Comox Valley Glacier Kings win three of first six games

Mike Nesbitt

Six games into the 2020/21 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season, the Comox Valley Glacier Kings have won three and lost three.

In their most recent games, the Yetis twice defeated the Nanaimo Buccaneers by a score of 5-3. They won Thursday on the road and Saturday at home.

Kings defenceman Jeremy Dewar scored twice in Thursday’s game. Both goals came in the second period.

Forward Khale Skinner opened the scoring at 1:16 of the first period. Damian Rennie scored on the power play in the second frame and Caileb Berge added an empty net goal in the third. Jordan Wilde earned the win in net with 30 saves. The Yetis had the edge in shots, 38-33.

Jordan Neufeld paced Comox Valley Saturday with a pair of goals, while Berge, Rick Takeda and Clayton Bono added singles. Wilde made 17 saves for the win. Comox Valley outshot the Bucs 42-20.

The Glacier Kings lost their first two games of the season to the Campbell River Storm. The team then had a win and a loss against the Oceanside Generals before the home and home versus Nanaimo.

“At the start of the season, we knew we were going to be in tough with Campbell River,” said Mike Nesbitt, who took over this season as coach/general manager. “But with no exhibitions, we’ve finally been through the whole North Division. I know my team a bit better now. Positive signs, for sure.”

The Glacier Kings have been a rookie-laden squad in recent seasons. This year, however, the lineup contains just five first-year players.

Nesbitt has also added some size to the squad. Newcomer Khale Skinner is a forward who stands 6’3”.

The blueline will also feature a 6’3” player when the newly acquired Conor Vanden Heuvel joins the lineup.

“He’s going in the lineup this Friday. He’s a big, strong defenceman. I think he’s going to be considered a rookie,” Nesbitt said. “I’m looking to revamp the back end a little bit. I think we’re pretty close to Oceanside right now. I think we’re better than Nanaimo.”

Campbell River won the first meeting 8-3 over the Glacier Kings. In the second game, however, Comox Valley was up 3-2 after two periods, only to lose 7-5.

The Glacier Kings are third in the VIJHL North Division with six points, one behind Oceanside. The Storm leads the division with 10 points.

Comox Valley’s next game is Friday, Oct. 23 in Campbell River. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena.

The Yetis host the Storm Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.

“It’ll be a good test for us this weekend, for sure,” Nesbitt said.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all games are closed to the public until further notice.

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