Two River Kings players battle for the puck against the boards during a tense third period Oct. 21. (Brittany Gervais photo)

River Kings take 5-3 loss to Williams Lake

The Kings played a close game at home but couldn’t bridge the gap in the third

The Terrace River Kings took a 5-3 loss at home against the Williams Lake Stampeders on Sunday, Oct. 21.

The Kings were looking to come back from a 16-6 defeat the last time they faced Williams Lake. Though they came out strong in the first period, the scoreboard was empty as the teams headed into the second.

Seven minutes in, Colton Braid buried the puck past the Stamps goalie to get the first goal of the game, assisted by Colin Bell and Fred Mowatt. Williams Lake tied it up mid-way through the second, but Connor Onstein put the Kings back ahead with another goal to end the period 2-1.

“Everyone was hungrier after that loss down there against them, and we came out wanting to win,” said Austin Turner, the team’s captain this year.

READ MORE: River Kings emerge out of back-to-back weekend with first season win

Though the third period got off to a rough start for the Kings, Williams Lake managed to score three times in the first five minutes of play, bringing the score up 4-2. The King’s offensive line answered on a power play with Braid’s second goal of the game.

“They’ve got a couple goals and then it took us a bit to fight back, but our kids are young and they work really hard,” said River King’s coach Steve Turner.

They were just one point behind and the pressure was on. But after playing a tiring game with two full-lines on the bench, the Kings struggled to find the net.

Then with just five minutes left, Williams Lake created a three on five advantage for the Kings.

They rushed the Stamp’s end to tie it up, but couldn’t get the puck to the net.

“We have to score on more of the chances we had out there,” Austin said when asked what the team could improve on. “You’ve got to hit the net and capitalize on those opportunities.”

The Kings pulled their goalie for one last rush, but the Stamps sent it back down the ice with 13 seconds left to win the game 5-3.

READ MORE: River Kings’ 2018-19 season schedule set

Steve said the team took some poor penalties in the third, but the Kings played well and fought hard to come back.

And with some new faces on the roster this season, the team will only improve as the season progresses.

“We’re a very fast team and we move the puck well, we wear teams out with our speed,” said Steve.

“We took a couple of poor penalties that ended up in the net, but that’s just the way it is. As long as they learn from that, we can move forward – we still got lots of games left.”

The River Kings are back home this Friday to face off against the Prince Rupert Rampage. Puck drops at 8:15 p.m.

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