Sunday, January 30, 2011

7th Heaven; Kings sweep the weekend

Box Score

For the second straight game the Kings offense exploded for seven goals in a 7-1 mauling of the Victoria Grizzlies. That follows a 7-6 double overtime victory over Cowichan Valley on Friday.

778 fans saw the Kings score seven consecutive goals, including three straight power-play goals, after David Morley opened the scoring in the first. Morley's 25th  finished off a nice passing play from Joel Lowry and Madison Dias. However that would be the lone highlight for the Grizzlies.

The Morley goal actually woke up the Kings who, with a day off yesterday, looked sluggish to start the first period. Teagan Waugh and Cohen Adair scored power-play goals three minutes and eight seconds apart. Waugh's marker pushes his goal total into double digits with ten. Adair put home his 23rd of the season and 7th on the man advantage.

The Kings skated to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead after one.

The Kings scored the only goal of the second period on Matt Garbowsky's first of two at 18:15. Garbowsky put home a back door pass on the power-play from Jon Jutzi. Nice pass, nice goal.

Braden Pears scored the first of four goals in the third period for Powell River. Pears finished off a tidy three on one with a well placed wrist shot over the glove of Cam Gorchynski. That must have felt nice for the Victoria native.

Garbowsky scored his second soon after a faceoff in the offensive zone where he went to his backhand and put it high on the short side for number 38. Justin Bardarson, on the power-play, and Klay Kachur added late goals to cap the scoring.

Final shots: 39-29 Powell River
Power-Play:  Kings 4/5 Grizzlies 0/6

  •  Always encouraging to see depth scoring from the Kings this afternoon as five different players had goals. Chad Niddery only had one assist, and didn't have to do much more. Today's game shows they can win with more than just one line scoring. 
  • Justin Bardarson had his best game as a King with a goal and two assists.  He was hard on the puck all night and made some nice hits as well.
  • Mike Garteig sure was solid after missing an extended period with influenza. Garteig stopped 28 shots and made some terrific saves in the first when it was a one goal game. Garteig was also terrific during a sequence early in the third.
  • The Kings move their home record to a BCHL best 23-3-0-1.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Did That Really Happen?


The Kings squandered two two-goal leads, rallied from two goals down in the final 1:21 of the third period and won in double overtime 7-6.

Just as planned......

The start of the first period couldn't of gone better for the Kings. Powell River showed good jump off the opening face off and had good pressure in the Capitals zone. The Kings would be open the scoring when Dan Schuler beat starting goaltender Derek Dunn high on the glove side from the top of the right circle. Six minutes in and the Kings were on on the board.  Not even a minute and a half later they would add to it.

While Justin Bardarson was off for hooking, Cohen Adair scored on a nice individual effort from a rush on the left wing that started from the neutral zone. Adair found a loose puck off an errant pass and drove hard to the goal and finished the play off with a nice back hand, fore hand deke on Dunn to give Powell River a two goal cushion. The Schuler and Adair markers came just 1:27 a part.

Whoever coined the term about the two goal lead being the most dangerous in hockey, most of been watching this game. The Kings seemed to let up towards the end of the first period and Cowichan, seemed to realize this and converted on goals 53 seconds apart evening the game at two.

First, it was Jordan Grant scoring his 31st of the season from Matt Cassidy on a nice feed from the corner. Cassidy drew the Kings defenders towards him at the left goal line, which gave ample room for the trailer, Grant to fire a wrist shot from the right circle past the blocker of Sean Maguire.  Then Justin DaSilva to a hooking call on the next shift, giving the Capitals a power-play and an opportunity the would not squander.

On the power-play Cassidy would tip in a pass at the far post on a feed from Grant who was streaking down the right wing. Matt Ridley, who would later factor in the scoring, started the play with a nice rink wide pass from his own blue line. The Capitals silenced the crowd of 1037 with the equalizer.

1st Period Notes:
  • Caps' defenseman Devin Dambrauskas was given a game misconduct early in the first on a check from behind.
  • The Kings out shot the Capitals 17-9
  • Capitals were 1-2 on the power-play; Kings 0-1
In the second period, Chad Niddery would help restore the two goal lead for the Kings. His first goal, just 30 seconds into the period was a seeing eye shot. Niddery would take a pass from the left wall and spin at the left point and let a wrist shot go that found the back of the net. Dunn looked to be screened on the play by his own defenseman in Troy Paterson. Niddery's second and 21st of the season was a deflection on a Jon Jutzi point shot. That goal would chase Dunn from his goal as he was replaced by Chase Martin.

However just like in the first period, the Kings saw their two goal lead evaporate. Matt Ridley cut the deficit to one on his first of two in the period. On a extended cycle in the Kings zone, Ridley found a loose puck on the side wall and threw a puck on net that went short side and in on Maguire. That goal seemed to spin the momentum back in favour of Cowichan. Just under three minutes later Adam Smith would get his first BCHL goal on a bizarre play in front of the Kings net. Steven Saretsky would have his wrist shot double deflected, the last touch off Smith's stick, and trickle by Maguire to tie the game at four's. The Capitals weren't done there, as they would get one more before the period ended.

