JDA Kings take three straight – DHT
Playing their third game in as many nights, the County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings’ resilience and determination was put on display Saturday night at the Crosslink County Sportsplex against the Fairview Flyers.
After a 7-0 victory at home against the Sexsmith Vipers on Thursday and a 20-4 drubbing of the Blades in Beaverlodge on Friday, the Kings rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the third period with a game-tying goal from captain Corey Wamsteeker to force overtime. Midway through the extra frame, Kings forward Ryan Trudeau cashed in on a two-on-one play and made no mistake in scoring the overtime winner – his 24th goal of the season –for a 3-2 victory.
The overtime victory for Kings (21-4-0-1) came three weeks after the Flyers topped the Kings 9-2 in Fairview.
Kyle Chapple, head coach of the Kings, described Saturday’s victory as a “good character win.”
“I thought our work ethic was much better tonight. I thought some guys were working extremely hard tonight right until the final buzzer. With three games in three nights, you could see their legs were starting to get a bit heavy towards the end, but I thought they battled hard,” said Chapple.
“(The win) is a team-builder, so we’re looking to build off this.”
Chapple also credited goaltender Andy Gilker, who picked up his 15th win of the season, for his play Saturday. Gilker has yet to loose back-to-back starts this season.
He said it was also fitting for Trudeau, who extended his goal scoring streak to four games, to score the game winner.
“It’s well-deserved because he’s worked extremely hard and when you work hard, good things happen,” noted Chapple.
The six points move the Kings back into a tie for first with Peace River’s North Peace Navigators, who still have two games in hand, in the North West Junior Hockey League standings.
Offence wasn’t a problem for the Kings during their three-game in three nights schedule. The Kings outscored their opponents 30-6.
The most notable offensive outburst was from captain Corey Wamsteeker on Friday in Beaverlodge, where he tallied four goals and seven assists. All 15 Kings players tallied a point or more against the Blades, who have only one win in their 25 games.
The offensive outburst has created a cushion for Wamsteeker at the top of the league’s scoring race. With 35 goals and 37 assists, the Kings captain has 11 points more than Fairview Flyers forward Doug Morris (29 goals, 34 assists).
The race for top spot in the NWJHL continues for the Kings on Jan. 30 when they host the North Peace Navigators.
The game will mark the fourth time this season the teams have met. Peace River has won two of the three, including their last game on Nov. 29 with a 4-1 victory.
Of the Kings’ three remaining regular season games, two are a home-and-away set against the Navigators.
The Kings travel to Peace River on Feb. 8 and close out the regular season on Feb. 11 in Beaverlodge.
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs North Peace Navigators