Powell River Kings’ powerplay unit continued its strong play of late, accounting for a pair of game winners in two difficult BC Hockey League games at Hap Parker Arena last weekend.
On Friday, January 4, Kings welcomed defending league champion Wenatchee Wild to the Sunshine Coast for their lone visit of the regular season. The game was Wenatchee’s first since the holiday break, while Powell River had played once the week prior, registering a 4-3 win in Cowichan on December 29.
Powell River took the game to Wenatchee off the opening shift. Levi Glasman had a near miss on a great opportunity in close before Ben Thomas scored his fourth goal in five games to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
The home team continued to build on its advantage in the second period when Ethan Kimball stripped the puck from an opponent at the blue line while shorthanded and sprung Ethan Schmunk, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, on a shorthanded breakaway. Schmunk converted on a nice move before wiping out during the celebration, bowling over a teammate in the process. His seventh of the year made it 2-0 before Glasman cashed in on the powerplay to extend the lead.
Wenatchee pushed in the third period, cutting the lead to one and nearly tying the game in the final seconds only to be robbed by a rolling pad save from goaltender Mitch Adamyk, who preserved the win for Powell River. The highlight reel stop was one of 31 for Adamyk as he guided the Kings to a 3-2 victory.
“I told Jayden Lee in pregame skate that if I scored I was going to do that celebration, so that’s why I did it, but when Slats (Brenden Saether) was coming towards me to celebrate, I hit the brakes and hit the ice pretty hard,” said Schmunk about his celebration. “In the game overall, Mitch played great, especially at the end there; he made some big saves and it was a good team win.”
Powell River’s weekend wrapped Sunday afternoon as the team closed a season series against Cowichan. Kings had won six of the previous seven games, including all three at home.
Scoreless through 20 minutes, Cowichan came out firing early in the second period and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Rowan Miller then batted a puck out of midair in front of the net to get Powell River on the board before Christian Buono scored on the powerplay with just over a minute remaining to tie the game.
In the third period, Kings’ powerplay took over as poor discipline cost the Capitals dearly.
Four powerplays, including a match penalty when Cowichan’s Lucas Vanroboys butt-ended a referee coming out of the penalty box, led to Powell River scoring three goals, plus another at even strength, to run away 6-2 winners.
Glasman led the way with a five-point night, while Neal Samanski and Kimball also scored third-period goals.
“It all started with one shift in the third where [Ryan] Brushett’s line hemmed Cowichan in, got some momentum and then we were able to pop one early and just carry on with it,” said Glasman about the third period offensive explosion. “Having the best powerplay in the league means you have to live up to that every night, and that’s just outworking five-on-five so you draw penalties and put it in the back of the net when you get those opportunities.”
The wins improves Powell River’s record to 24-14-1-0. The team sits three points back of Victoria for first in the Island Division.
Kings face their last long interior road trip of the season this coming weekend, visiting Penticton on Friday, January 11, before travelling to Salmon Arm and Vernon to round out the trip.
Kings made a pair of roster additions ahead of the January 10 roster deadline.
The team signed six-foot, six-inch, 220-pound defender Kyle Pow (2000) from the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets. Pow played three games as an affiliate for the Kings in 2016/2017 and made his second debut with the team against Wenatchee.
Also joining the Kings is 5-foot, 11-inch, 180-pound forward Nolan Krogfoss (2001), who has been affiliating with the team this season. Krogfoss registered his first BCHL point on Miller’s second-period goal on Sunday against Cowichan.