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Glacier Kings working to get VIJHL season back on track
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings have reason to be optimistic.
Despite splitting their two weekend Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League contests, they have played some of their most diligent hockey of late. Having not won back-to-back games since early November, the Icemen have struggled to find consistency on the ice.
“We’re not working hard enough,” head coach Jordan Butcher said in the new year. “We’re trying to create offence in our own zone and it’s killing us.”
On Fridayy night, the Glacier Kings looked to show their head coach the determination that’s been absent from their game as they hosted the Kerry Park Islanders. Playing in front of the home crowd, and against a team they’ve had plenty of success against this year, the Kings looked to start a new streak.
There was no scoring in the first period as both goaltenders, Matt Chester of the Islanders and Cameron Large for the Kings, were on their game. In the second, Kerry Park drew first blood as Alex Milligan scored late in the frame. However, before the end of the period, Kings captain Jackson Garrett answered back in a big way. Streaking in on the left wing, Garrett sped around both defencemen and cut to the front of the net, where a sprawling Chester could do nothing but watch as Garrett roofed the puck, tying it at 1-1 after two periods of play.
In the third, the teams went back and forth looking for the deciding goal, but both Large and Chester were up to the task. That is, until newly acquired Kyle Peterson tucked the puck past Large to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Despite a late push by the Glacier Kings offense, it wouldn’t be enough, as third star Chester sealed the victory for the visitors. Large made 36 saves in the loss.
The following night, the Kings were back at it as they travelled to Parksville to take on the Oceanside Generals. Adam Robertson opened the scoring for the Kings before Oceanside captain Nick Bell tied it on the power play. Brook Trainor then tallied to give the Kings a 2-1 lead after one period.
In the second, the Generals' Kyle Yamasaki netted the only goal, tying it up again on the power play. In the third period, it was a goaltender battle as both masked men kept the puck clear of the net. Overtime solved nothing so it was on to the shootout – where the Kings were 0-2 on the season.
Goaltenders Large for the Kings and Michael Gudmandson for the Generals continued their rock solid play, both stopping the first five shooters they faced. Michael Scobie finally scored for the Kings only to have Travis Briggs reply for the Generals. Finally, the Yetis' eighth shooter, Jonathan Speer, scored the go-ahead marker, and Large sealed the victory with a brilliant save on Conor Enright as the Glacier Kings skated off with a 3-2 win.
The Glacier Kings will need to continue to work hard as they host the South Division-leading Victoria Cougars on Saturday, Jan. 21. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at Comox Valley Sports Centre Arena No. 1 and the game can be heard at www.glacierkings.ca.
ICE CHIPS The VIJHL All-Star and Prospects Games were held Sunday in Victoria, with results unavailable at press time ...