The Comox Valley Glacier Kings logo. (supplied by the Comox Valley Glacier Kings)
COURTENAY, B.C. – The Comox Valley Glacier Kings are still searching for that elusive first win.
The Glacier Kings fell to 0-14 in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action, after falling 7-3 to the visiting Peninsula Panthers Saturday at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.
Despite the team’s latest loss, Glacier Kings head coach Jordan Kamprath said he has seen huge improvements in his players, of late.
“We’re getting more opportunities to score goals,” Kamprath said. “We’re scoring more goals, overall, too. There’s a ton of improvement. A lot of the players feel like we’re in a lot of these games. Players see that we’re able to skate with every single team in the league.”
Kamprath said the rookie-laden Glacier Kings have a hunger to continue playing in the VIJHL and do what they can to get that first victory.
“They keep competing, day in and day out, coming to practice, going to dryland (training) and you can see it in all aspects of their game,” Kamprath said. “When we first started the season, a lot of these players coming out of midget didn’t have the endurance, the will, the drive that junior players have, and now they have it.”
Peninsula Panthers 7, Glacier Kings 3
Josh Lingard had a night for the ages for the Panthers, tallying five times to bring his season total to 12, good for third in the VIJHL goal-scoring race.
The Panthers built a 3-0 lead before the Kings battled back to narrow the deficit to 4-2 after two periods.
But the visitors quashed any hopes of a comeback by scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to make it 7-2.
Despite being outscored 3-1 in the third frame, the Glacier Kings outshot the Panthers 19-6 over the final 20 minutes of play.
The Glacier Kings’ Dayton Keith rounded out the scoring with 33 seconds to play in regulation.
“Overall we played 52 minutes of hockey, and unfortunately we broke down a couple of times,” Kamprath said.
He said puck luck was definitely on the Panthers’ side on Saturday.
“The bounces that they were getting were just phenomenal,” Kamprath said. “One player getting five goals… I mean he’s a really good player, don’t get me wrong but it wasn’t just based on skill. The puck was bouncing to the right place and he was in the right place at the right time, too.”
ICE CHIPS: The Glacier Kings will look for their first win on Friday, when they rematch with the Panthers at the Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich.
“It’s going to be a hard game down in Peninsula,” Kamprath said. “It’s a long bus ride so we’re going to have to get our feet under us right away. We can’t take 20 minutes off, we’ve gotta just have to go for the full 60.”
The very next night (Saturday), the Glacier Kings host North Division rival Campbell River Storm at the Sports Centre. Game time is 7:30 p.m.