JDA Kings and Canucks Tonight
The Grande Prairie JDA Kings are back in action tonight in a rare Wednesday night game in Dawson Creek against the upstart 2 and 2 Jr. Canucks. Coming off a 6 to 2 win on Saturday night in Peace River there hasn’t been much time off for the Kings and it will be a good test to see how the Thanksgiving weekend plays into the teams efficiency tonight.
Grande Prairie is the only undefeated team still at this point in an early NWJHL season and while stats don’t lie with how dominant the club has been in the early going they fully expect a tough test as the Memorial Arena in Dawson is never an easy place to play.
Last season the Kings swept the season series with the Jr. Canucks and promptly eliminated them in the opening round best of three series, winning 3 straight convincingly. The Canucks however have been playing with a new found confidence and its started with timely scoring and exceptional goaltending. Led by returning goalie Ryan Wilson and rookie David Readman the Kings are well aware whats facing them and know they will have to get pucks into some scoring areas to try and put some past whoever starts for the Canucks tonight.
The Kings on the other hand will start rookie net minder Sam Mok who will be seeing his first NWJHL action after returning goalie Nolan Bowker has started every game to start the season. Mok has seen action in the pre-season splitting time in a win against the Fort Sask Hawks but it will be his first regular season action and first game in a few weeks.
Not much else changes for the Kings lineup, once again it’s expected the club will have close to a full lineup. While the top 6 forwards have carried the majority of the goal scoring it hasn’t been without a “scoring by committee” as the third and fourth lines have played a strong defensive role while chipping in offensively when needed.
Perhaps the biggest change Kings coaching staff has noticed is the solid play from all six defensemen. Mac Putio and Jared Burnett have picked up right where they left off last season and continue to be dominate against other teams top pairings. Rookies Tyler Knoblauch and Sheldon Hubbard have been everything expected and veterans Nic Yee and Dustin Gould round out what is an impressive defensive unit thats been getting only better with each game.
It’s imperative tonight for the Kings to start early and more so to have the defense help Mok get off to a good start. The Kings dont want to be chasing a team that has already proven early on this season that they have some of the best goaltending in the NWJHL.
Lineup Notes:Kings are expected to ice the same lineup aside from forward Cody Anderson who will be serving the first game of his suspension.
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook tonight as we will announce the scores during each intermission.
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs North Peace Navigators