It wasn’t the kind of beginning to their VIJHL season the Comox Valley Glacier Kings wanted, racking up a couple of losses.
Friday’s road defeat to the Campbell River Storm was particularly tough, as they lost to last year’s regular-season champs 12-1 in a game that saw them head to penalty box several times in the last two frames. They racked up 60 penalty minutes, including misconducts, to Campbell River’s 29.
Things started close, with Comox Valley tying the score 1-1 on the power play when Jordan Neufeld scored at 13:13 into the game. Boden Davis and Tanner Roberts drew assists.
The Storm added two more in the first, but the flood of goals really started in the second period, as the home side scored eight times. The third was relatively quiet with Campbell River adding only one more.
“There’s a lot of positives that came out of Friday,” said Glacier Kings coach Jordan Kamprath.
He realizes there was a breakdown as the Storm started to run up the score.
“You get frustrated, I totally understand,” he said. “It’s a good learning experience.”
The season opener did at least offer the Glacier Kings a true test of adversity, and they rebounded to a degree the following night for the home opener, losing 4-3. If the result was the same, the team made a contest of the home debut against the Nanaimo Buccaneers, who finished second in the North Division to Campbell River last year and are expected to put out another strong team.
Roberts paced the offence with two goals, while Ryan Gagno added a third. Neufeld, Grady Robertson, Benton Browne, Alex Jalbert, Shaun Ropcean and Ryan Telford each tallied helpers.
The team features a lot of Comox Valley players at this point.
“We currently have nine local players,” Kamprath says.
There are also a few more from communities surrounding the Comox Valley, he adds.
The Glacier Kings’ roster includes about a dozen veterans, though it is still early in the season, so there may be some changes.
One of the questions heading into camp was goaltending, as Kamprath was taking a look at a half dozen potential netminders. He’s settled on two young goalies Brandon Naidu and Kody Shepherd.
The season is early though, and as with any team in the Junior B ranks, the roster could evolve in the coming weeks depending on players getting cut from Junior A teams, who are starting out their own seasons.
Off the ice, Kamprath also wants to increase the team’s profile in the community and is looking for opportunities where the players can volunteer.
The team is back on the ice on Friday, Sept. 13 on the road, as they take on the Peninsula Panthers. They return home on Saturday night to host the Oceanside Generals at 7 p.m.