JDA Kings and FSJ Huskies
After a busy week of ice times the Grande Prairie JDA Kings will look to end it on a high note with a win against the visiting Fort St. John Huskies Friday night at the Coca Cola Centre. It will be the fourth time in four days the Kings will be on the ice when they lace them up for their 8:30 pm start but the team is confident fatigue wont be an issue.
Grande Prairie is coming off a 12 to 3 win in Dawson Creek Wednesday night and will once again look to continue their early season success to remain atop the NWJHL standings with a perfect record.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our season but we know it’s along way from being finished and we don’t want to fall into a lull of getting complacent” said Kings Head Coach Kyle Chapple. So far this season Grande Prairie has roared through the competition with a +40 goal differential (47 goals for and 7 against) through the first five games but players and coaches alike know they can’t get ahead of themselves.
“When you’re a first place team and a lot of talk surrounds your team whether it be early on or throughout the season you have to expect that you’re going to get every other teams best effort each night you play, we can’t take anything for granted and we certainly cant afford to take periods off like we did Wednesday night” said Chapple.
Despite posting a 12 to 3 win on Wednesday night over the Junior Canucks the Kings still see need for improvement. Most talk has been surrounding getting stronger in the face off dot and continuing to work at improving their defensive zone coverage. The offense has spoken for itself. The top two lines have been a threat each game the Kings have played but its been the bottom six forwards that have caught the attention of the Kings coaching staff.
“We know our top 6 guys will be there, whether it be the Trudeau line or Lewis, Wamsteeker, and Bell we know we will get chances from them but it’s been our other six guys that have really stepped up not only into a role defensively but they’ve been pitching in offensively as well most nights” noted Chapple.
It’s a strong bet that if you can get solid defensive play and offensive support from all four lines throughout the course of a season your hockey club will be tough to beat. Still a team can’t expect each night to go their way and Fort St. John has players capable of turning the tide.
The Huskies are coming into Grande Prairie with an 0 and 2 record falling to the Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks in their home opener and then this past Sunday against the North Peace Navigators in Peace River. Still the Kings are fully aware of some of the game changers dressed in the Huskies lineup.
2011 – 2012 Co-MVP Robbie Sidhu is back and off to a good start with 5 points in two games and is joined by returning forward Cody Hildebrand who joins Sidhu with the team lead of 5 points. The biggest loss for Fort St. John this season was defensemen Dave Marshell who finished second on team scoring last season with 48 points in 33 games. In net the Huskies return once more with veterans Ty Gullickson and Travis McLean. If Fort St. John hopes to steal one from Grande Prairie either Gullickson or McLean will need an A+ effort in net Friday night.
Other NWJHL Games This Weekend
A short time ago the Sexsmith Vipers stunned the Fairview Flyers in their home opener and it will be Fairviews chance to avenge some payback Friday night when they visit Sexsmith for a date with the Vipers. The Vipers stormed from behind thanks in large part to a strong effort on the powerplay before securing the two points with a shootout win in the inaugural expansion opener in Fairview.
Coming off a loss to the JDA Kings on Wednesday night the Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks wont have long to think about licking their wounds as they are right back on the ice hosting the North Peace Navigators. Both clubs currently sit with four points and will be looking to jockey up the standings with a win Friday night.
Saturday night hosts just a double header of games. The Flyers will be looking to avenge a humiliating defeat when they travel to Beaverlodge. Last Friday the Blades cruised to a 6 to 1 win in Fairview earning their first victory of the season and surprising a few people in the NWJHL during the process. Always a tough place to play no matter what team you are the Beaverlodge Arena will be hosting its first NWJHL action of the season and a good crowd should be on hand.
The other game Saturday night has the Slave Lake Wolves in Fort St. John to play the Huskies. The Wolves are coming off a couple of wins this past weekend at home and will look to securing their first road win of the season. The Huskies who will be getting in late from their game Friday night with the Kings will need to get off to a good start against the surprising Slave Lake team.
With Slave Lake on the road Saturday night it usually means a game for them on Sunday as well. The Wolves will be in Dawson the following afternoon to visit the Jr. Canucks who will be playing their third game of the week.
Join Us Tonight For Kings Game Action
Come check out your JDA Kings tonight in Grande Prairie, puck drops at 8:30 pm at the Coca Cola Centre. If you cant join us be sure to follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/GP_Kings or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gpkings for game updates throughout the night.
JDA County Kings vs Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers
JDA County Kings vs Sexsmith Vipers