Glacier Kings Through to Face Cougars in VIJHL Finals


Written by Mike Magee (ISN) – Photos by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

March 17, 2013, Courtenay, BC (ISN) – Coming off of a 7-4 win in Nanaimo in their last game, the Comox Valley Glacier Kings were looking to ride their momentum and close out their VIJHL semi-final series with the Nanaimo Buccaneers in Courtenay on Saturday night.

Both teams were fighting to set the pace in the opening minutes until Glacier Kings forward Andrew White took what the crowd felt was an undeserved penalty. The ruckus crowd would use this opportunity to show the home team they were solidly behind their boys this evening.

Nanaimo Buccaneers celebrate an early power play goal and an excellent start Saturday night in Courtenay – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

The Buccaneer’s power play was heating up as they moved the puck around with precision passing. Eventually defenseman #7 Thor Rosback would find the back of the net to put the Bucs up 1-0 as the game was just minutes old.

Glacier Kings Garrett Halls puts a shot on Buc’s standout goalie Cam Large – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

The first period displayed a good back and forth flow as the tension built in this tight game. After a routine whistle a scrum in the corner would break out. The end result would see Nanaimo charged a penalty for roughing, giving the Glacier Kings a chance to play with the man advantage for the first time this night.

The Glacier Kings would win the faceoff and control the puck until forward # 9 Jack Kennelly would net his team’s first PP goal of the game with only 1:25 remaining on the clock in the first period.

Buc’s defenseman Derian Hamilton looks to spark an attack against the Glacier Kings – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

The teams would enter the break tied at 1.

The second period would chances traded once again. The Glacier Kings were able to use their speed on the break out to create several scoring chances and odd man rushes. The Buccaneer’s would counter with smart puck movement and timely shots to test Glacier Kings goalie Michael Hails..

4 minutes into the 2nd period Glacier Kings defenseman # 2 Garrett Halls would jumping up in the rush and beating Nanaimo goalie Cam Large top corner on the blocker side in spectacular fashion.

Glacier Kings Calvin Hadley swats at a rebound while a downed Large looks on – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

Things would continue to heat up and eventually boil over when Glacier Kings forward Sasha Hahn was ridden hard into the boards, drawing a boarding penalty. As the players paired off, G-Kings #18 Jordan Crisp would be matched with Bucs #10 Collin Mathieson and the two players would drop the gloves and engage in a spirited scrap. Judges called this one a draw with top marks going to both players for their efforts.

Nanaimo’s Chris Carpenter controls the puck while his team enjoys the man advantage on Saturday night – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

As the officials sorted things out it was the Glacier Kings that found themselves on the power play via the original boarding call on Hahn. It took just 24 seconds on with the man advantage before forward Michael Pond would light the lamp and extend his teams lead to 3-1.

Undisciplined play by Nanaimo treated the Kings to another power play minutes later. Kennelly would use his frame to draw a crowd in front of the net before stepping out and burying his shot from the slot

The score sat 4-1 in favour of the Glacier Kings at the end of two periods with the momentum heavily on the side of the home team.

Garrett Halls of the Glacier Kings looks to get in behind Buc’s defense Jake Calverley on the forecheck – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

Nanaimo came out firing in the first couple minutes of the 3rd period. Just 2:12 in Nanaimo would put another one on the board only to have G-Kings answer right back through another top corner goal via Rylan Ball.

Noah Russi of the Bucs and Michael Pond of the G-Kings would entertain fans once again with a quick round of punch for punch with Russi earning W in this meeting.

Trying to steal back some momentum, Nanaimo’s #15 Garrett Dunlop would pot one as the Glacier Kings defense collapsed to the net allowing Dunlop the space to walk in and wire it by Hails closing the gap to 5-3. Take note, Dunlop was not only voted VIJHL rookie of the year, but he recently announced his intentions to play for the Nanaimo Clippers next season, and honour well deserved.

The Glacier Kings swarm goalie Cam Large. Creating traffic in front of Large proved an effective form of attack on Saturday – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

To add a little more drama to an already exciting affair Glacier Kings defenseman #6 Calvin Hadley would take a slashing penalty with 4 minutes remaining in the game offering the Bucs one last shot at a comeback. Nanaimo was unable to convert as time ticked down. As Hadley was released from the box, Kennelly would net his final goal with less than 2 minutes left to play in the game.

G-Kings goalie Michael Hails and defenseman Garrett Halls celebrate their series ending win. The Glacier Kings will host the Victoria Cougars on March 23rd at 7:30 – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)

The Glacier Kings would celebrate the 6-3 defeat of the visiting Buccaneer’s, and with the victory cement their place in the League finals against the Victoria Cougars next Saturday. The series will start with game #1 in Courtenay, the opening faceoff set for 7:30pm.

The buildings 3rd star was forward Kings forward Michael Scoobie with his solid work on the power play. The 2nd star was given to King’s tender Michael Hails who handled the net with a cool calm disposition all night long. And the 1st star of the game went to forward Jack Kennelly.

Last Sunday the Victoria Cougars secured their berth in the VIJHL finals by eliminating the Saanich Braves. The Cougars made quick work of the series ousting the Braves in 5 games with some dominating score lines.