Ridley would strike once more, this time in a more conventional manner. Ridley, with his team on the power-play, would blast a right point shot off the glove of Maguire and in the net.  The Capitals would end the second period holding the lead for the first time in the game.

2nd Period Highlights:
  •  Like Dambrauskas in the first, Steven Schmidt was given a game misconduct on a check from behind in the second period.
  • The Kings out shot the Capitals 15-10
  • Powell River's penalty-kill was victimized once more, on Ridley's second goal. The Caps were 2-4 at that point
  • Sean Maguire allowed five goals on 19 shots and would be replaced by Mike Garteig to start the third.
  • Cowichan scored three consecutive goals to close the period.

The momentum continued for Cowichan in the early stages of the third period. Matt Cassidy would get his second goal of the game, just over six minutes into the frame. Cassidy, facing two defenders would drive hard from the left wing and force a puck past Garteig on the left post. The play looked like goaltender interference, however the goal stood and the Capitals scored their fourth straight and were up 6-4.

Not much was going the Kings way for the next 12 minutes of the hockey game. They did start to play with more urgency down by two goals but Chase Martin was holding the Kings at bay. Powell River did start to play within themselves once more, which brought them success early in the first period. With the game winding down, the Kings forced the issue which set up a wild finish.

With Garteig gone to the bench for an extra skater, Mike Sones was the last King to push the puck across the goal line after a rugby scrum in front of Martin. That would make it a one goal game with just 1:57 left in the third period. Controversy struck before that play, as the Kings thought they tied the game on a scramble in the crease. The referee however deemed the net came off its mooring's before DaSilva put it across the goal line. Moot point, the Kings now needed one more.

Powell River would find the equalizer, with the net empty once more. On  face off in the Capitals zone, with 36 seconds left, Matt Garbowsky would bang home a Niddery rebound off the pad of Martin and in the net for to tie the game at six. The Arena went nuts and the Kings some how managed to force overtime.

Third Period Highlights:
  • Kings out shot the Capitals 17-6
  • Mike Garteig stopped 5 of six shots in relief of Sean Maguire
  • Kings forced overtime with two goals in 1:21

The two teams would skate to a scoreless 4 on 4 overtime session. Powell River out shot Cowichan 4-2 in the first overtime. Then in finals minutes of double overtime, this happened.

Listen Here

Game Review:
  • 88 total shots were fired on all four goaltenders. The Kings out shot the Capitals 57-31
  • The Kings tied two season highs. They matched their out put for total goals in a game at seven. The last time they scored seven was against Quesnel in October in a 7-3 win at home. Also it was only the second time the Kings surrendered six goals. Surrey is the only other team to score six goals on the Kings.
  • Four players scored two goals, two on each side.
> Matt Garbowsky and Chad Niddery each finished with two goals and two assists.
> Matt Ridley had two goals and one assist and Matt Cassidy had two goals and two assists.
  • six players had multiple point nights. Cohen Adair (1+2=3), Matt Garbowsky (2+2=4) and Chad Niddery (2+2=4) for Powell River.  Matt Ridley (2+1=3) Matt Cassidy (2+2=4) and Jordan Grant (1+2=3) for Cowichan Valley.

Friday, January 28, 2011


CAPITALS 18-25-16 (8th) vs. KINGS 36-8-3-2 (1st)

LAST 5: CAPITALS-- 0-4-0-1 KINGS--3-2-0-0

SEASON SERIES: The Kings and Capitals meet for the fourth time this season and first since the Capitals 5-4 double overtime win in Duncan on November 13th.  The Kings won the previous two encounters, 4-1 and 5-3. The season series wraps up in Duncan, with games on Febraury 12th and 18th.

BIG STORY: Powell River looks to continue their success at home this season against a team that hasn't won at the Hap Parker arena in the past two seasons. The Kings own the leagues best home record at 21-3-0-1 and their last home loss came two months ago against Nanaimo. The Kings are riding a nine game winning streak at home.

If the Capitals are going to win they will have to get their power-play in high gear. Cowichan is just 1 for 23 in it's last six games with the man advantage. Their last goal on the power-play came on January 14th in a 6-3 loss to Victoria. Since then they are 0-18.


Since trading leading scorer Mike Hammond at the January 10th deadline the Capitals are 1-5-0-1. Hammond scored 25 percent of the teams goals before his move to Salmon Arm.  With the departure of Hammond, the offensive production for the team relies heavily on two other twenty year-old's in Jordan Grant and Tyler Matheson.

Grant leads the team in scoring with 71 points in 50 games, which so happens to be the same numbers as Hammond. Grant sits fifth in league goal scoring with 30, four behind Matt Garbowsky's league lead.  The Ladysmith native is on top of his game with five goals in his last three games, including a hat-trick against Alberni Valley last Friday. The other weapon up front is Matheson but his numbers are not nearly as high as Grant's.

