Morinville Kings play for the gold Sunday

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Morinville King Braden Arcand celebrates another of his goals during Saturday afternoon’s game against the two Hills Longhorns.

by Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – After a tough defeat at the hands of a Triple-A club Friday night, the Morinville Senior AA Kings came back with a solid 8-4 victory over the Two Hills Longhorns Saturday afternoon to earn a spot in the Senior A pool gold-medal game Sunday afternoon, the finale to Hockey Alberta’s Senior AA/A Provincial Championships. That contest takes place at 1 p.m. at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre and will put the Kings on the opposite side of the ice to the Devon Barons, a fellow NCHL club that finished in first spot during the regular season and went on to take the league championship for the second consecutive year.

Kings President Wayne Gatza is optimistic and excited about Sunday’s gold-medal showdown with the Barons. “It’s huge that we get to play Devon in the final,” Gatza said. “It’s going to be a good match up.

Gatza went on to say he was proud of the team and their effort in their first two games of the provincial championship series. “They battled hard. We had a tough game last night [Friday] against a Triple-A team, but we gave them a good run for their money in a close game,” Gatza said, adding the final 9-4 score was not indicative of how his team played as they stay close in score for most of the game.

But Saturday’s outing was a different result for the Kings. Building from a 2-1 lead over the Longhorns at the end of the first period, the Kings maintained a one-goal margin to end the middle frame 4-3. That margin widened through the final period to give Morinville an 8-4 finish.

Gatza attributes saturday’s win to confidence and effort. “Playing last night against the Triple-A team and staying with them for pretty much the whole game gave them the confidence that they can do this,” he said. “It’s all about confidence. It’s all about hard work, team work and everybody contributing. Tonight we got that from everybody, all four lines contributing.”

The team will have their opportunity for the provincial banner Sunday at 1 p.m. “That’s what we want to hoist up there,” Gatza said, noting it has long been his and the team’s goal to earn Morinville a provincial banner.

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