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Kings fail to bury chances in return from break


The Dauphin Kings were unable to beat the Winkler Flyers or the on-ice officials, Saturday at Credit Union Place.
Winkler skated away with a 3-2 win over the Kings, but not without some controversy.
The Kings skated into the third period of Saturday’s game with a 2-0 lead, but the Flyers came back to tie the game.
In the dying minutes of the game, the Kings were called for icing, which should have been waved off when the Winkler player skating back for the puck stopped skating at the blueline and coasted towards the puck until the linesman blew the whistle.
The Kings were subsequently called for another icing shortly after and had to use their timeout to put fresh skaters on the ice. Winkler scored the winning goal shortly after and that was not without controversy, either.
Winkler’s Nolan McGuire fed a back door pass to defenceman C.J. Corazzin, who shot the puck towards the seemingly open net. Kings goalie Brennan Kitchen appeared to make a stick save, but, with Corazzin celebrating as if he had scored, the referee counted the goal even though the goal light did not come on.
Despite Dauphin’s protests, the referee did not consult the goal judge and the goal stood, giving Winkler a 3-2 lead with just 27 seconds left in the third period.
Kings interim head coach and general manager Mitch Giguere was not pleased with the officials after the game.
“First things, first, I would like to say thank you to the refs. They made some bad calls through the whole game,” he said.
“They made a really bad call when I took the timeout, because the puck didn’t go behind the goalline on the icing and the guy stopped skating through the neutral zone and they still gave him the icing.
“And the last one, the ref never pointed to the goal. He never talked to the goal judge. So, it’s frustrating.”
Giguere also pointed out, however, that the Kings had a two-goal lead and lost the game.
It was Dauphin’s second game back from the Christmas break.
Selkirk scored two goals, 27 seconds apart midway through the second period to snap a 1-1 tie en route to a 4-1 win over the Kings, Thursday at Credit Union Place.
Dauphin started slowly against Selkirk, but got better as the game went on, eventually outshooting the Steelers, 40-39.
The Flyers outshot Dauphin, 44-33, but Giguere felt the Kings had more good scoring chances.
“They probably had five scoring chances and we probably had 15 or 20 and, sadly, we were not able to bear down and score goals,” he said.
“But yeah, the further the game goes, we were better. But at the same time, we were missing some empty nets.”
Giguere added Winkler goalie and former King Troy Martyniuk played well, making some key saves at times.
“And Kitch (Kitchen) made some great saves, too. But at the end, they found a way to win,” he said.
The Kings have been getting their chances, but struggle at times to find the back of the net. They have scored a league-low 95 goals, though the Waywayseecappo Wolverines have 96 and have played one game more than the Kings.
Giguere said the mindset has to be to shoot to score and not just shooting for the sake of it.
“We’re going to go on the ice and we’re going to work on our scoring chances and make sure that we bear down everytime,” he said.
The Canadian Junior Hockey League trade deadline is Wednesday.
Before making any deals, Giguere has to discuss matters with the board of directors.
“It’s not my call, so we’ll see in time. If a good trade is there, a good trade is there. You’ve got to do it. But if they have nothing there, we’re not going to move a guy just to move a guy. So we’ll see on Jan. 10.,” he said.
The Kings host the Swan Valley Stampeders, tonight at 7:30 p.m., then hit the road for a pair of games this weekend.
On Friday, Dauphin hopes to muzzle the Terriers in Portage, before trying to ground the Flyers in Winkler on Saturday. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Kings court: Defenceman Riley Shamray was named the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Sher-Wood Defenceman of the Month for December. Shamray had three goals and 10 points in 10 games last month. He currently leads the team in scoring with 28 points.

Doug Zywina