JDA Kings Pick Up 4 Points
It was exactly the outcome the Grande Prairie JDA Kings had hoped for this past weekend earning four points in back to back games against two teams in the middle of the NWJHL standings. Despite a shorter bench and a thin amount of bodies on the back end Grande Prairie walked away with a 7 to 2 win Friday night and then followed that up with a thrilling 3 to 2 overtime win against the Fairview Flyers Saturday night at the Coca Cola Centre.
“No matter who you play in this league back to back nights are never an easy thing, especially when you’re not getting into your bed Friday night until 2am so” said Kings Head Coach Kyle Chapple.
An 8:30 pm start Friday night didn’t seem to slow the Kings down much in Dawson Creek. Despite only ending the first period up 2 to 1 Grande Prairie found themselves with numerous point blank opportunities but seemed to miss fire early on in the game. When they didn’t Canucks goaltender Justin Samra seemed to be in the right position to make the save.
“We played a great road period in the first only giving up 6 shots, we had one mental lapse behind our net and they scored. Certainly helped set the tone for the rest of the game” mentioned Chapple.
Most of the night the Kings we’re in Dawson Creeks end outshooting the Jr. Canucks 54 to 27. Not tasked with to many tough saves in the early going Kings goaltender Sky Buller was steady and would finish the night with 25 saves in the win. Since returning to the lineup forward Daniel Bishop has seemed to give both Nolan and Ryan Trudeau an added offensive boost. Friday night the line would combine for 8 points with Nolan leading the way with 4 assists. His brother Ryan as well as Bishop would both add two goals on the night.
Saturday night The Kings played host to the Fairview Flyers, a team that for much of the season has been a bit of a mystery. They started the season slow then rallied for a few wins before losing some games they probably should have won. Sitting just two points back of third place they seemed to have found their stride and heading into Saturday nights contest were winners of three straight.
Safe to say Grande Prairie seen why they’ve been having success as of late.
A fairly even first twenty minutes would see Fairview outshoot the Kings 15 to 12 but find themselves trailing after goals by Kings forwards Daniel Bishop (assists Ryan Trudeau & Nolan Trudeau) and Nolan Trudeau (assist Daniel Bishop). Fairview’s Khalin Marsolais would respond for the visitors.
When the second period came around the JDA Kings didn’t know what hit them as Fairview continued to up the pressure. The Flyers would outshoot the Kings 15 to 8 in the middle frame but couldn’t solve Kings goalie Sky Buller who was starting his first back to back games of the season.
“Sky played great. They put tons of pressure on us in the second but he held his ground and kept them off the scoreboard. It was huge for us” said Chapple.
Grande Prairie looked to be running out of steam but as the buzzer rang to end the second period they still found themselves up by one heading into the final twenty.
Fairview however changed that in a blink scoring on the powerplay to tie the game at two early in the third. Both teams for the rest of the period would trade chances but when it ended things would remain tied and for the second time this season Grande Prairie would be faced with a 3 on 3 overtime. Unlike their previous overtime this season with Peace River the Kings wouldn’t need a shootout to secure the extra point.
Busting in 2 on 1 forward Nolan Trudeau would feed Lyndin Lewis who would sneak it in behind Flyers netminder CJ Wass for the eventual winner.
“Hard fought game on both sides. Guys were tired you could tell but we managed to show we can win tight games as well which is nice to see” said Chapple.
“With Peace River nipping at our heels we definitely needed the extra point”.
With the wins Grande Prairie continues to sit atop the NWJHL standings and will be back in action for their third game in fifth night as they host another red hot team in the Beaverlodge Blades Tuesday night at the Coca Cola Centre.
Join us tomorrow on grandeprairiejdakings.com for our game preview.
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs North Peace Navigators