Powell River Kings returned home from a two-game road trip with four more points after a pair of wins over BC Hockey League (BCHL) Island Division rivals. Kings easily beat Nanaimo Clippers 9-1 on September 15 and went on to post a 9-7 win over Cowichan Valley Capitals the next night.
Head coach Kent Lewis said he is happy the team came back healthy and still learning, but was less than thrilled about its play against Cowichan, particularly in the second period.
“To give up seven, that's not a fun day,” said Lewis. “Give their goalie credit, in the first period we had the puck on our stick the entire period and should have had about seven goals, but we made some stupid, boneheaded mistakes and gave them three breakaways.”
Several players had strong offensive performances with nine goals and 10 assists spread throughout the roster. Gavin Rauser, Carter Turnbull and Jonny Evans each recorded three points and Ethan Kimball, a newly acquired 18-year-old forward from Massachusetts, played his first game for the Kings and picked up his first BCHL goal. Lewis expects Kimball to fit nicely into the lineup.
Kings outshot Cowichan 51 to 25.
Kimball also had an assist against the Clippers, but Kevin Obssuth’s first BCHL hat-trick stole the show. Obssuth ended the night with five points.
Kings players received all three stars of the game. Obssuth was named first star, Carter Turnbull was picked as star number two and Jonny Evans earned third-star recognition.
Backup goaltender Matteo Paler-Chow played both weekend games with starting netminder Mitch Adamyk out with a minor injury, according to Lewis.
“We just want it to get healed up and didn't want to push anything,” said Lewis. “It needed healing time and hopefully this week he’ll be ready to go.”
Kings hit the road again this weekend for the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. The team plays Vernon Vipers on Friday, September 23, and faces Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday, September 24. Professional and college scouts attend the showcase event to evaluate young BCHL prospects.
“This week will be good,” said Lewis. “We'll go down and play a couple of interior opponents, teams playing good hockey right now, and we'll realize what tight hockey is.”
Lewis said even though it is just the start of the season, his team has to start playing Kings hockey. That begins with defence, he added.
“By playing good defence, it's going to give the offence chances,” said Lewis, “then we have the ability to capitalize on that.”