Top Two Rematch
Hostilities are set to be reacquainted this Friday night in Peace River as the Grande Prairie JDA Kings will face off against the North Peace Navigators in a battle of one versus two. Separated by just two points both clubs have only met twice this season, once in Peace River and once in Grande Prairie with both road teams coming away with a convincing win.
For the Grande Prairie JDA Kings the wound is still fresh in their minds after they suffered their first loss of the season in a humiliating defeat on home ice. That game was dubbed perhaps the biggest game of the year for both clubs but someone forgot to mention it to the Kings as they were smoked on home ice 9 to 4. The lone positive moment for GP in that game was a strong finish to a rather dismal start. The Kings found themselves down 4 to 0 early on in the game and were trailing 8 to 1 after two. They managed to pull a little bit of dignity outscoring the Navs 3 to 1 in the third and outshooting them 23 to 7 but it was little to late.
Moving forward one can argue that every game here on out is going to determine first place in the NWJHL standings. Peace River (30 pts, 15 wins, 3 losses)currently sits two points back of Grande Prairie with one more game played. Both teams however have a comfortable cushion heading into the Christmas break on the rest of the NWJHL. The third place Slave Lake Wolves sit in third with 22 points and 19 games played, 8 back of the Navs and 10 of the Kings.
Needless to say Friday nights game in Peace River will be an important one. Having met twice thus far this season Grande Prairie could all but secure first place (barring any set backs with losses the rest of the way) with a win Friday night and following it up with another win next Saturday in Grande Prairie when they host.
While we can talk about it being a first place game hockey is certainly a streaky game and we’ve heard a thousand times, “anything can happen” over the course of a season.
Not an easy finish before Christmas break the Kings will face the Navigators twice, the steadily improving Fairview Flyers, the Beaverlodge Blades and the Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks at home on the 20th to wrap up the 2012 portion of the NWJHL season.
Join us tomorrow, we’ll have updates on the Kings and Navigators leading up to game time.
North Peace Navigators vs JDA County Kings
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers