By: Dante De Caria | Photo: Alicia Baas
Powell River, BC – Thomas Wardle made 26-saves for his second career shutout, as the Powell River Kings (24-21-3) defeated the Langley Rivermen (20-23-4), 3-0 in front of a crowd of 738 on Sunday afternoon at the Hap Parker Arena.
Wardle made his first start in 14-days, and picked up where he left off in his last outing where he made 40-saves in a 3-1 victory over Victoria on January 11th. The 17-year-old rookie goaltender made all 10-saves in the third period (26 overall) for his sixth victory of the season, improving his GAA to 2.59 and SV% to .916 this season.
“That’s what elite goaltenders do,” said Kings forward Rowan Miller. “It doesn’t matter how many days he goes without a start because he’s going to be top notch when he does play. We had a couple guys get some quick goals and generate some offense, and we just fed off the momentum.”
The Kings received goals from Brett Roloson (17th), Levi Glasman (18th) and Michael Abgrall (10th), en-route to the Kings fourth straight win, and points in six straight games (5-0-1).
“I really like how everyone has come together and is not playing soft, like we did in the past,” added Kings forward Dawson McKay on their four game winning-streak. “We’ve figured out that if we go out there and get pushed around, we’re going to lose. It’s nice to see everyone going out there taking hits to make plays, playing physical, getting in the dirty areas, and we’re coming out with wins.”
Roloson opened the scoring on the power-play early in the first period, extending his goal-streak to four games, which is now the longest goal-streak by a King’ this season. Jacob Badal passed the puck down low where Glasman quickly centered the puck to Roloson for his 10th with the Kings, and sixth goal on the man-advantage.
“Anytime you can score first, it’s huge” said Kings assistant coach Brock Sawyer on the opening goal, as the club improves to 20-1-1 when scoring first. “That power-play goal was huge. It was something we talked about in video (before the game), and when they execute, it’s nice to see. It was a big momentum shift in the game, as getting the first one was awesome, and we went from there.”
The Kings top line gave the Kings a 2-0 lead in the second period, as Devin Leduc and Roloson helped Glasman finish off a bang-bang play on an odd-man rush. Abgrall put the Kings on top 3-0 late in the third after pouncing on a rebound in the slot.
Glasman (3G/5A) and Leduc (2G/3A) extended their point-streaks to four games, while Jack Brackett (3G/3A), Jacob Slipec (1G/5A) and Abgrall (2G/4A) extended their point-streaks to three games.
Rivermen goaltender Jonathan Mor made his third start with Langley, and made 24 saves on 27 shots. The Rivermen finish their three-in-three weekend 1-1-1, and have now lost five of their last six games.
The Powell River Kings are now 7-3-1 since the break, averaging 3.18 goals for per-game and 2.54 goals against per-game during that time (last 11-games). The Kings also improve to 15-8 on home ice, 6-6-1 in day games and 6-4-1 against Mainland Division teams this season.
The Kings will play the final nine games of the season against Island Division opponents, with six of the next nine games on home ice. The Powell River Kings are back in action with a double-header this Friday (January 26) against the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the Hap Parker Arena.