The County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings opened their 2014 campaign with a pair of wins at the County Sportsplex – their new home arena.
On Saturday, the Kings defeated the Slave Lake Wolves 8-3 and then beat the Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks 8-2 on Sunday.
Logan Clow/Daily Herald-Tribune Grande Prairie JDA Kings forward Lyndin Lewis skates the puck ahead of Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks’ Kody McManus in the second period during North West Junior Hockey League action at the County of Grande Prairie Sportsplex on Sunday. The Kings won 8-2.
Only 13 games remain in the regular season for the Kings who are now second in the North West Junior Hockey League with an 19-3-0-1 record, and only one point back of the North Peace Navigators.
Kings GM/Coach Kyle Chapple says because these last few games are their most important of the season, it’s a time when his expectations of the team also change.
“As the season goes on, you got to keep getting better… you just got to keep improving and I think that’s what our goals are, is to keep getting better as the year goes on, don’t level out anywhere because I always think there’s room for improvements,” he said.
Along with the changing expectations of the team, is the potential for roster moves with the trade deadline approaching on Jan. 10.
Chapple says nothing is imminent.
“We’re pretty comfortable with what we’ve got but if we still have a few cards open, if we can improve our team we will and we will be looking to see where we think we can add a few guys.”
It’s a crowded crease for the JDA Kings, who recently signed goaltender Tyler Moffatt, who played for the Nelson Leafs in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
Moffatt, who made his Kings debut on Saturday, joins Sky Bueller and Connor Goudreau between the pipes.
Bueller sports a 5-2 record with a 2.97 GAA.
The 18 year-old Goudreau, a Hay River native, has a 12-2 record with a 3.43 GAA.
“It came about that sometimes you get opportunities to grab a guy that maybe you don’t really know he’s available and when he does become available, it’s something you can’t turn your blind eye to because he’s a good quality goaltender,” said Chapple.
“(He’s) just a 20 year-old goaltender that’s played a bit or junior A and played good junior B in the KIJHL It gives us some experience back there and a guy that’s been there. We weren’t looking to add a goaltender necessarily, we were happy with the two guys (Goudreau and Bueller) we had but the opportunity came up and we jumped at it and we’re happy to have him.”
Before the deadline comes, Chapple says he expects the phones will be busy.
“I imagine there will be a few things happening in the next few days. Obviously other teams in the league will try and get better, so we got to do the same. We’ll take some calls and we’ll make some calls and we’ll see what’s out there. If we don’t see anything that’s better than what we’ve got, we won’t change anything.”
The JDA Kings don’t play again until Jan. 14, when they host the Beaverlodge Blades at 8:30 p.m. at the County Sportsplex.
North Peace Navigators vs JDA County Kings
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers