Kings’ first-place push on track – DHT
It’s a ‘must win’ situation for the County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings’ last two regular season games, says head coach Kyle Chapple.
Friday, Evan Tordiff, Joel Wamsteeker, Ryan Trudeau, Corey Wamsteeker and Donald Gaudreault scored for the Kings and goaltender Andy Gilker made 50 saves to halt the North Peace Navigators’ 14-game win streak with a 6-3 victory at the Crosslink County Sportsplex.
The Kings (23-4-0-1) are tied with the Navigators (20-3-0-1) for first in league standings with 47 points, although the Navigators have a game at-hand.
“I thought we did a good job at keeping pucks to the outside and not giving them Grade A scoring chances and taking away second opportunities from them,” said Chapple, assessing Friday’s game.
The Kings play in Peace River on Feb. 8 and will then wrap the regular season in Beaverlodge on Feb. 11.
Meanwhile, the Navs play their final three regular season games on home ice – Feb. 6 and 14 against Sexsmith and Feb. 8 against the Kings.
Whoever finishes first in the standings earns a first-round bye and home ice advantage throughout playoffs.
For the Kings to have any sort of chance to take top spot, Chapple said they must win their final regular season games.
“We’ve got to win both (games). That’s the way it is. We can only dictate what we do and we’ve got to win next Sunday in Peace River,” said Chapple
“We wanted to make that game worth something next weekend and we did that by winning tonight.”
If the Kings are unable to secure top spot, they will still have home ice in the first round.
Chapple said wherever the team ends up in the standings, he’s confident with the squad he has.
“I like where we’re at. I think we have enough depth and the additions that we made at the deadline too are going to help us. I think we’re in a good spot.”
JDA County Kings vs Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers
JDA County Kings vs Sexsmith Vipers