The Dauphin Kings remain in the midst of the tight race in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s MGEU West Division.
After dropping a 4-0 decision to the OCN Blizzard, Tuesday in OCN, the Kings swept and home-and-home with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, 5-1, Friday in Dauphin, and 3-1, Saturday in Waywayseecappo.
As a result, Dauphin enters the week in a three-way tie for second place with the Wolverines and Swan Valley Stampeders, two points behind OCN.
Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley said the team took a step back in the game against OCN.
“The structure wasn’t there. The stick-to-itiveness, the trust in the process. We just didn’t battle hard enough. You’ve got to give OCN credit. They came at us hard. They used their speed,” he said. “We weren’t real tough to play against.”
After some good practices during the week, the Kings were able to rebound with a pair of solid efforts against the Wolverines.
“Wayway is a very good hockey club. They’re well coached. We played like we had to. We were responsible away from the puck. We didn’t leave a lot of chances on the rush. And then, if we didn’t (Cole) Sheffield had two great games and was outstanding,” Hedley said.
Last season, Swan Valley finished in fourth place, the last playoff spot, with 22 wins. Entering this week’s games, Neepawa is the only team within the division with fewer than 20 victories, sitting at 17.
Hedley figures 30 wins will be needed to get into the playoffs.
This weekend, the Kings will host the Blizzard, Friday for Ukrainian Night at 7:30 p.m., and again on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Hedley is looking forward to the weekend contests.
“We’re going to have some good practices this week and really focus on OCN. Any kind of tendencies we’re looking for, we’ll pass on the our players and get them prepared as good as we can. All it is is staying on our toes and playing to the best of our abilities,” he said.