Kings’ goalie Jordan Panasuik dives for the puck during the second period of Sunday night’s season finale. – Stephen Dafoe Photos
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – With their first regular season in the North Central Hockey League behind them, the Morinville Kings are pleased with their 2nd place finish in the North Division and league overall. The Kings started the season with a .500 record in their first four games, but the club turned things around to take their next six games without interruption. In fact, the Kings went on to win 14 of their 18 games this season, three of those played over the past weekend.
The Kings started the run to playoffs Friday night against the Drayton Valley Wildcats, an outing the Kings lots 6-4. The club took to the ice again Saturday night to earn a 9-6 victory over the visiting Edson Ice. Though riding high from the win, the Kings knew Saturday night that a second place finish was as far as they would rise this season. The first-place Devon Barons had finished their season Saturday night with a 13-2-3 record and 29 points. Sitting with a 13-4-0 record meant that even winning Sunday’s game against the Wildcats would leave the Kings one point shy of first place.
Kings’ President Wayne Gatza was proud of the finish. “We have finished second overall, a good start for a first year,” Gatza said. “I am very proud of the play and the players.”
The Kings start NCHL Playoffs at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre Feb. 1 at 8:30 p.m. Their round one opponents are the Westlock Warriors.