Matheson sits second, 33 points back of Grant in team scoring. Matheson came back to Cowichan during the season, after being one of the 20 year-old casualities of the Keolowna Rockets. After a slower start, Matheson has since found his scoring touch, collecting 38 points in 39 games.

Keeping pucks out of the net has been an issue of late for Cowichan Valley. The Capitals have been outscored 26-10 in their last five games and surrendered four or more goals in nine of their ten games this month. The 207 goals against this season is second only to Prince George who has surrendered 228. On average the Capitals give up just over four goals per game. That will need to get better if they want to leap frog Coquitlam for the 7th and final playoff spot.

Calm and order was restored in Powell River after the Kings 4-1 win over Penticton on Tuesday. The Kings came into the game losing two straight games over the weekend, which was the first time they have done that this season. The Kings, with Tuesday's victory, have won seven of ten games and 12 of their last 15.

The penalty-kill came in limping on Tuesday, but was much better allowing one goal on seven opportunities to the league's best power-play in the Vees. Coming in to that game Powell River had allowed 6 PPGA in their last four games. The punctuation mark on the turn around was Matt Garbowsky's short handed marker in the third period.

What hurt the Kings in their loss to the Capitals was inconstancy. The Kings had an early 2-0 lead in the first but let their foot off the gas, as the Capitals scored the next four goals. Yes the Kings did force overtime, but playing catch up hurt them. Tonight the Kings have to play their brand of hockey from the opening puck drop to the final buzzer. They don't want to let this contest be known as a "trap" game and be guilty of over-looking their opposition.

WHO'S HOT: Matt Garbowky's two point effort against Penticton, gives hime five points (2+3=5) in his last three games. Chad Niddery scored his first goal in four games and now has four in six. Cohen Adair's 21st goal on Tuesday gives him two in his last three games. Justin DaSilva continues to add points from the back end. DaSilva's assist in Tuesday gives him five points (1+ 4=5) in six games.

As mentioned, Jordan Grant has been red hot for the Capitals. Grant has five goals in three games and eight points in five games. Matt Cassidy is sure fitting in nicely with Cowichan. Cassidy is Mr. Playmaker, with four assists in five games.

INJURY REPORT: Craig Dalrymple is out of the lineup due to illness.  Alex Halloran is out to due to injury and Keyler Bruce is serving his second game of an eight game suspension.

STATS PACK: Jordan Grant and Tyler Matheson account for 37 percent of Cowichan's goals. Outside of Nanaimo, the Kings have lost three times to other Coastal Conference teams.

PUCK DROP: It's the United Way Tail Gate Party before tonight' game. The festivities get underway at 5:30 in front of the main entrance to the rink. Buy a balloon for 10 dollars or three for 20 with all proceeds going toward the United Way.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Day After..

Take your hand away from the panic button, take a deep breath, all is right again in Kings land.  Powell River snapped their two game slump with last night's convincing 4-1 win over the Penticton Vees.

It was eerie how similar the game was to that of Saturday's setback at the SOEC in Penticton. In that game, Craig Dalrymple scored the opening goal on the power-play less than two minutes into the first period. However the Vees responded with four consecutive goals en route to that 4-1 victory.

Fast forward to Tuesday where the Kings flipped the script on the Vees. Steven Iacobellis converted on the Vees second power-play, 7:32 into the first period to give the visitors the lead. Many, including myself thought, oh no, here we go again. The Kings were guilty early in the period of being too emotional, too amped up and took a couple of careless penalties. Even though the Vees had the lead, I thought the turning point came earlier in the first period, maybe even before the game.

There were fireworks in the pre-game warm up as players from either side were jawing at each other. It almost came to a head when two players from both teams stood chest to chest across the red line from one another. However, cooler heads prevailed for a few minutes and the warm-up closed without incident. There was a report of a Vee player firing a puck at the vicinity of a few King players, however I did not see it myself and that may have came form someone with a tin foil hat on.

The warm-up chest pounding lead to a fight just 28 seconds into the first period between Chris Williams and Paul Bezzo. Both found each other at centre ice and the fight took place just inside the Vees zone. Williams was the only player to land significant blows and wrestled Bezzo to the ice. The fight, in my opinion, showed the Kings were not going to be pushovers and sent a message to the Vees that they were in for a long night.

Even though Iacobellis had his team out in front, the Kings did not buckle.  They continued soldiering on into the first intermission. The Kings out shot the Vees 10-6 and seemed to gain momentum as the period wore on. They would carry that into the second, where the game took a turn for the better.

What I noticed in the two losses over the weekend was the lack of puck luck for the Kings. Some might scuff at that notion, but in hockey it seems to play a significant factor in every game. Quite simply, the Kings fought the puck all weekend. That would change in the second period last night.

Cohen Adair tied the game at one in an unorthodox manner. Justin DaSilva took a point shot that was gloved down by Kyle Beaulieu in front, but as he dropped the puck down to his stick, Adair wacked it out of mid air and past Joel Rumpel to tie the game. Finally a bounce went Powell River's way.

