Morinville Kings looking to win big again this season

by Stephen Dafoe

It’s been quite a while since the Morinville Senior AA Kings took to the ice at the Landrex Arena, but the championship-winning men’s hockey club was back on the ice with a 9-3 win against Fort Saskatchewan Saturday night.

Kings’ President Wayne Gaza said with three banners under their skates – a 2020 league season championship, 2019-2020 playoffs championship and 2019-2020 provincial championship – the team is looking for a second round of winning all three.

Gatza said he is excited about a couple of new players that have joined the Kings this year.

Chad Hurtubise, a former Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Concordia player, is also a Morinville volunteer firefighter. He is scheduled to make his debut on Oct. 23, the Kings’ next home game.

Devon Cyr from Legal played Peewee AA in Morinville and played his junior career in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

“He’s the youngest guy on our team and had a heck of a performance,” Gatza said of his three-point game Saturday night.

Gatza said that the core of the team is back after the COVID break from the ice, and the time away has not hurt the team’s gameplay.

“I was worried about that in our first game but we didn’t miss a beat,” Gatza said, adding they had a short lineup on their first night. “We were up 5-0 after one, so we did all of our damage in the first period.”

Kings fans will find a little shorter season this year. An 18-game schedule was dropped to 14 with the departure of Blackfaldsa this season. The season will consist of seven home and seven away games, with the next home game set for Oct. 23.

Admission has increased in the league this year to $10, an amount Gatza says is worth the price, given the level of hockey fans will see.

“Costs have gone up and the biggest challenge is getting sponsors,” Gatza said. “Every team in the league is very good and now we’re seeing some of the triple-A players who were playing for the Allan Cup. Now they’ve joined some of our teams.”

The Morinville Kings’ will face Lacombe at 8 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Landrex Arena at the Morinville Leisure Centre.

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