The Comox Valley Glacier Kings are happy to see November come to an end. In a month that saw them struggle to find consistency, the Yetis hit the roughest patch of their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season thus far.
Losers of four in a row, including a home-and-home against Oceanside Generals this past weekend, the Kings finished the month with a 2-6 record and have begun hearing footsteps as the Generals are quickly closing the gap on first place in the North Division.
To make things even more difficult, rookie Myles Powell was called up to Junior A to play for the Victoria Grizzlies. While the Kings are not in the business of blocking players from promotion, it was still difficult to watch the top rookie scorer in the league depart. Through 18 games this season, Powell put together an impressive resume, leading all rookies with 18 goals and 17 assists.
As if the loss of Powell wasn’t enough, on Saturday night Mother Nature threw yet another curve into the Icemen’s season, as several key components of the offence were stranded in Powell River. Captain Jackson Garrett and his entourage of top-line forwards went over to support some former teammates and were left marooned when B.C. Ferries had to cancel all sailings due to extreme weather conditions.
“It’s just one of those things” said Kings’ general manager Dave Webb prior to Saturday’s game. “The weather decided to keep those guys over there, so it makes this one a little more difficult. Hopefully they’ll be back tomorrow.”
So, with their depleted lineup, the Kings took the ice. Things looked to be going well in the early going when Jed Martin opened the scoring at 5:07 of the first period. Taylor Growbowski answered back for the Generals to tie things up before the end of the frame. In the second, Travis Briggs popped in a power-play marker for Oceanside before Michael Scobie scored on a great second chance effort for his sixth of the year, knotting it at two.
However, playing with only three full lines, the fatigued forwards would score no more for the Kings, who were forced to play extended ice time. The visitors tacked on two goals to end the second and another in the third to hand the tired Glacier Kings a 5-2 loss.
The following day, with redemption on their minds and a full lineup once again, the Kings travelled to Oceanside for the second half of the home-and-home. Oceanside once again opened the scoring with Dylan Haugen connecting on the power play before the Kings’ top line made their return presence felt when Colton Ruthven blasted a shot from the point, set up by captain Jackson Garrett.
However, with luck not on their side, the Kings again couldn’t find their legs in the second as Oceanside scored two in the frame. A power-play goal late in the third by Lee Orpen would be the only other scoring for the Kings, as they lost for the second time in as many nights, 4-2.
With November in their rear view mirror, the Kings now look ahead to December where they hope better fortunes await. Next up is an away game tonight (Dec. 2) against the Saanich Braves before they return home to take on the Kerry Park Islanders on Dec. 3. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at Sports Centre #1 and the game can be heard at www.glacierkings.ca.