Playing strong in all three zones will be the key to the Kings County Kings’ success this week, says their coach.
“For us to do well it’s going to have to be hard work, physical play and everybody buying into the 200-foot game: backcheck, forecheck, paycheque,” said Andy Grenier.
The Kings are hosting the Irving Oil Challenge Cup, the Atlantics for 13- and 14-year-old hockey players. Kings County lost to Western in the quarter-finals and has been idle from game action for nearly a month. It played an exhibition series against top league players, who had been eliminated from the playoffs, about two weeks ago.
“It helped with the players timing and just getting into game shape,” said Grenier, who has coach in Kings County for three years, but is in his first season with the bantam AAA squad.
The team will rely on its four returnees from last year, Jesse Annear, Dawson Grenier, Hunter McIntyre and Conor MacIntyre, for leadership.
“We have a good mixture of hard-working guys, blue-collar guys along with skilled guys,” Grenier said.
It opens the competition tonight against the P.E.I. champion Mid-Isle Matrix at 7:30.
“It will be the first time for a lot of these kids playing in front of that type of crowd,” Grenier said.
“It’s great for Kings County and great for the kids of Kings County.”
Regular season – 13-11-6, fourth in the Irving Oil P.E.I. Bantam AAA Hockey League
Playoffs – Lost best-of-five quarter-final to Western 3-2.
GP G A Pts
Blake Jamieson 24 25 10 35
Dallas Farrell 26 15 16 31
Hunter McIntyre 29 5 17 22
GP W L T GAA
Jed Walsh 18 8 2 5 2.55
Noah Laybolt 15 5 7 3 3.30
Quote – “They’re a great bunch of kids. On the ice at times we have ups and downs, but before games in the dressing room and after the games, (we’re) a real close-knit bunch.”
- Coach Andy Grenier