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Kings net their first win

Stats show improvement leading up to home opener

After dropping their first two games of the year at the BC Hockey League showcase, Powell River Kings embarked on a tough three-game road trip hoping to turn things around.

It didn’t look so good when they dropped Friday’s opener 8-4 in Nanaimo against the Clippers, and then a second loss in two nights 4-3 in Alberni Valley against the Bulldogs.

Third game was a charm, however, when the tired Kings, on Sunday afternoon, sucked it up and downed Cowichan Valley Capitals 8-4.

In Nanaimo’s home opener on Friday, September 26, Kings’ Curtis McCarrick and Jarryd Leung matched a couple of Clippers’ goals to tie 2-2 after one period.

Stephen Hiff got a power-play goal to put the Kings up 3-2 but Nanaimo popped in a couple at 11:47 and 13:00 to lead 4-3 after two.

The Clippers got two more at 5:11 and 6:16 to start the third for a three-goal lead before Kurt Keats replied on the power play to make it 6-4.

Nanaimo put the Kings away with a couple of late goals to make the final 8-4 and send 1,528 fans home happy.

Goalie Brett Magnus stopped 31 of 38 shots directed his way in the loss and his teammates were good on two of six with the man advantage while penalty killers held Nanaimo off the board in five tries.

Over to Alberni on Saturday for yet another opener and the Kings continued to show improvement game by game.

They controlled play early and, on goals from Leung and Alex Jackstadt, led the contest 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Alberni looked much more determined in the second, however, outshot the Kings 19-9 and scored a couple of goals on Magnus to tie 2-2 after two periods.

They continued to press in the third and scored midway through the period to lead 3-2 but Kings’ Jacob Pritchard evened the score 3-3 on the power play at 12:51.

It looked as though overtime was going to be required to break the tie when, at 18:24, Alberni’s Chris Schultz took a centring pass in the slot and blindly whirled around with a backhand to beat Magnus and stun the Kings.

Magnus was the second star in this game stopping 37-41 while the Kings went 2-6 on the power play and allowed just one Alberni power-play goal in six tries.

Kings were crushed by the defeat but, nonetheless, found the resolve the next afternoon to go after their first win in Duncan.

Keats got them off on the right foot at 4:14 but Cowichan tied it 1-1 less than a minute later.

This time Kings answered with emphasis when JJ Coleshaw and Carmine Buono replied to make it 3-1 after the first period.

The teams exchanged single goals in the second period and Cowichan got an early third period goal to close the gap 4-3.

Kings were having none of it, though, and Keats added a pair for his hat trick with Liam Lawson and Jarid Lukosevicius getting singles to pull away and win easily 8-4.

Despite the long road trip Kings outshot the Capitals 38-28, went 2-7 on the power play and gave up one goal on four Cowichan Valley power plays.

Stefan Wornig recorded his first victory in a Kings’ uniform and the win meant the Kings could return to their home opener looking to make it a streak.

Fans finally get their first look at the Kings when they host the Bulldogs at 2 pm on Sunday, October 5 at Hap Parker Arena.

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