The Kings would take the lead just over four minutes later on the power-play. Chad Niddery deflected a Jon Jutzi point shot past Rumpel for his 19th and game winner at 9:21. The goal turned the tide in favour of the Kings as they finally capitalized with the man advantage.

From there on out, it seemed like the Vees took a step back and the Kings a step forward. Penticton still had great chances using their speed, but the Kings physical play started taking a toll. Penticton was guilty of turning pucks over at their blue line which resulted in chances for the Kings. When the Vees seemed to press, the Kings were ready and countered on the chances the Vees surrendered.

The second period was a big one for Powell River as they took over the play and out shot the Vees 21-9. If you recall last Saturday, it was Penticton out hitting and out playing the Kings in the second period. In that frame the Vees out shot the Kings 17-9.

The third period was more of what we saw in the second. The Kings did come out aggressive and laid the body whenever they could. They did get careless once more and were short handed not even five minutes into the period. However while short handed, the game was sealed on a great play by two regular customers.

Chad Niddery picked off an errant back hand clear by Joey Laleggia and executed a beautiful short handed two on one down low with Matt Garbowsky. The rush ended with number nine tapping in goal number 34. The goal energized the Kings and deflated the Vees and proved to be the so called "nail in the coffin."

Late in the third, Andrew Pettitt stripped a Vee player at the Kings blue line and was off on a partial break away. Pettitt held off a hard charging Bezzo on the backcheck and made a quick move to his fore hand and put the puck past the left arm of Rumpel for the final goal of the game.

The final shots were 44-25 in favour of Powell River. The Kings finished 1 for 5 on the power-play and the Vees were 1 for 7.

The result for Powell River goes beyond the boxscore and the standings for the Kings. The team was emotionally fragile after the two losses on the weekend. Looking at their faces and body language on the bus ride home, it felt like they had just lost a Game 7. Last night's game was a total team effort from the Hawryluk line to Garbowsky's unit. The Kings looked like the team we saw before the Christmas break and hopefully that's a sign of things to come.

The team pushed their home record to 21-3-0-1 and showed why they are one of the toughest teams to play against at home.

Here's to the same effort on Friday versus Cowichan Valley.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kings Return the favour; 4-1 over Vees

On Saturday The Vees gave up an early power-play goal before scoring four consecutive en route to a 4-1 win over Powell River. Fast forward three nights later, and the Kings do the same to Penticton.

It was Steven Iacbollis opened the scoring on a power-play goal seven and half minutes into the first period. However that goal seemed to wake up Powell River who then scored the final four goals.

The Kings got goals from Cohen Adair, Chad Niddery, Matt Garbowsky (short-handed) and Andrew Pettitt.

Sean Maguire made 24 saves on 25 shots in picking up his nineth win of the season. Joel Rumpel was tagged with the loss stopping 40 of 44 King shots.

Powell River limited the damage on the PK, only allowing one goal on seven opportunities. The Kings scored once on five chances.

The win moves the Kings to 77 points, 16 up on second place Surrey

Detailed write up tomorrow


First Intermission: Powell River Kings Cohen Adair
Click Here

Second Intermission: Penticton Vees Joey Leleggia
Click Here


Season Series: The Kings and Vees hook up for the second and final time this season. This is also the back half of a home and home. The Vees drew first blood with a convincing 4-1 win at the SOEC on Saturday. The Kings did score the opening goal in the first, however, it was all Vees from there on out. Myles McCauley scored the game winner 15 seconds into the second period.

Last 10: Kings- 7-3-0-0 Vees 7-2-1-0

Big Story: After fire works at the end of Saturday's game, tonight's will be emotionally charged, at least for Powell River. Six misconducts, four of which went to King players, were hand out with eight seconds left in the third period. The melee started when Klay Kachur delivered a hit on a Vee defender inside the Vee’s zone.

The Kings were embarrassed and want to prove that wasn't near their best three nights ago.

Team Scope:

Penticton is embarking on a five game, seven day Sunshine Coast / Island road trip. Tonight is the first game of the leg. The Vees are in Cowichan Valley on Wednesday, Nanaimo Friday then Victoria and Alberni Valley on Saturday and Sunday.

The Vees are in the middle of a stretch of playing 11 straight games against the Coastal Conference. They started the streak on January 7th with a home and home with Surrey which they followed with another home and home with Langley. Then it was games against Coquitlam last Friday and most recently against Powell River. The Vees aren't fairing that bad either.

So far the Vees this season are 8-1-0-1 against the Coastal Conference, the only points they dropped was a 5-3 loss to Coquitlam on Friday. They did earn a single point in October when Alberni Valley edged the Vees in overtime.

Powell River is coming into tonight's game in a position they haven't been in all season-losers of two straight.  You have to go back to January 29th and 27th of last season to find the last time the Kings lost two consecutive games in regulation. Guess who they lost to? Yes the Kings, like this season, dropped games to Penticton and Vernon on the very same trip.

