Maybe it’s time to start calling them the Comeback Kings.
Last night at the Coy Cup, the Terrace River Kings erased another 3-0 deficit after the first period to get the 5-3 win against tournament hosts the Fort Nelson Yeti, gaining a bye into Saturday night’s championship final.
“Fast game, both sides got some good rushes, we got a couple of breakaways, they got a couple. Fast aggressive play, so the guys are all over the ice trying to get on the puck,” said River Kings general manager Ray Hallock this morning of last night’s AA senior men’s championship tournament game three. “By the end of the second it was just a one goal spread, and then in the third period, our comeback period, the guys went out and scored some goals and gave us the win.”
That’s similar to what’s happened in games one and two – a rough first period while the Kings adjust to the play, and then a slamming second and third period that leads to the win.
Hallock said the team’s youth – the average age is around 23, and there aren’t any players much older than 30 – might have something to do with that.
“The youth of our team is a factor and the conditioning of our team is a factor,” he said. “Our guys are in such good shape. They still got the legs and the lungs in the third period.”
Scoring for the Kings were Dawson Leblond, Chapen Leblond, Nick Homeniuk, and Jordan Peddle, with goaltender Patrick Leal getting the MVP.
“He should’ve got it the night Chapen got all those goals (game two, the win against Powell River), Patty stood absolutely on his head,” said Hallock of Leal. “But I mean how can you compete when a guy gets four goals. They gave it to Patty last night, well-deserved.”
Hallock said Leal’s been good at keeping his cool when things haven’t gone his way. “He doesn’t get demoralized when something like that happens, sucks it up and keeps going. He made some tremendous saves last night,” he said.
That win means the team has the day off today – they’re going to relax and rest their muscles and maybe have an optional skate later in the day to gear up for the finals.
“Tomorrow will tell the tale,” said Hallock.
“It could be anyone, it’s hard to say,” he said, on who he thought they’d meet in the final. “They’ve got a bigger rivalry going between Fort Nelson and Fort St. John than we have between Terrace and Kitimat.”
The Yeti and the Fort St. John Flyers meet tonight in the semi-finals after last night’s game saw the Flyers beat the Powell River Regals 6-2.