Terrace River Kings tie first Coy Cup game

Terrace River Kings tied 3-3 with the Fort St. John Flyers in their first game of the Coy Cup Championship last night.

Colten Braid fights for a shot against Fort St. John Flyers in their first game in the Coy Cup round robin.

Terrace River Kings tied 3-3 with the Fort St. John Flyers in their first game of the Coy Cup Championship last night.

The Fort St. John Flyers came out strong and offensive, keeping the puck in the River Kings’ end for the beginning of the first but unable to capitalize.

Halfway through the first period, TRK Jordan Peddle took the puck up the right side, launching a pass across the front of the net to Chapen Leblond, who fired it into the top corner, earning the River Kings a 1-0 lead.

But the Flyers tied up the game eight minutes later, with Ryan Carter landing a shot top corner from the left side.

The first period ended 1-1.

A strong offensive team, the Fort St. John Flyers dominated most of the second period.

Four minutes into the second, Flyer Adam Horst landed a shot to earn a 2-1 lead, but River Kings tied it up with a beautiful play seven minutes later.

TRK Ben Reinbolt took the puck up the right side, passing it across to Colten Braid who fired it in to tie the game 2-2.

The period continued, with lots of strong play, back and forth, and some beautiful saves by TRK goalie Patrick Leal.

With only a seven seconds left in the second, Flyer Joey Massingham managed to land a lucky rebound into the back of the net, earning the Flyers a 3-2 lead.

Both teams fought hard in the third, playing fast and physical hockey, back and forth.

With just over a minute left on the clock and the score down one for the Kings, Corey Dekelver got the puck on the right side.

In a real crowd pleaser, he fired off a slap shot from the blue line, landing it in the top left corner of the net, and tying up the game 3-3.

Both teams fought hard for the last minute, but the buzzer ended the game 3-3.

River Kings captain Steve Cullis said it was a fun game against a good team.

“They’re the best team we’ve seen in the last two years,” Cullis said of the Flyers. “They came out hard, out-played us early in that game and then it evened out in the end.”

“The crowd was into [the game] and it was tons of fun,” he added. “I think that was our biggest crowd of the year.”

Of the 3-3 outcome, Cullis said he “can’t complain.”

“That’s a good team and as long as we get better as time goes on, it will be good.”

Also yesterday, March 22, Whitehorse Huskies beat Smithers Steelheads 6-5.

The River Kings are set to play Whitehorse tonight, March 23, at 7 p.m.

Asked how he feels about the upcoming Whitehorse game, Cullis said he is excited.

“We’ve never played them before so its a new team for us,” he said.

“I watched them and they’ve got a lot of good players… should be a good game.”

After that game tonight, Wednesday, the River Kings will face off against Smithers Steelheads tomorrow, Thursday, at 7 p.m., their third and final game of the round robin.

The other teams face off in their round robin games at 4 p.m. with Fort St. John facing Smithers

Semi-finals are Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m. and finals are Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at the Terrace Sportsplex.