JDA Kings Searching For Answers
A tale of two teams seems to be the reoccurring theme throughout the NWJHL Finals. Before the series started many were expecting it to be a long 6 or 7 game series with both teams battling but I don’t think anyone expected to see such large swings in momentum over the course of the first five games.
Grande Prairie opened the championship series winning three straight and causing the Navs fits. It looked like it was all but a matter of time before the Kings celebrated their first NWJHL championship but since the third period of game three Peace River it appears has swung all momentum in their favour. Since that point they have outscored Grande Prairie 14 to 3 in 7 periods.
After some unrest and concern in Peace River following a last minute loss to the Kings in game three there appears to be a little unease in the Grande Prairie JDA King camp as game six looms Tuesday night.
A 4 to 0 loss in game 5 of the finals has Grande Prairie heading back to the drawing board looking for answers on how to solve what’s been a stingy Navigators defense and an even stingier Cory Houlder. Since coming in relief for injured starter Patrick Earle, Houlder has kept his team in the game at times and managed to rally off two straight wins pulling Peace River back into the series.
Grande Prairie on the other hand are looking for answers and looking for ways to solve both the defence and goaltending from Peace River. With goal scoring coming in bunches for the line of Nolan Trudeau, Devin Bell and Daniel Bishop early on in the series the Navigators duo of Kevin Monfette and Joe Doerksen have responded and contained the Kings line limiting chances by blocking shots and lanes. Unfortunately for Grande Prairie when good shots have gotten through Houlder has been there.
The Kings have had their chances and had a handful in game 4 but they need a little “Puck Luck”. A few posts and a couple goal mouth scrambles had pucks at the net but not finished thanks in large part to a collapsing Navigator defence. The past two games have seen Peace River dominate the front of their net which has been one of the biggest differences in the series momentum swing.
It’s expected that the Kings may see some faces back in the lineup for game 6 but most is all hearsay as the hockey club has been quiet with what it’s preparations are for game 6. With injuries mounting and other players getting healthy it’s unsure of what we’ll see but one could expect to see some lineup changes for Tuesday nights game.
Still, the Kings just need to win one game, the first step will be a strong start Tuesday night in what should be another loud boisterous crowd in Peace River.
Game six should prove to be the best yet, game time is set for 8:00 pm with a 7:30 warmup.
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