Powell River U13 Kings built up a 5-0 exhibition game lead against a visiting Campbell River squad on Saturday, March 11, and then hung on to win 5-4.
Lucas Gruntman led the scoring with a hat-trick and one assist. His first goal came on a power play with 1:49 left in the first period. He scored his second goal skating in from the blue line and putting the puck just under the crossbar with an assist going to Gabriel Calderone. His third came after Cameron Milne broke in all alone and had his shot stopped. Gruntman then pounced on the puck and sent it into the net.
Calderone scored the Kings’ second goal with nine seconds left in the first period as the puck lay in the crease before he flipped it in. Grayden Kendrick and Kooper Kozmeniuk were credited with assists.
Carson Laing converted a pass from Gruntman and Reid Stekman for the fourth marker. He also helped set up the first goal with Cooper Lawry.
Goaltending and defence were strong for the local squad, which led 5-0 after two periods at Hap Parker Arena but ran into penalty problems in the third, giving up two power play goals. The visitors scored four straight times including three in the span of two minutes. Campbell River continually pressed until being assessed a penalty late in the game.
The contest helped keep the U13 Kings game ready as they will travel to West Vancouver to compete against other regional winners for the Tier 3 provincial title from March 19 to 23.