The River Kings are gearing up for Game 2 in the Coy Cup Championship after a narrow 2-3 loss to Kelowna Sparta last night, March 28.
Coach Kevin Legros says the boys played hard, exhibited strong penalty kill, but needed to play a bit smarter with the puck.
Forward Tristan Murray agreed.
“We got away from playing our game a little bit,” he said. “They dictated the style of play. I think we will be better moving forward.”
Terrace and Kelowna launched into last night’s game high energy, going back and forth in the first period but unable to bury shots.
The scoreboard was empty as teams skated into the second, until Whitehorse managed to score at 14 minutes, following it up with another goal at 11.
But the River Kings didn’t give up, and a triple attack by Tristan Murray, Luke Gordon, and Brett Downie landed their first goal with only a minute left in the second.
Murray skated the puck up the ice and passed it to Gordon who fired it to Downie’s stick in front of the net. Downie shot it past the Kelowna goalie and the period ended with the River Kings trailing Kelowna 1-2.
Third period saw both teams fighting for the puck, with chances on both ends.
Kelowna managed to score at 11 minutes to put the River Kings down 1-3.
But the game didn’t end there.
Playing shorthanded, Terrace’s Austin Legros got the puck on defence, spun around and drove wide towards the Kelowna net.
He fired a shot that deflected off the goalie, but picked up his rebound and shot it again, burying it in the net to narrow the gap 2-3.
The final ten minutes were close, but the River Kings didn’t manage to pull off another goal.
Caption: River Kings goalie Jared Rathjen keeps an eye on the puck as Kelowna forward looks to score.
Legros said it wasn’t the best game for the team, but they still played hard.
“We didn’t play our best game,” he said, “but we definitely have a lot more for tonight.”
The River Kings face off against Whitehorse tonight at 7 p.m., a team they beat in the Coy Cup last year.
On Thursday they face the North Island Capitals, who lost to Whitehorse 6-3 yesterday.
The top team gets a bye into the finals, and the second and third ranked teams advance to the semis on Friday.
Looking forward to tonight’s game against Whitehorse, Murray said “I feel good. Should be a tight one.”
Legros said agreed.
“It’s going to be a tough game, we’re going to have to play our best for 60 minutes to win this one, but we can do it,” said Legros. “I’m pretty confident in the guys.”