Explaining how his Powell River Kings split two weekend home games against BC Hockey League Island Division rivals Nanaimo Clippers, head coach Kent Lewis said it came down to consistency.
The two games were diametric opposites. On October 27, Kings outshot the Clippers 54-24 and won 4-1. Ben Berard, with a goal and an assist, and rookie Kyle Kawamura, who scored twice, led the Kings offensive attack, which failed to capitalize on nine power-play chances.
In a complete reversal the following evening, Naniamo shut out Powell River 4-0.
Lewis said he also attributed the loss to spending too much time in the penalty box. Kings took 22 minutes in penalties and the Clippers scored all four of their goals while on the power play.
“We lacked a killer instinct, thought it would be easy and surrendered two points,” said Lewis. “If you want to be consistent and have the best record in the league, you have to be better than that.”
Kings slipped into a first-place tie with Victoria Grizzles in the division. Both teams have 22 points; Kings have three games in hand.
While he did not figure in on the scoresheet against the Clippers, Kings veteran Carter Turnbull has been one of Lewis’ most dependable players this year. He leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and 10 assists. Five of his goals have come on the power play.
“I'm a little bit more experienced and putting a couple more pucks in the net,” said Turnbull, “but mostly it is just a more mature game.”
Turnbull said his main focus is on consistency and trying to play the same way every game.
“Right now I'm focusing on rounding out my whole game and focusing on defence,” he said. “We have a really good defence this year, so with our goaltending we don't give up a lot of goals against.”
In fact, Kings are one of the stingiest teams in the BCHL and could be even more so, according to Turnbull.
“We have a lot of character on this team and we're still trying to find our consistency,” said Turnbull. “It's really looking good this year.”
The team starts its November schedule with a long, six-game road trip, beginning Friday, November 3, in Wenatchee.