Terrace River Kings are gelling together and climbing the CIHL ranks with two recent wins, besting Lac La Hache Tomahawks 7-3 on home ice Sunday (Nov. 8), and shutting out Prince Rupert on Oct. 24.
Coach Rob Findlay says the Kings had a full line up here on Sunday against Lac La Hache, and they are starting to gel and play better as a team.
“It was a good team effort, every line had some points,” he said.
The team started out strong, with three goals in the first ten minutes of the first period. Then Findlay says they started to get a bit over confident, allowing Lac La Hache to score two before the first period ended.
After that, the Kings “smartened up again and started playing a little more in control, instead of everybody just trying to do it themselves,” said Findlay.
“We started playing better positional hockey, getting the puck out of the defensive zone better, instead of cross-ice passes and them picking it up… playing smarter in our own end.”
The Kings scored three in the second period and the Tomahawks scored one, and the Kings scored one more in the third, ending the game 7-3.
Steve Cullis scored two of the Terrace goals, and others were scored by Liam Albright, Ben Reinbolt, Dawson Leblond, Colten Braid and Fred Monati.
Derick Jurista, Ben Reinbolt, and Nate Soucie each chalked up two assists, and Dawson Leblond, Tristan Murray, Kenny Nordstrom and Luke Gordon each made one assist.
Goalie Devon Ames played his first game of the season Sunday.
Findlay said he was not too busy and was left out to dry a few times with break aways, but overall he played a good game and made some good saves.
Fan turnout was good for a Sunday game and they are much appreciated by the team, Findlay said.
“[The team is] coming together,” he said. “The young guys are figuring out how to play this style of game… and we are starting to get some of our old crew, the veterans, come back.”
“We’ve put some of the rookies playing with the veterans and it has really helped out,” he said.
The win against Lac La Hache was the second win in a row for the Kings, who also shut out Prince Rupert 5-0 on Oct. 24.
The Kings are tied for third rank with Kitimat Ice Demons with both teams tallying three wins, although the Kings have 2 losses and the Demons have 4.
Above them are Prince Rupert Rampage with 4 wins, 2 losses, and one overtime, and Smithers Steelheads with 4 wins, 1 loss.
Coming up, the Kings will play a streak of away games, first facing off in against Kitimat Ice Demons on Friday (Nov. 13).
“Going into Kitimat, this is a tie breaker, we are tied in the standing so we want to win this one,” said Findlay.
“We haven’t seen them yet this year, they have some new players… not sure what to expect. It will be a good challenge for us.”
After all the away games this month, the Kings will play five home games starting Dec. 4 against Prince Rupert.