Powell River Kings’ season opening five-game winning streak came to an end in the BC Interior on Friday, September 20.
Salmon Arm Silverbacks rode a strong goaltending performance from Ethan Langenegger en route to a 5-2 win, keeping their own undefeated run alive to start the 2019/2020 BC Hockey League season. Salmon Arm is one of three undefeated teams in the league’s Interior Division, along with Penticton and Wenatchee.
“Give their goalie credit, he made some big saves,” said Kings’ assistant coach Brock Sawyer. “He would see it, and he would stop it.”
PJ Garrett scored his second goal of the season late in the first period, and Jack Brackett gave the Kings a brief second-period lead with his first of the year on a set-up from Christian Buono and Levi Glasman. Kings went one for seven on the powerplay and gave up one goal while playing shorthanded during four opportunities for the home team.
“I thought we were a little disorganized on our powerplay,” said Sawyer. “Breakouts were a little sloppy, and when you can’t enter the zone cleanly, you spend 10 to 15 seconds on the boards to win a puck battle. It was off all night.”
Matteo Paler-Chow stopped 26 of the 31 shots he faced, while Langenegger thwarted 24 of 26 attempts by the Kings, who were not engaged and ready to play, according to Sawyer.
“We struggled all night; we shot ourselves in the foot and didn’t do ourselves any favours by not breaking out the puck smoothly,” he said. “We lost battles and weren’t getting pucks deep, getting on our forecheck and winning 50/50 pucks down low.”
Kings return to action tonight in Vernon. Game time at Kal Tire Place is 6 pm.