KINGS PUT STREAK ON LINE – Logan Clow Daily Herald Tribune
By LOGAN CLOW
The County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings will have their four-game win streak put to the test on Friday when they travel to face the North Peace Navigators.
With a 6-1 record and ranked third in the North West Junior Hockey League, the JDA Kings’ lone loss of the season came at the expense of a 5-3 Navigators victory on Oct. 17.
“Over the last few years, we’ve had some tough battles with Peace River and it’s always a tough place to play in, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. These are the games we love to play,” said Kyle Chapple, head coach of the JDA Kings.
“I think we have to be good defensively. You’ve got to stay disciplined and stay out of the box. They’ve got a good powerplay and they’ve always had a good powerplay.”
Chapple said it’s going to be a team effort to win in Peace River.
The Navs, under head coach Darcy Haugan, have won three straight games and are the highest scoring team in the NWJHL. The squad is coming off a 9-1 win over the Sexsmith Vipers on Nov. 2 and are ranked first with a 9-2 record.
Chapple said the squad is pleased with having won four games, but noted there is still room for improvement.
“I think we’ve shown really good moments in all four of our wins and we’ve shown some moments where we didn’t play as well but were fortunate to come out on top. They weren’t for long stretches of the game. Maybe a five minute stretch here or 10-minute span where we don’t play great,” said Chapple.
“It’s just trying to get that full 60-minute effort where it’s a complete game and complete effort and that’s something we’re definitely working on.”
The JDA Kings are coming off a 5-3 win over the Fort St. John Huskies on Nov. 1.
Following Friday’s game, the JDA Kings will return home to face the Beaverlodge Blades at the Crosslink County Sportsplex at 8 p.m.
The teams met on Oct. 30, in a 10-4 win for the JDA Kings. The game was tied at 4-4 until Ryan Trudeau scored the go ahead goal late in the second period.
The Blades are 0-10 and still searching for their first victory of the season.
“No team ever in our league is going to be a team we overlook and take for granted that we’re going to beat them,” noted Chapple.
The JDA Kings have added forward Chris Denney, who hails from Maple Ridge, British Columbia.
He comes from playing for the Ridge Meadows Flames junior B team.
Denney was held scoreless in his NWJHL debut against the FSJ Huskies on Nov. 1.
“He’s a young guy that we brought in that’s going to improve the depth of our team a little bit and strengthen up… maybe our third line a little bit. He’s an extremely hardworking kid that was looking for and opportunity here and we’re going to give him that,” said Chapple.
The Kings will also be without 18-year-old defenceman Colton Sandboe. Chapple said Sandboe has left the team to play junior B hockey in British Columbia.
Sandboe started the season with the Grande Prairie Storm, before being released and than joining the JDA Kings.
“It’s not something we really saw coming,” said Chapple.
“We wish him all the best. It is a loss to our team, but at the same time, we still like our seven guys back there and all seven of them can do the job.”
Chapple said with having won four games, he doesn’t plan to do any roster tinkering. He said that throughout the month of November, he will continue to re-evaluate the team.
JDA County Kings vs Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks
JDA County Kings vs Fairview Flyers
JDA County Kings vs Sexsmith Vipers