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Kings struggle in final two home games

Entering the final two home games on the weekend the Kings sat tied with the Capitals for the final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference with a game in hand and the Kings would look to push closer against one of the hottest teams in the BCHL in the Coquitlam Express who game into this weekend doubleheader winning 5 of their last 6 including a OT win against the Capitals the night before.

Saturday the Kings would get off to a great start when Parker LaLonde scored his 17th goal 6 minutes into the game and at one point the Kings outshot the Express 9-2. Things took a turn for the worst later in the period when a clearing attempt from Zak Brice right in front of his net went directly into the body of Emmit McHardy and into the back of the net to tie the game for the visitors. Then less then 90 seconds later Lukas Lundy would score on a breakaway to give the Express the lead, and that seemed to shift the momentum in favor of Coquitlam the rest of the game. The Express would go on to score 2 more times in the second period to take a 4-1 lead into the third and they never looked back. The Express would hold the Kings to just 8 shots combined in the final two periods. The Kings would add two goals late from Anthony Lucarelli and Nic Porchetta while the Express would add an empty netter to win 5-3.

Sunday would mark the final home game of the regular season and the Kings would look to capitalize on a tired Express squad who were playing their 4th game in 5 days. Coquitlam would take some energy out of the building early as they would score the opening goal 25 seconds in, but the Kings would tie it a minute later when Kaleb Nelson scored his 7th. Mark D’Agostino would put the Kings up 2 minutes later but the wheels came off the track after the Kings took the lead as the Express would score 4 more times in the period including 3 in a 2 minute span. Casey Aman would get the Kings back on the scoreboard in the final minute of the period, but the Express would have a 5-3 lead after a wild opening frame. The Express may have been playing their 4th game in 5 days but they didn’t look like that as they took control once again in the second by scoring 3 more times including 2 from Ryan Tattle who had a hat trick in this contest and the Express would blowout the Kings 8-3 to wrap up the home portion of the season.

The Kings would wrap up the home schedule with a record of 6-15-3-1 at the Hap this season and have a 13-30-7-1 record overall.

The Express who were competing with the Kings and Capitals for the final two playoff spots clinched their way into the post season with the win on Saturday and will be the 7th seed.

The two games weren’t the only thing the Kings lost on the weekend as captain Dylan Finlay went down with injury early in the third period on Saturday and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season and possibly longer if the Kings make the playoffs. Also Nic Porchetta whos 8 game point streak came to an end on Sunday left very late in the 3rd period on Sunday with an upper body injury. His status for the final 3 games is unclear.

Luckily for the Kings the Capitals lost both their games on the weekend to Chilliwack and Surrey so both teams remain tied for the final playoff spot. Which ever team makes it to the playoffs will take on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs who have clinched first place in the Coastal Conference.

The Capitals have two games remaining this season, Friday in Victoria and Saturday at home to Nanaimo. The Kings do have the benefit of having one game in hand as they head to the mainland for a 3 game trip to wrap up the regular season. It starts Thursday in Langley at 7:15pm then the Kings will have the off day on Friday before playing in Chilliwack on Saturday at 7pm then the season will finish up at 4pm on Sunday in Surrey against the Eagles.

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