JDA Kings Fall
Much was said early in the season about the NWJHL being a two team contest and this past Saturday both those teams met for the second time this season. The first contest saw the Grande Prairie JDA Kings win in Peace River via 6 to 2 score. This past Saturday the Navigators exacted revenge in a big way not only thumping Grande prairie 9 to 4 but it also signaled the first loss the Kings have faced all season.
“You always dream about going undefeated in a season but I think we knew it would happen at some point over the course of the year, it’s not an easy thing to accomplish no matter what level of hockey you play” said Kings head coach Kyle Chapple following Saturday nights game.
Bad starts have been a reoccurring theme throughout the 2012 – 2013 NWJHL regular season for Grande Prairie and in what was billed as the biggest game of the year it appeared to be over before it really had a chance to begin. Peace River jumped out to a 3 to 0 lead just five minutes into the game.
“It’s hard to get into the game when you’re down 3 to 0 essentially on the first three shots of the game. Our team never seemed to recover from that dreadful start and we ended up losing our focus for the rest of the night.”
Losing focus appeared to be an understatement. Grande Prairie was pegged for 5 powerplay goals and gave the Navigators 15 opportunities throughout the evening opposed to Peace River, who had just five minors, three of which resulted in Kings powerplays.
15 to 3 were the opportunities but Chapple isn’t blaming the reffing.
“Of course you get frustrated with the calls or lack there of against your team but this isn’t the first time it’s happened in a hockey game. Great teams will always find a way to battle through adversity whether it be the reffing or something else and unfortunately for us we looked very average Saturday night”.
Kings coaching staff wasnt mulling over the loss it was how the team responded and how to get better going forward.
“I think it reiterates that we still have to work hard every game and every practice no matter how many games we’ve won, you can’t just expect to flip a switch and turn it on when you need it, we need to come ready to practice Tuesday night, put some hard work in, get prepared for the weekend and come out of Fairview with a win”.
As mentioned Grande Prairie returns to the ice tonight for there Tuesday practice and will only play one game this weekend when they make their first ever visit to Fairview to play the Flyers, a team who has underwent a coaching change and is playing much better hockey since the start of the season.
Grande Prairie JDA Kings will have a weekend preview for the Kings and Flyers later on this week.
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs North Peace Navigators