The Comox Valley Glacier Kings are hoping the 2012 portion of their season starts the same way as the 2011 portion.
In the opening month of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey regular season, the Kings went 5-1 and showed the league they meant business. To start that September run, the Kings won back-to-back games against the Peninsula Panthers – their first home opponent of 2012. For a team that has been struggling to find consistency of late, a new year means a fresh start.
In their last 10 games, the Glacier Kings share the worst record in the VIJHL with their rival Campbell River Storm at 2-8. How can the Yetis right the ship and get back on track for the home stretch?
“We got to be better,” said head coach Jordan Butcher. “We got to find a way to start putting the puck in the net again. We’re getting shots, but not quality shots. We get lazy and let the other team dictate the play and we can’t have that.”
In their first game back from the winter break, against the best team in the league, the Yetis continued to struggle offensively. Travelling to Victoria on Thursday, Jan. 5 to take on the South Division-leading Cougars, the Kings could muster only one goal and fell 5-1 to the most potent offence in the league.
After no scoring in the first period, Christopher Bannister and Mark Walton tallied to make it 2-0 for the Cougars after the second period. In the third, Bannister scored another and Josh Wyatt tallied his 12th of the year before Lee Orpen netted the lone goal for the Kings. Jacob Nixon added one more for the home team. Cameron Large made 37 saves in the loss as Victoria outshot the Icemen 42-22.
Back home Saturday, Jan. 7 for the first time in 2012, the Kings looked to get back on track against a Peninsula team that is also struggling with consistency. However, if Panther forward Joe Densmore had anything to say about it, such would not be the case. Densmore scored all four Panther goals.
Orpen opened the scoring for the Kings and Densmore tied it on the power play to open the second frame. Jed Martin scored for the Kings and Densmore tied it again. Michael Scobie buried his seventh of the year on a great set-up from captain Jackson Garrett before (who else?) Densmore tied it at 3-3 to open the third period.
Brian Rideout scored on a blast from the point to give the Kings their fourth lead of the night, but the resilient Densmore pulled the visitors even once more. However, half way through the third, Rideout’s second of the game gave the Glacier Kings a lead not even Densmore could break. Garrett added an empty netter to put the nail in the coffin and give the Icemen the 6-4 victory. Densmore was named the game’s second star and received an ovation from the Comox Valley crowd for his efforts.
ICE CHIPS Thursday night in Victoria two different streaks continued as the Cougars won their ninth straight home game while the Glacier Kings suffered their sixth straight road loss … during their home streak the Cougars have outscored opponents 47-18 while the Glacier Kings have been outscored 26-10 during their road skid … the Icemen are hoping Friday the 13th won’t be unlucky for them as they host the Kerry Park Islanders in a 7:30 p.m. start at the Comox Valley Sports Centre …