The Kings will need to shore up their penalty-kill as well tonight. The Kings have surrendered six power-play goals in the last three games. By some team’s standards that wouldn't be disastrous, but when your kill was consistently in the 90 percentile, it gets magnified. Compounding the matter is the fact Penticton boasts the leagues best power-play. The Vees are humming along at just over 28 percent on the season and scored 58 goals on the man up. Suffice to say the Kings have to limit the Vees opportunities on the power-play.

Who's Hot: Once again Matt Garbowsky's name comes up. Garbowsky has three goals and five points in as many games, including three points (1+2=3) in his last two games. Chad Niddery has three goals and four points in the last five. However all three goals came on January 15th in Victoria and he has only one assist in his last four games. The other third of the top line has started to find his scoring touch. Dan Schuler has two goals and four points in five games. Schuler scored twice in Trail and had one helper in a three point night. Justin DaSilva is providing punch from the back end. DaSilva has scored once and has added three helpers in five games.

Mark MacMillan has been on a torrid pace for Penticton. The Montreal Canadien draft pick has two goals and 10 points in his past five games. Joey Laleggia isn't too far behind, with a goal and eight points in five games. Brenden O'Donnell has seven points (3+4=7) along with Joey Benik (2+5=7).

Injury Report: Michael Betz and Chad Bannor sat Saturday's game out for Penticton. Troy Stecher was injured on Saturday and didn't make the trip. The Kings return two bodies in  Brenden Forbes and Dan Schuler, as both are expected to play. Mike Garteig won't dress tonight as he is battling the flu. The Kings have called up Corey Koop from the Victoria Cougars.

Stat Pack: Penticton handed Powell River just their third regulation loss when scoring first on Saturday. The Kings were 28-2-2-1 going into the game. The Vees are riding an 18 game streak of scoring one or more power-play goals in a game. That dates back to November 26th versus Westside.

This and That: This will be the Kings first home game in 11 days, dating back to January 14th against Surrey. After tonight the Kings only have five home games left, with only four in February.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Morning Rewind

Powell River came home from their road trip with a bad taste in their mouth. The team started off well with wins over Westside and Trail. However the pair of losses over the weekend has this team in a rut.

  • The 4-1 setback in Penticton is disappointing, no question. However what bothers the coaches was what the Vees were allowed to do all game. The Kings let the Vees dictate the game and how it was played. The coaches stressed being physical and not giving Penticton time and space, however that is exactly what the Kings did.
  • The game wasn't all lost, the Kings did score on their second shot, less the two minutes in, on a power-play. The team looked strong and poised, however they seemed to unfold when the Vees scored just 15 seconds into the second. The mental toughness wasn't their for Powell River on Saturday.
  • The once almost unbeatable penalty-kill to some lumps and bruises over the week. The Kings were stung for six power-play goals against in the last three games. Trail scored all three of their goals on the mad advantage. Vernon scored the opening and winning goals on power-play and Pentincton scored once as well. The penalty-kill is still first overall, but has slipped down to 88 percent. Furthermore Salmon Arm has passed the Kings on the road for penalty-kill percentage.
  • Lost in the weekend was Dan Schuler snapping a 12 game scoreless mark on Wednesday in Trail and he did it in style too. Schuler scored two goals, in consecutive fashion in the 5-3 win. In his last visit to the Cominco Arena in Trail, Schuler had a hat trick. That was in pre-season action.
  • The Kings seemed to miss Brenden Forbes down the middle. Forbes did not play last week as he was recovering from the upper body injury he suffered the morning of the Surrey game on January 14th. The third line wasn't the same and will greatly welcome his presence back tomorrow.
  • I would not use this as an excuse, but maybe a factor for Saturday's loss. Eight Kings were writing their SAT exams the morning of the Penticton game. Those players were up at 6am for a ride into Penticton from Kelowna. Then they had to write the exam in four hours then get shuttled back to Kelowna for the teams pre-game meal and back for the game. That's a tough task.
  • Penticton is back in Powell River tomorrow for the back half of the home and home. The Kings I'm sure will have Saturday's loss on their minds and will like to give Penticton a better impression on how they play. If you are looking for a game to go to this week, I would circle tomorrow's contest.
  • Powell River is 14 points up on Surrey for first and only need five points in their remaining 12 games to clinch first place in the Coastal Conference. Don't think the team will let their foot off the gas the rest of the way though. This team is mad and will be out to prove they are the best in the BCHL.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Powell River Kings 35-7-3-2 (1st)  @ Penticton Vees 30-13-2-1 (2nd)

Season Series: This is the first meeting between the Kings and Vees this season and the first half of a home and home. The two will meet again in Powell River on Tuesday, which is the start of a five game Island road trip for Penticton.

Big Story: Both teams are coming off tough lossess one night ago. The Kings fell one goal short in Vernon, losing 3-2 to the Vipers. That was only the second loss this month for Powell River and only their fourth regulation road loss. Meanwhile, Penticton were upset at home by the Coquitlam Express 5-3. The Expess scored five goals on just 14 shots. Suffice to say both teams will be looking to rebound tonight.

