With injuries sidelining multiple Powell River Kings defenders, the BC Hockey League team’s depth faced a challenge heading into a weekend home-stand against two tough Interior Division opponents.
Kings prevailed in both games, beating Trail Smoke Eaters 5-3 on October 6 and Wenatchee Wild 4-2 on October 7.
“Outside of eight minutes in the second period against Wenatchee, and maybe a sloppy second period against Trail, we had a very consistent weekend,” said Kings head coach Kent Lewis.
Kings have depth throughout the lineup, especially up front, according to Lewis. If there is a weakness right now, it is on defence, not due to poor play by defenders, but as a result of injuries to two veteran players, said Lewis.
“It shows,” said Lewis. “Jack Long and Callum Volpe being out of the lineup has challenged us.
After Saturday’s game against Wenatchee, Lewis gave full credit to the five defenders he had on his bench.
“Buono logged the most time back there and he had a good weekend,” said Lewis. “I credit our defence for stepping up.”
Buono is tied for fourth among defenders in league scoring and plus/minus.
With an Island Division-leading seven wins, one loss and one overtime loss, Kings own the best win/loss record in the league. Even more impressive is the team’s goals for/against differential, with 44 goals scored while allowing only 23 against.
Meanwhile, Lewis gave 17-year-old forward and Powell River-born Ethan Schmunk his first opportunity for BCHL action.
“I thought he did very well and he's developing nicely,” said Lewis.
Powell River visits Chilliwack, Vernon and Trail during a three-game road trip from Friday, October 13, to Sunday, October 15.