a wrister over the glove of Metson to make it 4-2 as the Vees held the lead going into the final period.

It was going to be a tough test in the third for the Kings to make a comeback but found them selves into some penalty trouble but would kill all 5 penalties they took. The best chance for the Kings was when Anthony Yu went on a shorthanded breakaway, made a move to the backhand but was denied by Hank Levy as the Vees would hold on to a 4-2 victory and have won 23 straight to start the season.

The Kings were outshot 37-26 but the penalty kill managed to shut down the leagues best power play going 6 for 7 while Kyle Metson played very well in the third keeping the Kings in it and made 33 saves on the night.

With the two losses the Kings are now 6-13-1-2 on the season and 2-2 on the current homestand, but regardless of the results the Kings played very well against two of the leagues best and have put in 6 consecutive solid performances as they continue to get better every week. Up next for the Kings they will host the Merritt Centennials on Friday at 7pm, then on Saturday it’s Teddy Bear Toss night as the the Cowichan Valley Capitals come to town for the first time this season at 5pm.

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Massullo Motos weekend highlights –

Postgame Interviews with Harry Mahesh –