Team Scope:

The Vees loss last night was just their fifth in regulation at home and sixth in 26 games at the South Okanagan Events Centre.  The Vees offensive have shooting the lights out recently. Going into last night's game, Penticton scored 24 goals in their last five games. That's an average of 4.8 goals per game over that span. Also their power-play has been something else.

Penticton is on a 17 game power-play goal streak that dates back to to November 26th. Their power-play is ranked number one in the BCHL, humming along at just over 28 percent. In their last three games the Vees are 8-17 or 47 percent.  The Kings who have struggled recently with their penalty-kill and will have to be careful tonight not to get into a rash of penalty trouble.

The Vees are offensively not by a forward but a 18 year old defenseman. Joey Laleggia, in his second season, leads his team in assists (44) and points (65). The slick moving defenseman quarterback's his teams number one power-play unit and is tied in PPG with Brendan O'Donnell (10). The key for Powell River will have to be physical with him tonight and not allow him to be creative.

The Kings are coming off a hard fought loss to the Vipers one night ago. The difference in that game was their special teams. Vernon stung the Kings for two power-play goals, including the game winner by Dylan Walchuk with less then five minutes to go. Just over a minute earlier, Cohen Adair tied the game on a power-play goal of their own. Bottom line is the penalty-kill needs to shore up, especially against the leagues top power-play.

The Kings saw their percentage slip two points down to 88 percent. They do hold top spot but the gap has closed and a couple teams are not far behind. In the last two games along, the Kings have surrendered five power-play goals and are just 9-14 in their last three game on the kill. Playing smart, disciplined hockey will be crucial tonight.

Also Powell River will need to start better right from the opening face off. Last night the first period wasn't good and Vernon controlled the majority of the play on the Kings side of centre. Tonight the Kings will have to stick to their game plan that is laid out before them and not deviate.

Who's Hot: Matt Garbowsky saw his mini two game goal scoring streak and five game point streak come to an end last night. Cohen Adair hit a milestone of sorts last night. Adair scored his 20th goal which is considered a bench mark of sorts. The Vee's Garrett Milan has scored in three straight and Brendan O'Donnell has goals in two straight games.

Injury Report:  Brenden Forbes remains out for the Kings. Dan Schuler is also out tonight.

Stat Pack: The suffered just their fourth regulation loss last night when they out shoot their opponent. The Kings edged Vernon in shots 26-22. Also the Kings are just 2-5-0-0 when the trail after two periods. They have done that twice on this road trip. Winning in Trail  on Wednesday and last night.

Puck Drop: Pre-game show starts at 6:45pm  puck drop is at 7pm on 95-7 Sun FM.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vipers hold of Kings

The Kings simply ran out of time on Friday. After not playing the way the wanted for the first 30-35 minutes of the game, Powell River came on strong but fell one goal short in a 3-2 loss.

Much hype was put on this game as it was a rematch of the last two Bchl Fnals and first game in Vernon since last years game seven. 2600 and change where on hand to witness a wildly entertaining hockey game from their perspective.

The Vipers were the ones who had the better start forcing most of the play in the Kings zone. Powell River had a tough time getting through the Vipers trap in the neutral zone. The Vipes were aggresive standing at the red line at centre challenging thr Kings break out. The Vipers generated the best chances on two power-plays but Mike Garteig kept his team in a scoreless tie to the second.

The second started with Vernon once more dictatig the play at centre and into the Kings zone. Malcom Lyles and Steve Weinstein were good at jumping up and making plays into the Kngs end. T
Vernon forced The Kings into a penalty and capitalized when David Robinson went n a left wing rush and scored short side on Garteig.

That would be the only goal in the second with Powell River generating momentum late and squaring the shots at 14.

The third was somethig to remember. 4 goals scored 9 minutes in penalties on one play and 2 goals scored in 19 seconds by the Kings.

Bryce Kakoske increased the Vernon lead to a pair of goals when he scored at 4:19. That goal came against the play as at the other end PR was thwarted after cycling for nearly a minute. The puck came to Kakoske at centre after it bounced away from Garbowsky at the Kings blue line. Kakoske carried in just over the line and snapped a wrister by Garteig's glove.

The Kings replied on the next shift when Stveb Schmidt or Andrew Pettitt banged home a goal mouth scramble. Goals came 19 seconds apart.
The Kings would tie on the power-play when Cohen Adair converted a pass from Jon Jutzi and beat Kirby Halcrow blocker side. That with just 5 to go in the third.

However Dylan Walchuk played hero on a Vipers power-play with 4:11 left in the game. Walchuk came in on the left side and at the goal line walked out and went short side on Mike Garteig for the game winner.

Craig Dalrymple was inched away from tying with the net empty but Halcrow was there to meet him with the left pad.

