Kings look to solve Navs in Peace River – DHT – Logan Clow
Solving the North Peace Navigators hasn’t been easy for the County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings in recent meetings.
The Navigators, who recently snapped the Fairview Flyers’ 13-game unbeaten streak with a 3-2 shootout win, have won their last four against the Kings.
Friday, the two teams will renew their long-standing rivalry at the Baytex Energy Centre in Peace River.
The Navigators (9-3) have outscored the Kings 30-7 in their last four meetings, which included a 7-0 pre-season win in mid-September.
“I think (we have) to go into the game and play with a little bit more confidence. I think it’s been something mentally that we’ve come in and not played real well against them. I don’t think we’ve been mentally prepared or have done the things necessary to be ready to play against them,” said Kings head coach Kyle Chapple.
“It’s going to be important to worry about our end first and push out from there. In the games previously against them this year, we’ve had some good moments where we’ve played for stretches of the game where we weren’t giving them a whole bunch, but we didn’t put a full 60-minute effort together, especially in the defensive zone, and they capitalized on it. It’s going to take a solid effort in our own zone before we can even start going on the offence.”
The Kings (6-4) are coming off a 5-4 home win over the Fort St. John Huskies on Nov. 7 to wrap a five-game homestand.
Navigators forwards Austin Kuhn (10 goals, 20 assists), Dustin Long (12 goals, 14 assists) and Parker Sharp (17 goals, seven assists) are among the league’s top five scoring leaders.
Joel Wamsteeker leads the Kings with four goals and 12 assists.
Chapple said he’s been pleased with the team’s energy in their last few games.
“As much as it’s been an up and down season, we’re still in a good spot in the standings and we’re still battling for the top spot in the league and that’s where we wanted to be at this time in the season.”
Saturday, the Kings travel to Fort St. John for a rematch against the Huskies (3-6).
Of the Kings’ next four games, all of which on the road, two are against the Navigators.
The Kings also play the Sexsmith Vipers (Nov. 18) and return to Peace River on Nov. 21.
North Peace Navigators vs JDA County Kings
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers