JDA Kings back on the ice this weekend – Logan Clow DHT
The County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings will return to North West Junior Hockey League action this weekend after a week-and-a-half break in their schedule.
Friday, the JDA Kings will travel to play the Fairview Flyers and then return to the Crosslink County Sportsplex on Saturday against the Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks.
The JDA Kings haven’t played since their 12-3 win over the Beaverlodge Blades on Nov. 8
“There’s only so much you can do in practices, but we’ve tried to make the most of it. By taking advantage of the time off, we had to work on a few things such as system work and obviously staying in shape and we worked the boys pretty hard and did team building things as well,” said Kyle Chapple, head coach of the JDA Kings.
The JDA Kings, who are 8-1 this season and second in the NWJHL, are 2-0 against the Flyers (7-2-0-1) this season.
The Flyers are ranked third in the standings – one point back of the JDA Kings – and are coming off a 6-1 win over the Fort St. John Huskies on Nov. 14.
“I expect it to be a real tough battle. We were able to get a couple of wins off them so far this season and I know that they’re going to want to get one back on us and they’re a team that we’re fighting with in the standings. I expect it to be a good, hard game,” said Chapple.
He said the team also has be sharp against the Flyers with their special teams. The squad is 13-60 on the powerplay and 45-56 on the penalty kill this season.
He said it will also be a team effort to shut down Flyers forward Doug Morris, who leads the league with 18 goals and 11 assists. The 19-year-old also has seven goals and six assists in his last five games.
“He’s a good player and now that we’ve seen them a couple of times, I think the guys have a better feel on what they have to do against them to have success,” said Chapple.
“ I thought we played alright against them in the first couple of times, but our goal is to definitely go in there and shut him down and make his night an un-enjoyable one. If we can execute with that, I think we’ll have success.”
JDA Kings goaltender Andy Gilker will start on Friday.
The 19-year-old, who has served as back-up behind Liam McLeod with the Grande Prairie Storm, is 5-1 with the JDA Kings this season.
Saturday’s game will mark the second meeting of the season against the Jr. Canucks. The JDA Kings won their Oct. 11 match 3-2 in overtime.
Chapple said the Canucks cannot be taken lightly, despite their 6-5-0-1 record.
“They’ve been a little inconsistent with their games, but they’re still a team that has won a fair amount. It’s an important two points for us,” said Chapple.
“They’re a tougher team in the sense that they like to throw the body around. They’re a hard-working team that won’t quit right until they end. They’ve got good goaltending – that’s definitely a strong point for them – and they’re a team that can tough to play against if you’re not coming prepared and ready to play the right way… they can easily can the two points off you.”
Game time Saturday is at 8 p.m. at the Crosslink County Sportsplex.
JDA County Kings vs Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers
JDA County Kings vs Sexsmith Vipers