JDA Kings Answer
The week leading up to the first games back from Christmas break were full of news after the Grande Prairie JDA Kings lost two players to the Bay Area Seals of the WSHL. With first place still on their mind the Kings had to regroup and refocus for back to back games at home this past weekend against the Fort St. John Huskies and Sexsmith Vipers.
Focused they were.
Grande Prairie managed to win both games, both in different fashion.
Friday night the Kings defense led the way shutting down the opposition and limiting Fort St. John to 26 shots. Most of the night the story surrounded Huskies goalkeeper Travis McLean as he was peppered with 54 shots, stopping 52 of them. Down to five defensemen with the loss of Putio and an injury to Morgan Eaton the Kings got a great game out of all five defensemen. Rookie Sheldon Hubbard stepped in and played one of his best of the season adding two assists in the win.
“The entire team defense was great, we were winning battles, getting to loose pucks and blocking shots, things you need to do to be successful, was a solid effort throughout” said Kings Head Coach Kyle Chapple.
Following the 2 to 1 win over Fort St. John Grande Prairie was faced with the task of bouncing back the following afternoon against the last place Sexsmith Vipers. Hoping to get the offense going the Kings did in a big way pasting the Vipers for 13 goals over three periods and walking away with a 13 to 1 win. As impressive as the 13 goals were the Kings coach was once again really thrilled with how his team played defensively.
“Holding teams to under 30 shots in this league while putting 40-50 on the other net, good things are going to happen. Extremely thrilled with how we played, we kept most of their shots to the outside” reiterated Chapple.
The win Sunday afternoon put the Kings back in first place, one point up on the streaking North Peace Navigators who won both their games on the weekend.
Yet despite the accolades following the clubs two wins they know the hardest work is still yet to come.
“We’ve got a stretch of games coming up where we really have to stay in a rhythm, with the way Peace River is playing we can’t afford to lose anymore games.”
Grande Prairie will be in Fort St. John tomorrow night for a makeup game from November 14th. Following that the club has Dawson Creek on Friday before finishing the week against the surging Fairview Flyers.
“A team to look out for in Fairview, they’ve added a few guys from out east, one that was a big addition to the Wolverines championship last year” said Kings Assistant Coach Darren Walker.
“I’d keep an eye on Beaverlodge as well, they added a strong goalie as well as some other guys and have been playing well the last month” added Walker.
Both those clubs the Kings will see in the coming weeks. But they won’t be looking past Fort St. John tomorrow night.
“Played us real tough all season and travelling up there on a Tuesday night, it won’t be an easy one.”
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs North Peace Navigators