Once again, the Kings proved they can come back after a rough first period.
In a thrilling come-from-behind win last night the Terrace River Kings beat the Powell River Regals 7-4, giving the team a 2-0 record so far in the Coy Cup tournament being held in Fort Nelson.
Down 3-0 at the end of first, Terrace’s Chapen Leblond clocked four goals in the second to help turn the game the Kings’ way and the team went into the third up 5-4. Terrace would find the back of the net twice more before the game was over, giving the team the 7-4 win and setting them up for tonight’s game against the hometown Fort Nelson Yeti.
“Something happened to him last night and he just caught on fire,” said River Kings general manager Ray Hallock of Leblond, who also scored the overtime winner in game one against the Fort St. John Flyers Tuesday night. “And you want to know the quirk? He scored all four of those goals with a broken skate blade, and then we replaced the blade and he didn’t score another one so I’m thinking, put the broken one back in tonight, buddy.”
Hallock said the team is healthy and feeling confident going into tonight’s game against the Yeti. The only undefeated team so far in the provincial Senior AA men’s championship, the Kings need a win or a tie to guarantee a spot in Saturday night’s final and get the bye for tomorrow’s semi-final.
“The biggest win was against Fort St. John the first night, that was huge,” said Hallock, of the team the Kings anticipated being their toughest rivals. And with both Fort St. John and Powell River expected to bring more players in for the weekend games, the competition is far from over.
Fort Nelson lost 7-2 to the Fort St. John Flyers last night. Terrace beat Fort St. John in game one on Tuesday in overtime. The Flyers play Powell River tonight at 5 p.m before the Kings take on the Yeti at 8 p.m. and the game outcomes will determine who is in the semi-final tomorrow. If Fort Nelson and Fort St. John both win, that will set up a three-way tie for first, with the bye decided by goals for.
Hallock said despite the wins the team has been struggling in the first period and has had some missed opportunities.
“Over the course of the two games we’ve had a couple of real major opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on – we had a couple of five on threes and couldn’t put it together. It doesn’t matter because we won anyways,” he said.
But if the team sticks to the basics, they’ll be gold.
“That’s all it takes is good hard work and basic hockey and you can win,” said Hallock. “Like I told them yesterday, if they don’t have the puck, they can’t shoot it, so just don’t let them get it … Our guys are really in shape, they’re pumped and ready to win.”
And the tournament itself has been impressive, he said.
“The level of game play is just tremendous, everybody’s putting their whole heart in – not just on my team but on all of the teams,” he said. “The organization that’s gone on here – it’s the best organized Coy Cup that I’ve ever been to. They’ve just pulled out all of the stops. And the arena’s like something out of Fantasy Island.”
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