The Comox Valley Glacier Kings started the 2023 portion of their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League schedule in fine fashion, winning both ends of a home-and-home series against the Port Alberni Bombers.
The Yetis won 5-4 in a shootout on Wednesday, Jan. 4 in Port Alberni, then completely dominated in a 4-1 victory at home on Saturday night.
The game in Port Alberni was a come-from-behind win for the Glacier Kings.
The Bombers scored two goals in the first period and a third tally at 3:34 of the second before Jake Gusavitch put Comox Valley on the board with his sixth of the season. The Glacier Kings then rattled off three goals in the third frame — Brigham Nye at 3:49, Nick Esposito at 9:24 (his 20th of the season) and Nolan Bowsher at 11:37 — but the Bombers tied the game at four apiece late in the period.
Gusavitch and Austin Montgomery-Parsons scored for Comox Valley in the shootout.
Kings goalie Steven Reganato earned his 15th win of the season with 28 saves.
Saturday night was a special one for Glacier Kings fans, as they witnessed a relentless attack by the home side.
The Glacier Kings fired 67 shots at Port Alberni goalie Felix Plendl – at least 20 shots in each period.
They outshot the Bombers 24-10 in the first period, and headed to the locker room with a 1-0 lead on Esposito’s 21st of the season.
Gusavitch scored twice in the second period and Jean-Michael Gilbert made it 4-0 in the third, with a power-play marker.
Jackson Payeur ruined Reganato’s shutout bid with less than four minutes remaining in the game. It was a power-play goal.
Reganato stopped 26 of 27 shots for the win.
The Glacier Kings remain in third place in the VIJHL North Division, with a 21-10-1-3 record.
They travel to Lake Cowichan on Friday to play the 13-19-1-1 Kraken, before returning home Saturday for a showdown with the league-leading Oceanside Generals, whose 25-3-2-2 record gives them one more point than the South Division-leading Victoria Cougars.
Game time Saturday night is 7:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex.