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Kings Extend Winning Streak To Five

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The Dauphin Kings extended their winning streak to five straight with a pair of victories over the Virden Oil Capitals over the weekend.

On Friday in Virden, Parker Malchuk made his return to the Kings lineup a memorable one, scoring the winning goal with less than five minutes remaining to lift Dauphin to a 4-3 win.

On Saturday in Dauphin, Kaden Bryant’s power-play goal 7:11 into the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and helped the Kings to a 4-2 triumph.

Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley noted it was the first time the Kings opened a four-game segment against an opponent with a win.

But one issue Hedley has is the way shots on goal are tabulated throughout the league.

On Friday, Kings goalie Carson Cherepak was credited with 47 saves on 50 shots. Hedley pointed out Instat had the Virden shots at 35. Dauphin was credited with 33.

“Did I miss a memo saying that they’re basically counting shots at the net, not saves?” he said. “Two or four difference is one thing. But 15 to 20? It’s good for our goaltender. It’s good for his save percentage.”

The shots in saturday’s game, he added, were fairly accurate at 28-25 for the Kings.

As for the games themselves, there were times, Hedley said, when the Kings got away from their structure a bit.

“Our D-men are so mobile this year. We’ve got some good mobility back there. And as soon as we open ice up by going D-to-D right away, we make good things happen. We start finding seams and we start making plays,” he said.

Hedley has been pleased with the play of the team’s young rookies, as well.

Hedley feels the Kings can get a little bit better in the defensive zone, which will be part of the focus at practice this week.

“Just getting to pucks quicker. Once we get away from rimming the puck around the awall, we’re a good hockey team, because we can make that pass to low support or make the pass straight up on the tape. We’re out of the zone all the time,” he said. “Against Virden, as long as you keep an even rush through the neutral zone, you’re going to create some turnovers. They really come at you hard and they’re high risk. Their D-men are always in the play so if you get a turnover, you can jump back the other way.”
Hedley is also starting to like the team’s offensive play, with the Kings finding players open and getting pucks to the net.

Hedley was pleased to have Malchuk back in the lineup, noting the Kings captain was “unbelievable” on Friday night.

“You could see a little bit of a letdown (Saturday) because he’s not in top (condition). Last night really took a lot out of him, but he was the best player on the ice last night,” he said.

The Kings and Oil Capitals will face off again Friday in Dauphin and Saturday in Virden.

At 8-2-0-0, the Kings remain tied for first place in the West Division with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. Dauphin and the Wolverines will begin a four-game set, Oct. 29 in Dauphin.

Kings court: The Kings cracked the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s top 20, this week, coming in at no. 14. The Winnipeg Blues sit at no. 6, While the Steinbach Pistons are no. 7 and the Waywayseecappo Wolverines are No. 19.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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