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Kings Look To Widen The Gap After Taking Over Top Spot

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A weekend sweep of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines has lifted the Dauphin Kings into sole possession of first place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s West Division.

The Kings scored three times in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit en route to a 4-2 win, Friday in Dauphin, to move into the tie with the Wolverines.

On Saturday in Waywayseecappo, the Kings scored three times in each of the first two periods and skated to a 6-2 win, improving the team’s record to 11-3-0-0 and moving them two points ahead of Waywayseecappo.

Following Friday’s win, Kings defenceman Colby Jaquet said the game gave the Kings a lot of confidence heading out on the road for the rematch.

“That’s a good team over there. There’s a lot of confidence for us going into their barn. It’s a huge two points for us. A first-place feeling,” he said.

The Kings, Jaquet said, prepared for the Wolverines the same way they do for every team they face, by coming to the rink focused and determined and working hard.

Even though they were down heading into the third period, Jaquet said the Kings were confident they would come away with the win.

The key to the comeback, he said, was outworking the Wolverines.

“We thought we were outplaying them in the first and second, just got some bad penalty luck. We just outworked them. We wanted it more, I think,” he said.

Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley said the Kings played a solid road game, which resulted in Saturday’s win.

“We played a good road game. We were solid above pucks, played good defensively and got some breaks,” he said, adding the Kings also scored three power-play goals.

Jaquet, who has four goals and 13 assists in his last nine games, has been outstanding for the Kings this season. Through 14 games, he is fourth in league scoring with 23 points, including a league-leading 19 assists, and sits five points behind Winkler’s Eric Fawkes, who leads the league with 28 points.

“I just come to the rink every day trying to get better and working hard. It’s all about the two points, though, for the team,” he said.

The Kings were active on the trade front, last week, loaning 17-year-old forward Sean Williams to the Winnipeg Blues for future considerations. His rights will revert back to the Kings next summer.

Saturday marked the debut of forward Kaito Umino, who the Kings signed from the Revelstoke Grizzlies of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

On the injury front, Andrew Andries returned from the sidelines, Friday, and tied the game with his first goal in the MJHL in the third period.

Jayden Harris missed Friday’s game with the flu, but was back in the lineup on Saturday. Meanwhile, Slade Stanick is out with a concussion and Ethan Williment is out with a shoulder injury.

The Kings will look to extend their lead over the Wolverines when the two teams meet for another home-and-home this weekend, beginning Friday in Waywayseecappo, with the second meeting, Saturday in Dauphin at 7:30 p.m.

Kings court: After being an honourable mention is last week’s Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Top 20 rankings, the Kings move up to the no. 12 spot. The league-leading Steinbach Pistons, who are 12-2-0-0 on the year, are at no. four, while the Winnipeg Blues, who sport the same 11-3-0-0 record as the Kings, are ranked 15th.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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