Game Over

Shots: 26-22 Kings
PP: Vipers 2/5 Kings 1/4

Kings Record: 35-7-3-2 75 pts (1st)

GAME PREVIEW: Kings vs. Vipers

  Interior: 26-9-4-8 (1st)      Coast: 35-6-3-2 (1st)

Last 10: Vipers- 6-1-1-2 Kings- 9-1-0-0

Season Series: The  two teams meet for the second time this season and first in Vernon since Game 7 of the 2010 Fred Page Cup. The Kings won the first encounter back on November 17th, 5-2.

Big Story: Everyone is well aware of the rivalry between these two teams. Back-to-back appearances in the Fred Page Cup. The Kings will be in the Wesbild Centre for the first time since April 12th. That was a
3-1 game 7 loss to Vernon, who won on a controversial Sahir Gill goal with five minutes left in the third period to break a 1-1 deadlock. The Kings will be looking to exact some demons tonight.

Team Scope

Kings: Powell River is riding a six game winning streak coming into tonight's game. The Kings haven't lost since January 2nd to Langley, which was only their third regulation road lost as well. So far Powell River is off to a perfect start on their four game road trip, downing Westside 3-2 and most recently Trail 5-3. Matt Garbowsky has been the biggest story, scoring three goals in the past two games and giving him 33 on the season.

If their is one negative of late it's the Kings penalty-kill. On Wednesday Trail burned Powell River for three power-play goals against. That is the first time since September 19th that has happened to the Kings. Surrey scored three power-play goals in a 6-5 road win. In fact, the Kings have allowed power-play goals against in their last three games and in four of their last five. Even though Vernon sits 12th on the man advantage, the Kings will need to be better in that department tonight.

Vipers: Vernon is only coming in with a four game winning streak. Since dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to Westside on January 7th, the Vipers have out scored their opponents 20-7 including twice scoring six goals. Furthermore the Vipers are averaging five goals per game in their last four contests. 

Helping the Vipers is their power-play which have scored in six straight games and is clicking at 27 percent in their last five games. Vernon is also scoring by committee on the power-play as six different players have scored their last seven power-play goals. Dylan Nowick score two against Westside on January 8th.

One story getting lots of play is the goaltending situation in Vernon. The Vipers brought in Kirby Halcrow from Quesnel before the deadline to insulate their position in the crease. It's seems Mark Ferner has been rotating his two netminders in the past five games with Blake Voth winning two of the three starts he had. Most recently he shutout the Centennials 6-0 on Tuesday, Making 19 saves. It will be interesting who emerges as the number one come spring.

Who's Hot: Matt Garbowsky comes in scoring in two straight games and has points in his last five.The Vipers David Robinson has five goals and six points in his last three games. Steven Weinstein has points in his last three games, all of which are assists and two goals and three assists in his last five.

Injury Report: Brenden Forbes (upper body) remains out for the Kings. Chad Niddery will be a game time decision.

Stat Pack: In Tuesday's win over Trail the Kings nine game power-play goal streak came to an end. The Kings have scored the opening goal in five straight games. Also Tuesday was only the sixth time this season the Kings have been out shot.

Puck Drop: Mike Garteig will start for the third straight game. Justin Bardarson will be my first intermission guest.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 3: Kings 2-0; Off Day

The team has a well deserved off day in West Kelowna after two hard earned victories. Last night's game one again presented challenges for the Kings and they did respond well to adversity.

The Kings did not look like a team that had just travelled for four hours to the game. Powell River showed good jump early on and got on the score board early as well. Just under four minutes in, Matt Garbowsky took a pass from Andrew Pettitt from the left corner and made a nice deke on the goal line to beat Keifer Smiley and give the Kings the first goal. Garbowsky now has 33 goals and sole possession of first place in goal scoring in the BCHL.

The Kings now have scored the first goal in six straight hockey games.

However the Kings would run into penalty trouble late in the first period and that wouldn't be the only time. Cullen Bradshaw tipped home a beautiful back door feed from Paul Mailey to square the game at one with just 1:22 left in the first period. It would look like both teams would be tied after the opening twenty. But Dan Schuler had something to say about that.

Playing his first game in Trail since he recorded a hat-trick in pre season play. Schuler intercepted an errant clearing attempt by Ryan Luiten and snapped a wrist shot high blocker side cross-bar and in. To fully appreciate the shot you have to watch it again. The goalie Smiley didn't move, as in he was frozen by the shot. That goal snapped a 12 game goal less skid for Schuler.

Schuler carried his and the teams momentum into the second period when he scored his second goal of the night. Schuler would find a puck that bounced off the end wall from a Justin DaSilva blast and batted the puck past Smiley and in.  The Kings weren't done their.

Brendan Hawryluk would tip a Jon Jutzi point shot in just 34 seconds later to put the Kings up by two. The play started with Brendan winning the face off in the Smoke Eaters zone and then driving to the net and being rewarded with the slightest of touches on the puck.

However just like the first, the Smokies would respond on a late power-play.

Ben Matthews would score on the man advantage with just 3:17 left on the clock. The Kings collasped to the front of the net allowing Matthews to walk down to the top of the circles in the slot and fire a wrist shot low on the glove side past Mike Garteig.

