Following a 12-day Christmas break that went far too quickly for some, Powell River Kings returned to action for a single game over the weekend, visiting Cowichan Valley Capitals on December 29, 2018. The game not only officially kick-started the stretch drive to playoffs, it also closed the book on an eventful 2018.
The first game back from a break is always a battle of the mistakes. The winner is usually the team that masters the art of going back to basics quicker, with hands and skills not what they were before a two-week absence from the rink.
“The skills are certainly off after 12 days away, so you have to just keep it basic by getting pucks in deep, outworking guys down low and get a couple of greasy goals,” said veteran forward Josh Coblenz.
Thanks to a warm-up infraction by the Capitals, Kings found themselves on a powerplay to start the game, however, it failed to convert as the teams played a predictably messy opening period that remained scoreless through 20 minutes.
Powell River had a dream start to the second period, scoring on the opening shift as Levi Glasman found the back of the net for his 10th goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.
Cowichan countered with a pair of goals shortly afterward, 52 seconds apart, to take a 2-1 lead before a rush started by Coblenz was finished by Ben Thomas at the side of the net for an easy tap-in goal, his sixth of the year.
Capitals added one more before the period ended and for the 14th time this season Kings found themselves down through 40 minutes.
Similar to the middle frame, Powell River started strong in the third period with Ryan Brushett loading up and firing from the right side for his league-leading 28th goal of the campaign to tie the score 3-3. Four minutes later, Jayden Lee pinched at the blue line, then made a couple of moves to open up a shot that found the back of the net, his fifth, for a 4-3 lead.
Mitch Adamyk carried the load in net, stopping 22 Cowichan shots en route to his 16th win of the year and 22nd for his team.
“As a coaching staff that game was very frustrating; we even tried to decline that penalty at the start of the game,” joked assistant coach Brock Sawyer following the win. “We regrouped after the first period and began to take it to them in the second and obviously in the third as well. It was a game of mistakes, they capitalized on our mistakes but our resiliency showed through and we found a way to win the game.”
Powell River turns the page to a new year just one point back of Victoria for first place in the BC Hockey League Island Division with a record of 22-14-0-1. The team returns to action at home at 7 pm on Friday, January 4, when it entertains Wenatchee. Powell River will also play at 3:30 pm on Sunday, January 6, against Cowichan at Hap Parker Arena.