A 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Freeze, Friday in Dauphin allowed the Dauphin Kings to maintain their hold on second place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s MGEU West Division.
Sunday’s game in Winnipeg was postponed due to the Grey Cup and will be rescheduled to a later date.
Winnipeg took a 3-2 lead into the first intermission and the Kings tied it in the second period. Dauphin took the lead with two goals in the first five minutes of the third and the teams traded goals to round out the scoring.
Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley said it was not one of his team’s best games they’ve played this season.
“But at the same time, we found a way to get two points. Any win is a big win in this league. It’s not easy to do and any time you end up on the right end of the score is a good thing,” he said, adding there are still areas of the game the team has to work on.
“Including our work ethic. But you find a way to get it done and you move on,” he said.
The Freeze only have two wins on the season and are last overall with only five points. But they gave the Kings all they could handle, Friday.
“You have to give the Freeze credit, they played hard. They capitalized on some mistakes we made,” Hedley said.
“But we were on the wrong side of pucks a lot. We were on the wrong side of battles a lot. The back pressure that we’ve been doing consistently lately wasn’t there. Just the hard on pucks and stick battles. We weren’t at our best, but we found way to get it done.”
The first-ever Top Prospects Showcase was held in Portage, last Tuesday and Wednesday, with 12 players from the Kings taking part.
Hedley said all 12 players represented the team well.
“I thought all of guys showed real well and deserved to be there,” he said.
The Kings lineup will be bolstered by the addition of a pair of players from Ukraine, 20-year-old goaltender Dmytro Kubritskyi and forward Havryil Simchuk, who turns 16, Dec. 17.
Simchuk’s older brother Mikhail currently plays for the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Hedley said once their paper work with Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Canada is done, they can start playing, which he hopes will be done by the end of the week.
The Kings were contacted last year by a representative of Canadian Friends of Hockey in Ukraine about Ukrainian-born players joining the team.
“They’re trying to place national team members in North America to play hockey somewhere, because of what’s going on there,” Hedley said.
The Kings will get a good test on Tuesday when the Portage Terriers pay their first visit to Credit Union Place at 7:30 p.m.
On the weekend, Dauphin plays the Neepawa Titans in a home-and-home, beginning Friday in Neepawa, with the rematch in Dauphin on Saturday. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.