The second period saw the Smoke Eaters out shoot the Kings but I came away with the feeling the Kings were still the better team through two periods. Powell River when they were at full strength carried most of the play especially in their own end. Trail were clearly trying to chip and chase as soon as they hit centre and try and force the D to turn and chase the puck. Give credit to the Kings defense as they were able to get pucks first and get the puck out of their zone quickly on most occasions.

Just like the first two periods the Kings would score the opening goal of the third period. Justin DaSilva would find the back of the net on a wrist shot from the blue line just over five minutes into the third. It indeed looked like the puck was deflected on its way towards the goal, most likely off a Trail stick.

With a 5-2 lead at the point the game looked decided as the Kings played well at even strength not giving much to the Smoke Eaters on their attempts in the Powell River end. When tested, Mike Garteig made some sharp kick saves on sharp angled rushes by a handful of Smokie players.

Once more the Kings were penalized late in the period and were burned for it. Nic DeSousa would deflect a nice pass from Jake Baker late to make it a 5-3 game but the outcome was never in doubt at that point.

Powell River came away with a bad taste after this game as it looked like they were targeted through the game. The Kings did get the first two powe-plays in the first, however the Smoke Eaters then received eight straight power-plays. The Kings did not receive another power-play until the latter stages of the third period. Only thing I would say is you want the game to be officated by the game itself not by the score.

It does seem odd the better team on the night were handed eight penalties against. However such is hockey and you learn from it and move on.

Great to see Dan Schuler burst out of his goal slump with two goals. Over the 12 game goal less skid Schuler was nothing but patient and positive. In practice he was one of the hardest working players on the team, and he was finally rewarded. Let's hope this will tip the scales for him.

Day 2: Trail

8am wake-up call on Lake Okanagan

Team grabbing their gear from the rink before heading out

Norm has the hammer down; off to Trail

Pre-game routine. Memorizing the Trail roster.

You know your in wine country when...

Pit stop for some snacks.

Grand Forks, border town. That mountain is the Canada-USA border.

Snow covered field in Grand Forks. Boys of Summer have are on hiatus

Pre-game lunch at the Grand Forks Station

The pub was originally the town train station

A few BC meda celebs' who have paid a visit

Fueling up

That clearing in the tree line that runs on the side of the mountain is the border.

Always at work

My view of the Comico Arena in Trail

My life line. Trail stats on the left page, Powell River on the right.

The set up.

Goodnight Trail

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


You had to be at Royal LePage Place to fully understand how this one played out. Matt Garbowsky scored two goals and Steven Schmidt got credit for the most bizarre goal you will ever see in a 3-2 win.

 Let's dissect this one.

Westside came out very strong to start the hockey game, practically hitting everything that moved in the Kings end. As Jon Juzti told me after the game, "I've never seen a team hit so much". Westside used an aggresive forecheck to generate chance early on in the Kings zone. Credit Powell River for getting themselves in front of the Warriors attempts on goal. The stat sheet read 7-3 shots on goal in favour of the Kings but it felt much different.

Powell River started to pick their game up late into the first period when Matt Garbowsky used a unique bounce off the end wall to score his first of two on the night. Justin DaSilva shot wide off the end wall and the puck bounced back to Garbowsky on the opposite of net and one-timed the puck past Cole Holowenko. We would see the same goal scored two periods later.

The Kings road that goal into the first intermission for a lead over Westside who deserved a better fate. The second would start just as the first.

Westside again came out with vigor to start the second and were rewarded for their hard work with an early one. Brett McKinnon was gift wrapped a goal less then three minutes in when a clearing attempt from behind the net found the stick of McKinnon right out front. Tie game.

The Warriors road that momentum to another goal, another strange one too. Tom Kroshus floated a fourty footer past a screened Mike Garteig with less then four minutes left in the second to give his team a one goal lead. The Warriors would take the lead to the dressing room and deservingly so.

However the second period would be overshadowed by one play. Chad Niddery took a blow to the head at the 18:09 mark from Peter MacIntosh in the Warriors zone on the side wall. Niddery was in a prone position as he was bent over digging for a puck with his back turned to MacIntosh, who came from over the back of Niddery to deliver a forearm to his head. The follow through would have Niddery rattle his head of the glass. Tough to say if indeed it is worthy of a suspension but a five minute major could of been just.

The third period was a push back by the Kings as they found their game once again and were rewarded withg an equalizer on the most bizare play. Mike King went behind his net to retrieve a loose puck and then turned to go up ice. However it wasn't that easy. King had the puck go off his stick and hit the back skate of Holowenko and in the net. That was the turning point of the game.

Matt Garbowsky would score the game winning goal and his second of the night on a indenticial play from his first goal. Justin DaSilva  intentionally shot wide from the left point and the puck found Garbowsky on the far post for a tap in. Credit the Kings using their game day skate to figure out the lively end boards in Westside.

Mike Garteig was strong down to the end and held off a Warrior attempt in the final five minutes including a power-play.

The Kings won their 14th road game of the season and will look for number 15 tomorrow night.