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Kings conquer wildlife on the road

Niddery scores five goals in two games

Powell River Kings survived attacks by raptors and bears over the weekend before heading out for more big game on their interior road trip.

They trounced the Surrey Eagles 5-1 on Friday night at Hap Parker Arena and then dashed down to Victoria to claw out a 4-2 win over the Grizzlies on Saturday.

It was Don Cherry look-a-like night on Friday and anyone looking closely would have seen them all smiling at the early performance of the Kings.

Lightning struck at just 0:21 seconds when the Kings stormed the offensive zone and Matt Garbowsky pounced on a rebound to open the scoring.

His goal opened the first period floodgates for the Kings as they pumped two more quick ones into the Surrey net, prompting Surrey coach Matt Erhart to pull his starting goaltender after just eight minutes and 30 seconds.

If Surrey thought that move and a couple of fights were all that were required to stop the Kings’ attack they were mistaken.

After two bouts featuring Kings’ Justin Bardarson and Chris Williams, Cohen Adair scored his second goal of the period on the powerplay at 19:37 to take a 4-0 lead into the first break.

Chad Niddery, who had also scored in the opening period, added to the Kings’ four-goal lead in the second with a nice forehand deke on a breakaway to make it 5-0.

Kings were dominating the Eagles in the game and the wide 36-14 shot margin meant that the Kings had maintained their focus through two periods.

The third, however, presented some penalty problems for the Kings and the Eagles regained just enough composure to score late in the game for the 5-1 final.

Coach Kent Lewis said, “We had a good week of practice and I think we just played our game and the start was key. Right off the get-go Garbowky’s line came out with that energy on the first shift and when you have guys with talent that want it, it’s just fun to watch.”

Michael Garteig had another solid performance in goal and commented on his team’s penchant for playing with leads and the comfort that comes from one- and two-goal games.

“Personally, I like closer games than ones like this because it’s kind of hard because some people lose focus,” he said.

He got his wish on Saturday night when the Kings survived a Grizzly attack with a 4-2 win.

Niddery was the hero for the second consecutive night as he struck for a hat trick and his fifth goal in two games to lead the Kings’ offensive thrust.

Two wins against two conference rivals is a good sign for the Kings who look to be back in form.

Lewis said, “We’re just getting back into sync here again after the eight or nine days off for Christmas.”

With that in mind, the four-game road trip this week against Interior Conference frontrunners should be a great barometer for the Kings.

They open against Kelowna’s Westside Warriors on Tuesday, January 18, then Trail Smoke Eaters on Wednesday, January 19, Vernon Vipers on Friday, January 21 and finish up in Penticton to play the Vees on Saturday, January 22. Next home game is Tuesday, January 25.

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