JDA Kings Host Blades
It’s been awhile since the Grande Prairie JDA Kings seen the Beaverlodge Blades. In fact it’s been just over a month since the two teams met and while the Blades sit 28 points back of the league leading Kings it was them who handed Grande Prairie their last loss by a 4 to 2 score on December 8th in Beaverlodge. Since that game though the Blades have rallied up the NWJHL standings having been winners of six games in their last seven, most recently with an 8 to 2 thrashing of the third place Slave Lake Wolves this past Saturday.
Needless to say the JDA Kings shouldn’t be taking this one lightly.
The Blades have gotten a big boost in net since they picked up goaltender Dylan Quinn at the end of November. Since his arrival Quinn has posted six wins in eight games with a 3.11 goals against average and a solid .920 save percentage, good enough to be in the top echelon of NWJHL goaltenders.
While Quinn has been a difference maker for the Blades, Kings goaltender has been as equally impressive. Ironically enough Bullers first game as a King was the 4 to 2 loss against the Blades but since that point he has gone 5 and 0 and currently sits with a 2.57 GAA and .921 save percentage.
Both goalies should be expected to be in net tonight when the puck drops.
Perhaps the biggest story of tonight will be how well the Blades play on bigger ice. In recent memory the Blades have always struggled at the Coca Cola Centre and this season has been no different. The Kings have defeated them 13 to 1 and 12 to 2 so far this season but should be mentioned both games took place prior to the end of October.
Notes:This is the fifth and final meeting between both clubs for the regular season. Aside from tonights goaltending battle be on the lookout for Blades defensemen Gage Wells who is having a great year and currently leads all defensemen with 28 points. Kings forward Lyndin Lewis leads all NWJHL scorers with 71 points (in 25 games) and Nolan Trudeau could have a chance to move into second tonight if he manages to pick up one point.
Grande Prairie got a late Christmas gift from the Fort St. John Huskies this past Sunday when the Huskies upset the Navigators handing them just their fourth loss of the season. For much of the season Peace River and Grande Prairie have battled it out for top spot. The Kings currently sit five points up on the Navs with Peace River having one game in hand and both clubs will meet for the fifth and final time on January 25th in Peace River.
Beaverlodge sits in sixth place of the NWJHL standings, just six points back of fourth and eight points back of third. With just eight games remaining the Blades are looking to climb up the standings but the next two games will be pivotal as they face off against the leagues best, tonight in Grande Prairie and this Friday in Beaverlodge against Peace River. If they can manage to steal at least one of two they will have a good opportunity to improve their standing as they face Fairview twice, Slave Lake once, Fort St. John twice, and last place Sexsmith once.
Join us tonight at the Coca Cola Centre for what should be a very entertaining hockey game. Please note game time is 8:30 pm (not 8:00 as mentioned on NWJHL.com)
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs North Peace Navigators