Powell River, BC – Ethan Schmunk scored the game-winner with under five minutes to play, and Derek Krall made 35 saves, as the Powell River Kings (19-18-2) downed the Nanaimo Clippers (24-11-4) 1-0 in front of 761 fans on Monday night at the Hap Parker Arena.
The Kings grab their long awaited first victory and goal against the Clippers this season, as the Kings came into play having lost three straight games against them, outscored 12-to-0 during that time.
“That was a heavy weight tilt. We did a good job at limiting their chances and at the end of the day, we pull out a win,” said Kings assistant coach Brock Sawyer.
Schmunk found a loose puck near the bottom of the left circle, and from his knees, swatted the puck into the goal for a 1-0 Kings lead with 4:32 to play. The power-play goal was Schmunk’s fifth goal on the man-advantage this season (seventh overall), and his first goal in 10 games.
“I’d been in a dry spell for awhile so it was nice to get that out of the way,” said Schmunk. “It’s nice to score on those guys because they were giving it to us the last time in Nanaimo. Brock Sawyer (Asst. Coach) was on me all night to get to that area (the crease) and I went there, and it worked.”
Prior to the game, Head Coach Tyler Kuntz said that the team had to go to the net with their stick on the ice to score, and it worked.
“I thought we did a good job getting to the paint, ” said Sawyer. “We took his eyes away (Jordan Naylor), but he took a lot away with his glove. If we keep shooting and going to the net, good things will happen.”
Krall earned his second career shutout (all since joining the Kings), making 35 saves, and 14 in the third period for his 15th win this season, and 10th in a Kings uniform.
“I thought he was good, his rebound control was was good and he was fighting for pucks and space in front of the net,” added Sawyer. “I thought for the better part of the game, the defence did a good job boxing out but when things became a little hectic, he was there to weather the storm.”
On the other side, Clippers goaltender Jordan Naylor made 36 saves on 37 shots, as the Kings snapped his shutout streak of 675:28 against Powell River this season.
The Powell River Kings are back in action tonight (Tuesday, December 31st) against the Nanaimo Clippers at 5:00 p.m., inside the Hap Parker Arena.