The Comox Valley Glacier Kings grabbed a 2-0 lead in their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series with the Oceanside Generals by defeating the Gens 2-1 Wednesday in Parksville.
After winning the best-of-seven series opener 4-1 Feb. 19 in Courtenay, the Yetis rolled into Oceanside determined to
not let history repeat itself and redeem tough losses during the regular season.
The Icemen came out of the gate hard, showing their depth with each line visibly controlling the majority of the play and keeping the puck in the opposition zone. Determined to accumulate shots on net, the trigger-happy Glacier Kings fired shot after shot toward the Generals’ netminder – many wide, but mainly on target. The solid play paid off as Jack Kennelly spotted D-man Brandon Halls jumping into the play for the first goal of the game at 13:@9.
The Generals enjoyed two power-play opportunities in the opening frame, but the Glacier Kings’ strong penalty kill shut down any opportunity to move the puck into the Kings’ zone. The visitors took a 1-0 lead and a 15-7 shot advantage into the second period.
The Glacier Kings came out on their heels in the second period, and Oceanside capitalized on the rare G-Kings’ lull and Travis Flug poked the puck home from a goal-mouth scramble to tie the game at the 3:16 mark.
Moments later the Icemen converted on a one-man advantage. After nice puck movement by the Glacier Kings and gritty crease play, Rylan Ball (second star) tapped in a loose puck to give the Yetis the 2-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
After an overall strong performance from the team, the third period was goaltender Michael Hails turn to come through. Hails shut the door the rest of the way including two penalty kills
and a magnificent two-on-one save in the dying seconds of the third to preserve the win. Comox Valley outshot Oceanside 36-24 with Hails named first star. Generals’ goalie Alex Mastrodonato was third star.
So far in the series the Glacier Kings have played strong, outscoring Oceanside in five-on-five play as well as cruising at 25 per cent on the power play and are 100 per cent on their penalty kill.
They look to continue their strong team play in game three on Saturday night at the Comox Valley Sports Centre. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
– Comox Valley Glacier Kings