Terrace River King

Terrace River Kings break on a high note

The Terrace River Kings are heading into the Christmas break on a four-game winning streak

The Terrace River Kings are heading into the Christmas break on a four-game winning streak, finally hitting their stride after a shaky start to the CIHL season.

The Kings, ranked second in the West, had a rough start to the season, rife with injuries and too many penalties, which translated into some tough losses.

But as the season’s progressed, the team has become more disciplined and really pulled together as a team—resulting in wins like the ones seen over the past few weeks.

“It’s really way better hockey than it was earlier in the year,” said Ray Hallock, the River Kings’ general manager. “They’re staying out of the penalty box more and more, there’s less fights, the guys are getting a more disciplined style of play, certainly playing far better together.”

And it really is a team effort, with points among the Kings’ top players spread out evenly for the most part, and coach Roger Tooms reluctant to single out specific players going the extra mile.

“We have been relying on all of our players—they continue to follow the recommended strategy,” he said, noting that a shake up in the team’s line composition has made a difference.

“We are maintaining good compatibility with the available players and in the last four games we have been able to play four lines more consistently,” he said.

Hallock also touts the compatibility between the players.

“We practise lots and its starting to have an effect,” he said. “It’s like watching a fine-oiled machine out there these last four games. It’s pretty amazing.”

The streak started with Nov. 24’s home game against Lac La Hache. It was the first time the Tomahawks had travelled to Terrace—and they went home empty handed after falling 6-5 to the Kings.

The next day, during a Sunday matinee that had to compete with the Grey Cup for attention, the Kings trounced Williams Lake 5-2, gaining confidence that stuck with them through a bye week and on the road to Kitimat and Rupert Dec. 7 and 8, where they won both games on the road.

They’re now off for the Christmas break, and fans are hoping they can keep the mojo going.

“Hopefully we can keep the high spirits and come back hungry to win again,” said Hallock. “We’ve got Rupert and Kitimat as our two next home games here. So both of those guys will want some revenge. But if we can come off the break not having had too much turkey and keep that team spirit going and keep going with the same kind of consistency we had in the last four games, there’s no way we can’t just keep winning.”

A playoff spot isn’t guaranteed at this point, and coach Tooms says the games are only going to get tougher as the season draws to a close.

But the Kings’ schedule is in their favour—especially since the team doesn’t have to face the league’s undefeated powerhouse, Smithers, again this year. Terrace lost to them twice this season—one close 5-4 game at the beginning of October, and then a more decisive 7-2 loss in November.

“The toughest game will be Kitimat, and we’ve already had their number a couple of times this year,” said Hallock.

Hallock is hoping these recent wins will translate into higher attendance numbers when the season resumes in the new year.

Like everyone else in the league, he believed the lockout would mean more people attending local hockey games—but that hasn’t been the case.

“We only have three more home games until the playoffs,” he said. “I’m hoping we get some good turnout that first weekend in January because we’re really suffering financially.”

Prince Rupert and Kitimat are both playing in Terrace the first weekend back, Jan. 4 and 5. And then the Kings won’t be back at home again until the season closer against the Omenica Ice on Jan. 20.

Then, fingers crossed for the Kings, its playoff action.

“I’m hoping to get a playoff spot,” he said. “The Coy Cup’s going to be in Kitimat this year so it’d be nice to be able to move onward and upward and get into the Coy Cup.”

And word is that first-placed Smithers has declined to participate in the Cup this year, which would mean a more evenly-matched tournament for the teams involved.

But even if they did turn up to the tournament, Hallock remains confident in his team.

“Smithers sort of out classes the rest of us, but the way our guys are playing… the way they played those last four games, I think we could beat Smithers,” said Hallock. “If we ever got a goal or two ahead, I don’t think our guys would let them come back.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

What is the future of transportation in Terrace?

Active transportation, transit, road networks to play a big part in the coming years

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Terrace firefighters heading south to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Nicole Halbauer seeks B.C. NDP nomination for Skeena riding

Halbauer is the current Chair of the Board of Directors at Coast Mountain College

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read