March 6, 2013, Courtenay, BC (ISN) – A nine day hockey hiatus had the Comox Valley Glacier Kings looking flat in the first period of the North Island Division Finals.
Undisciplined and sloppy play in the first twenty minutes limited the ‘Kings to only 5 shots on goal to Nanaimo’s 8. Despite having the first one man advantage, the Icemen were unable to capitalize on it. The game continued with three consecutive power plays for the Bucc’s before the first intermission. The outstanding skills of ‘Kings net-minder Michael Hails kept the game scoreless.
The second period saw life back in the front end of the Glacier Kings as more offensive opportunities were created by all lines. Although controlling most of the period, they continued undisciplined play, resulting in the Buccaneers scoring the first goal of the Division Finals, and the Yetis first goal given up on the penalty kill.
Down a goal and frustrated with the first forty minutes of play, the gritty Glacier Kings of the previous series returned to the ice, rejuvenated and determined to play their game. The Glacier Kings overwhelmed the Buccaneers creating multiple scoring opportunities, only to be continually denied by Nanaimo’s net-minder Cam Large. Their dominant play resulted in the only two power plays of the third period. However, the score would remain 1-0 after both one man advantages. With 7:01 remaining Rylan Ball entered the Bucc’s zone and threw a wrist shot on net that would finally solve Large. With the Glacier Kings hitting full stride, and the deadlocked game winding down, Andrew White would grab his own rebound and burry it behind Large with 1:01 remaining in regulation, for the comeback win.
Kings forward Andrew White celebrates after scoring the winning goal (2-1) Kings – Photo courtesy of CVGK Media
“It was like a forty minute warm up, and then the real game for us. We are going to have to have stronger opening shifts next game, to set the tone instead of having to sway it. I give our boys a lot of credit for getting through their bus legs, finding their game, and engaging in and winning battles in the third.” recapped Head Coach Bill Rotheisler.
The opener to the North Island Division Finals was a goaltender’s game. Michael Hails allowed one goal in the contest. His record for the playoffs is 5-0, with a 1.40 GAA, and a .942 save percentage. Forward Rylan Ball leads the Glacier Kings, and the North Division with 10 points in 5 games played (8 goals, 2 assists).
Game two is at the Nanaimo Ice Centre on Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. The Glacier Kings will play their first home game of the series on Saturday night at the Comox Valley Sports Centre, game time is 7:30 p.m.