Special to the Record
Things are going pretty good for the Comox Valley Glacier Kings these days.
They took both games over the weekend (outscoring their opponents 16-2) to win their sixth in a row, improved their record to 9-1, remain atop the North Division standings, and are tied for most goals scored in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (51).
Not bad for a team that had some roster questions coming into the season. What has contributed to the Icemen’s early success?
“We’re working hard,” said defenceman Desmond Bast, who sat out again with ill-effects of a concussion suffered earlier in the season. “(Head coach) Jordan Butcher has us working on our forechecking, and really making a point of hard work.” That hard work has been paying off.
On Friday night, the Glacier Kings hosted to the Oceanside Generals for the second meeting in six days between the two teams. Making his return to the team was Powell River native Mitch Ball, who scored 48 points in 42 games last year for the Glacier Kings. And what a return it was. Playing on the top line with captain Jackson Garrett and centre Myles Powell, Ball scored the first goal of the game five minutes in to the first period.
Luke Tully answered back for the Generals before Brook Trainor scored his first of two gritty goals that exemplified the hard work Butcher has preached. In what looked like mirror-image goals, Trainor (second star) drove hard to the net with two defenders on him and buried the puck past Generals’ goaltender Tighearnan Marsh. In the second period, Ball (first star) went back to work, scoring the only two goals of the frame to give him the hat trick. Adam Robertson scored the final goal of the game to give the Kings a 6-2 victory. Ben Tarnowski (third star) made 31 saves for his third win of the year.
“It’s good to see our third and fourth lines out there scoring some points,” said Bast. “It’s usually our top line out there doing the scoring, but we’re showing that we’re not a one line team.” That proved to be true the following night.
On Sept. 16, the Glacier Kings were served their first (and thus far only) loss of the relatively young season at the hands of the Kerry Park Islanders. So on Saturday night, redemption was on their minds as the Kings travelled to Kerry Park for their second game in as many nights. If redemption is what they were looking for, then consider it mission accomplished as the Kings trounced the Islanders 10-0.
Leading the way was once again the impressive Garrett (two goals, one assist) who added to his league leading point total with 25, and Powell (two goals, two assists) who slipped in to number two in league point total with 22. Lee Orpen scored his first two goals of the year, and grinder Kasey Ruel pitched in with his first. Cameron Large got the start in net and made 35 saves in the shutout.
Up next for the Glacier Kings is a date with their North Division rival Campbell River Storm. That game goes tonight (Oct. 14) at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena in Campbell River. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. as the Glacier Kings go for their seventh win in a row. On Saturday the Yetis host the Saanich Braves in a 7:30 p.m. start at Comox Valley Sports Centre Arena No. 1.
Kalan Anglos is the Internet voice of the Glacier Kings. All their home games can be heard at www.glacierkings.ca.