With freshly minted gold medals from the World Junior A Challenge, forward Carter Turnbull and goaltender Mitch Adamyk are looking forward to returning to the Powell River Kings lineup.
On December 16, Turnbull and Adamyk joined their Team Canada West teammates in celebrating a 5-1 win over Team USA in the gold medal game of the championships in Truro, Nova Scotia.
It was the second gold medal for Turnbull in three appearances with Team Canada West at the World Challenge and it was made even more special as he was named captain.
“It was a huge honour,” said Turnbull, who notched an assist in the championship game. “I was kind of hoping for it because it was my third year. I had a lot of experience in the tournament and I knew the coaching staff pretty well. It's every kid's dream to wear the ‘C’ on the Canada jersey.”
The final game was never in doubt against Team USA, which has won seven gold medals to Canada’s five in the 12 years of the World Challenge tournament.
“The gold medal game was one of our biggest blowouts of the tournament,” said Turnbull. “Usually, at the end of the game, it's pretty tight. It was just kind of a happy vibe because we were already up 5-1 near the end of the game. We knew we were going to win.”
Adamyk was playing in his first World Challenge. As backup to Zach Rose of the Victoria Grizzlies, who was spectacular in the final game, Adamyk saw limited action. He played 35 minutes in the tournament opener, which was one of two tournament losses for Team Canada West.
Turnbull said having his Kings teammate with him to share the two-week experience made it even more memorable.
“It's awesome to have a teammate who you can talk to and travel with,” said Turnbull. “It's cool that we can both bring a gold medal back to Powell River.”
While he was in Nova Scotia, Turnbull said he was on the phone with his Kings teammates, talking about how things were going and where things were at for the team in BC Hockey League action.
The news has not been good.
Turnbull, the Kings' leading scorer before going to the Team Canada West camp and Adamyk, the number-one goaltender, were missed. Without them, the Kings record has been one win, three losses, one overtime loss and a tie.
The team’s hold on first place in the Island Division is slipping. Only one point separates the Kings, with 42 points, from Nanaimo Clippers and the Grizzlies, both with 41.
On the Kings most recent road trip, the team lost 8-4 to the Surrey Eagles on December 15, dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Coquitlam Express on December 16 and played West Kelowna Warriors to a 6-6 draw after two overtime periods on December 17.
Turnbull and Adamyk will be back in the lineup for the final Kings home game of 2017 on Friday, December 29, against the Clippers.
“We're really looking forward to getting back and getting back on some win streaks and getting that playoff push,” said Turnbull. “Now that I have the gold medal, the only focus right now is getting that [BC Hockey League] championship. That's the only thing on my mind now.”
Meanwhile, on a three-game road trip in mid-December, Kings lost 8-4 to the Surrey Eagles on December 15, dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Coquitlam Express on December 16 and played West Kelowna Warriors to a 6-6 draw after two overtime periods on December 17.
Returning home to Hap Parker Arena on December 29, the team lost 2-1 to the Nanaimo Clippers. Kings finished the year on the road in Port Alberni with a 3-2 win against the Bulldogs on December 30 and a 3-2 loss on December 31.