Powell River Kings opened its 2017/18 BC Hockey League campaign by splitting at home against Victoria Grizzlies, the team that beat them in the Island Division final series last season.
Kings came out sharp, fast and focused in the first of the two weekend games on Friday, September 8, winning by a lopsided score of 8-2.
“I thought we had good energy and were dialed in,” said Kings head coach Kent Lewis. “We saw a lot of good things.”
Kings lost the second game on Saturday, September 9, by a score of 2-1 in double overtime, despite outshooting the Grizzlies 37-28.
“We had some good chances to win and they did. What cost us on Saturday was an inability to score on the power play early,” said Lewis. “That can be attributed to killer instinct and also just a lack of games.”
Lewis said that it is only the first two games of the season and a learning curve for the team. He wasn’t surprised at any of the areas the team has to get better at.
“We scored a lot of goals and didn't give up a lot,” said Lewis. “Our defence was pretty good. We just have to be more mature in back-to-back games and our better players have to be better.”
Veteran forward Jonny Evans, who was the leading scorer for the Kings last year, came out of the weekend with four points with a goal and three assists in the first game.
Off-season acquisitions, including Kyle Kawamura with three points, Trent Bell with two, and Kevin Obssuth, Nick Abbott, Nathan Kelly and Ben Raffler all with one point each, had a solid weekend series.
Meanwhile, veteran Gavin Rauser will wear the "C" on his jersey as Kings team captain this season, with Evans, Carter Turnbull and Carmine Buono chosen as assistants.
Kings' next games are on the road against Island Division rivals. On Friday, September 15, the team plays in Cowichan Valley against the Chiefs and on Saturday, September 16, faces Nanaimo Clippers.