Matthias Smith stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced to lead Powell River Kings to a win over the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs at Hap Parker Arena on Saturday, December 4.
Kings were outshot 38-25 overall, but managed to beat Bulldogs’ goaltender Hayden Dunford on two occasions, which was just enough to secure a 2-1 win over their BC Hockey League Coastal Division rivals.
After a scoreless initial 20 minutes, Kings’ defender Nathan Small opened the scoring two minutes into period two; his fourth of the BCHL season was also his second in as many games. Sam Belanger and Anthony Lucarelli picked up assists on the play. Kings also had a penalty shot opportunity in the second period, but Dunford stopped the attempt by Nolan Krogfoss.
Kings’ forward Maxim Potvin set up Aaron Neal’s third of the campaign and eventual game winner at 8:25 of the third period. Bulldogs capitalized on a late power play, cutting the lead in half with 1:17 remaining on the clock but were unable to beat Smith again, even with Dunford pulled in favour of an extra attacker.
Smith was named the game’s first star ahead of Dunford (second) and Belanger (third). Attendance was 722.
Alberni is fourth in the nine-team Coastal Division with 25 points. Powell River is seventh with 17. Langley sits atop the division with 29 points.
Kings host two more home games at Hap Parker Arena this weekend. Cowichan Valley visits Friday, December 10; puck drop is set for 7 pm.
Nanaimo comes to town Saturday, December 11. The game was added to the schedule after a home date with Salmon Arm on the same day was postponed due to provincial highway conditions; game time is scheduled for 5 pm.