JDA Kings Remain Undefeated
The Grande Prairie JDA Kings continued to climb the standings and seperate themselves from the rest of the NWJHL pack with another win Tuesday night at the Coca Cola Centre improving their record to a perfect 7 and 0, good enough for 14 points and an eight point lead over the three teams currently battling it out for second place.
The last few starts hadnt been the best for the Kings and it had been reiterated not only in the dressing room but throughout that Grande Prairie needs to get off to a better start. Tuesday night they did just that.
Just over a minute into the game forward Lyndin Lewis on a setup from linemate Corey Wamsteeker pushed the Kings out in front and essentially paced the Kings to what would be their quickest start of the season thus far. Three goals in under four minutes, all coming from the combination of the two with an assist from rookie defensemen Sheldon Hubbard on the third goal at the 16:04 mark of the first. Sexsmith would add one also in that time frame on a bounce off a Kings defender but the Kings Nolan Trudeau would add one more before the period was out to stretch the lead to 4 to 1.
The pace of the second period was a evenly matched with chances coming from both sides. The first five minutes remained scoreless until Sexsmith once again made it a two goal game when Austin Burton put one home. Feeling a little momentum from that goal the Vipers carried the play for awhile and had a golden opportunity to pull within one on a powerplay at the 12 minute mark. Like it has all season long already the Kings special teams would once again strike to help turn the momentum again in their favour.
Having been one of the more proficient powerplays early on this season the Kings coaching staff is equally as excited to see the Penalty Kill gaining steam. For the second straight game Grande Prairies penalty kill would help turn the tide, last week it was Lyndin Lewis, this week it would be forward Kevin Garner scoring at 7:22. Every team knows shorthanded goals are always a plus but when you can force your opponents into going 0 for 11 with the man advantage it is equally as important.
The Kings pressed on the gas a little adding two more. Making his first appearance of the season forward Zack Mungall tallied his first when he snuck one past Vipers netminder Braydon Glinnum. Minutes after Sheldon McArthur put the Kings up 7 to 2. The Vipers would add one before the period closed but that would be all she wrote. The Kings would add one more in the final frame as Wamsteeker scored his third on another assist from Lewis.
With four days off now in between games the Kings will face a stiff challenge when they lace them up Sunday afternoon in Slave Lake. The Wolves and Kings met earlier this season in Grande Prairie with the JDA Kings walking away with a 4 to 1 win. Games in Slave Lake can be a different story altogether and having to leave early Sunday morning will put the Kings bus legs in full effect.
Stay tuned to grandeprairiejdakings.com for a game and NWJHL weekend preview.
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