Dawson McKay’s goal with seven seconds left on the clock lifted Powell River Kings to a 6-5 comeback win over Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday, September 7, at Hap Parker Arena in Powell River.
Ethan Schmunk fed the puck into the slot toward McKay, who potted home his third goal of the season. He initially fanned on the shot, but spun off a check and backhanded a bouncing puck through the legs of Bulldogs’ goaltender Luke Pearson.
“Dawson has been a force for the offensive side of our team,” said Kings’ forward Reilly Moran on McKay’s heroics. “He’s a bigger body and we expect him to get pucks in down low.”
Kings bounced back from a 4-1 deficit at the halfway point of the second period; a goalie change and three unanswered goals tied the contest 4-4 going into the third period. It was the second of three comebacks by the Kings during the game.
“I don’t think we played bad in the first half of the game,” said Kings assistant coach Brock Sawyer. “We made some mistakes, and we shot ourselves in the foot coming out of our own end and in the regroup, so you just stick with it and find a way. Give our guys credit, they worked hard right to the very end.”
In the third period, Ian Kern tied the score at five when his point shot found its way into the net.
Kern’s tying goal, the first of his junior A career, helped lead the way for McKay’s eventual game-winning goal in the dying seconds. Moran joined Kern by scoring his first BC Hockey League goal midway through the second period, the first of the three unanswered goals by the Kings in the middle frame.
“It really just speaks to the character of our team,” said Moran. “We’ve been putting a lot of hours in training camp and it’s paid off. We battled back down 4-1, then 5-4, and won 6-5. It was a huge team win.”
Schmunk scored the third and fourth goals for the home team, and finished with a three-point game. Christian Buono recorded three assists, giving him five helpers in two games, while Davis Pennington and Dylan Finlay also had multi-assist games.
Matteo Paler-Chow was pulled after 23-minutes of action, in which he allowed three goals on 11 shots. Alex Rolfe earned the win, allowing two goals on 23 shots in 36 minutes of game action.
Powell River outshot Alberni 52-34 and went two for five on the powerplay. A crowd of 663 fans attended the game.
Kings return to action on Friday, September 13, against Chilliwack Chiefs at Hap Parker Arena. Game time is 7 pm.