Kings Finish 2014 with Another Win Over FSJ – DHT
For the second straight Saturday, the County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings hosted the Fort St. John Huskies, and for the second straight week came away with all of the points.
But the two tilts held little in common.
A week ago, an undermanned, weather and bus- challenged B.C. crew hung tough for a period but ran out of gas en route to a 10-2 loss, a score that actually flattered the visitors thanks to solid goaltending.
Fast forward a week and the last game of the 2014 calendar year saw the Kings manage a tidy 4-2 win, outshooting their manned-up visitors by a two-to-one margin and head into the holiday break two points out of first, with a game in hand on the top-running North Peace Navigators.
Overall, Kings coach Kyle Chapple was pleased with the effort, especially defensively.
“I think we came out a little bit flat in the first, but rallied in the second and by the middle of that period we kind of took over control of the game,” said Chapple.
“Even though it was close, we did a good job of shutting them down and limiting their quality scoring chances, so it was a solid, controlled effort.”
It was the Huskies who opened up the scoring, Kodie Fisher scoring at 3:33 of the first.
The Kings evened early in the second on a marker from Corey Wamsteeker, but the Huskies quickly regained the lead on a goal by Daylen Pearson.
But Zach Bennett scored on the powerplay on a tipped shot from the point, and the teams entered the third even at two.
Wamsteeker’s second of the night and Mitch Stordy’s 12th of the year iced the game.
The team fired 45 shots on Travis McLean, while Kings’ Andy Gilker stopped 23 shots to pick up the win.
Chapple says the break will give time to reflect on the club moving forward in the 2015 portion of the season.
With major card deadlines looming, some long-term decisions on roster will have to be made soon.
“I anticipate there could be some moves, but it’s not like we are unhappy with what have in place right now,” said Chapple.
“You never know what players become available, or what movement might happen, and if something pops up that could help make the team better we will certainly take a look at it.”
Chapple says the team is gaining an identity of being tight, hard-working defensively, puck controlling and responsible on both ends, but says getting offensive output from all four lines has been key.
“Look at (Brock) Clements he’s on third line and on 20 points and (Mitch) Stordy, he’s on the fourth line, he has 12 goals,” he said.
Elsewhere Saturday is was a long night for the Beaverlodge Blades who lost 20-1 in Peace River, while Fairview beat Sexsmith 11-2.
The Kings next see action in Fairview Jan. 3.
North Peace Navigators vs JDA County Kings
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers