By: Dante De Caria.
Victoria, BC – The Powell River Kings (21-21-2) earned their second straight road win, defeating the Victoria Grizzlies (16-28-0) 3-1 at the Q Centre on Saturday night.
Thomas Wardle turned away 40 of 41, and all 25 shots in the third period for his fifth win of the season, and first victory in three appearances.
“I thought tonight he was lights out,” said Kings Head Coach and GM Tyler Kuntz. “His job was to not only stop the puck but to give Kraller (Derek Krall) a push. We know he’s a good goalie and we really like him.”
Michael Abgrall opened the scoring with his eighth of the season, and first in nine games at 7:09 of the first period. Abgrall deked past the Grizzlies defense and scored his fifth goal of the season series. The Kings improve to 17-1 when scoring first this year.
The Kings followed with two more in the second period before the Grizzlies broke the shutout with three seconds left in the frame. Jacob Badal scored his 12th off the rush and Ethan Schmunk tipped home a Dylan Finlay point shot for his team leading sixth power play goal.
The Kings bounce back from Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Wild. Abgrall finished with a multi-point game (1G/1A), helping the Kings to a 5-1 season series lead.
“Tonight he played hard and was rewarded,” added Kuntz on Abgrall’s fourth multi-point game of the season. “Hockey has a interesting way of evening things out, and it does reward hard work, effort, commitment and dedication, which is no different than anything else in life. I think you saw that from Michael (Abgrall) tonight.”
The Kings also improve to 3-3 since the break, and to 12-8-1 against the Island Division, while grabbing their 10th road victory this season.
Just four more road games are remaining in the season, and Powell River is back in action Sunday, at 2:00 p.m., against the Cowichan Valley Capitals at The Stick in Duncan. The Kings begin a six game home stand with a double-header against the Nanaimo Clippers on Friday.