Morinville Kings oh-for-two in best-of-five playoff series with Devon

by Stephen Dafoe

The Morinville Senior AA Kings finished at the bottom of their division with a forfeit to Bonnyville on Sunday, Feb. 4, and entered the first round of North Central Hockey League (NCHL) playoffs against the North Division’s top-ranked Devon Barons over the weekend.

That entry into the best-of-five series saw the Kings fall twice as the rebuilding team struggled to find some playoff energy to overcome their regular season challenges.

Devon defeated the Kings 6-2 on Friday night and 16-3 on Saturday night, both games at the Dale Fisher Arena.

With a 51-33 shot deficit, the Kings’ backstop Garrett Storms did well, stopping 88 percent of the chances sent his way on Friday night.

Starting with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, the Kings trailed 2-1 after two, and despite the Kings pocketing one midway through the third, it was little to combat the four Devon got past the net, resulting in the 6-2 loss.

Saturday was an amplified version of Friday night, with the Barons outshooting Morinville 56:18 over three periods.

The Kings trailed Devon 3-0 after one, and despite pocketing two in the middle frame, found themselves behind a 9-2 deficit heading into the final 20 minutes. The last period saw Devon rippling Morinville’s mesh seven times to the Kings’ single goal to end the day 16-3.

It is now do or die for the Kings, who will need to win the next three games in a row to continue to round two. Their first chance to do that will occur at the Morinville Leisure Centre on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m.

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