Kings look to snap skid – DHT Clow

November 26, 2015
JDA County Kings

The Kings (6-7-0-1), fourth in the seven-team league, return to the Crosslink County Sportsplex on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. to host the Sexsmith Vipers. The squad is also home to the league-leading Fairview Flyers on Saturday at 8 p.m. and then travel to play the Beaverlodge Blades on Sunday afternoon.

Losing four straight games hasn’t been a common trait for the County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings over the past few seasons.

Yet, it’s reality this season for the junior B squad.

Kyle Chapple, head coach of the Kings, said recent stretches of inconsistency have plagued the team.

The Kings (6-7-0-1), fourth in the seven-team league, return to the Crosslink County Sportsplex on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. to host the Sexsmith Vipers. The squad is also home to the league-leading Fairview Flyers on Saturday at 8 p.m. and then travel to play the Beaverlodge Blades on Sunday afternoon.

Despite losing all four games on their recent road trip, Chapple said the team’s play hasn’t been all negative, eluding to the fact the Kings lost all four games by one or two goals.

‘We just had some mental lapses in some of the games where we either started strong and got behind ad we battled back from there, or we had a bad 10-minute stretch where we gave up a few goals. I wouldn’t say we’ve played horrible through this stretch,” said Chapple.

“It’s just been a 10-minute span here or there in a game where we’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot and then we’ve battled back from there and that’s a tough way to play.”

Through seven home games this season, the Kings are 4-3.

Chapple said the key for the team in their next three games is to play with focus.

“It is staying focused and ‘how are you going to react when you get scored on?’, and keeping that mental focus there because when we get scored on, we go into a lull for the next 10 or 12 minutes of the hockey game. You don’t have time for that. You have to get right back out there and you got to have some push back,” said Chapple.

A positive for the Kings, noted Chapple has been the team’s play shorthanded. The Kings have killed off 15 of their last 18 penalties. Chapple credited the team’s penalty killers for shot blocking and getting into the shooting lanes.

An area that needs to improve, noted Chapple, is the team’s powerplay. Over their last four games, the Kings have scored only three times on 15 opportunities.

“I think one thing we’ve struggled with is guys are getting to complacent (on the powerplay). We’ve got some skilled players,” said Chapple.

“We want our skilled players to use the entire ice and to be creative and not always looking for the perfect play all the time. It’s quick puck movement and things like that which make your powerplay successful.”

“Another thing we’ve been stressing is when we get a powerplay, it’s not a time to slow down, it’s time to go harder.”

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