Morinville Kings playoffs hopes are in jeopardy after back-to-back weekend losses. Now trailing 2-0 in a best of five opening playoff round with the Westlock Warriors, it is a do-or-die situation.
The Kings, who finished the season 9-4-1 have the talent to topple the 5-8-1 Warriors. During the regular season, the Kings faced Westlock twice, defeating them 4-2 in December and 4-3 in January.
But those close games of the regular season have flipped victors in the first two Morinville Kings playoffs outings.
The Kings started the playoff trail Friday night in Westlock for game one. In that outing, the Warriors came out hard, earning a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes. The middle frame gave the Warriors another two, while the Kings’ picked up another to close the gap to 5-2. Although the club worked hard in the final 20 to tie the fame, another two, one on the powerplay, was still one short of what they needed to push it to overtime.
Saturday night’s home-ice advantage did not help the Kings, who fell 6-4. Returning to the ice from an opening frame deficit of 3-2, the Kings picked up one goal to the Warriors two, sending them back to the dressing room trailing 6-4. And that is where the score stopped for both clubs.
Friday’s game saw the Warriors and the Kings close in shots at 42-41 in the Warriors’ favour; however, Saturday was a different game with the Warriors outshooting the Kings by a factor of 42-29.
The Kings will need to win the next three games to press on. Their first chance to keep the playoff season alive is Saturday night in Morinville at 8 p.m.
sports shorts are compiled by Stephen Dafoe