Brent Headon of the County of Grande Prairie Kings guards the front of the Kings net while goaltender Will McCreight looks on. The Kings picked up a 3-2 win over the Sexsmith Vipers in the fifth and deciding game of the North West Junior Hockey League quarterfinal Thursday night. The team plays the Dawson Creek Canucks in the league semifinal next. The series starts Friday night in Dawson Creek. Game 2 is at Crosslink County Sportsplex on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.
The County of Grande Prairie Kings scored two third-period goals on the way to a 3-2 win over the Sexsmith Vipers in the fifth and final game of the North West Junior Hockey League (NWJHL) playoff quarterfinal series at Crosslink County Sportsplex on Thursday night.The Kings got third-period goals by Jacob Begin at 16:24 to tie the game 2-2 while Corbin Doram got the series winner at 15:26, stick-handling around Vipers goalie Tyson Walker and depositing the winning disk behind him and into the empty net.“Even talking about it in the second intermission, we weren’t feeling down and out we felt we still had a chance to come back in the game,” Kings Head Coach Kyle Chapple said. “We threw a lot of shots at them and played in their end quite a bit [but we couldn’t buy a goal]. You have to give their goalie credit.” Walker stopped 17 shots alone in the second period and 37 for the game.The Kings will start the NWJHL semifinals against the Dawson Creek Canucks on Friday night. Game 2 will be at the Crosslink County Sportsplex on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is 3 p.mDuring the regular season, the Kings and Canucks met seven times with the Kings winning four of them. The Kings outscored the Canucks 34-33 in the series and the Canucks handed the Kings their biggest loss of the year, an 11-1 pasting Oct. 9.“At time it was high scoring, but it was fast-paced and entertaining hockey,” Chapple said of the seven games versus the Canucks. “They’re not afraid to play physical but, in saying that, we can play that way too. I expect it to be a grind but we’ll be ready for a physical push from them. I think it will be a good series. I think we match up with them. It should be entertaining.”Louka Richard scored the other goal for the Kings. Will McCreight stopped 22 shots for the win.Payton Lappenbush scored both goals for the Vipers.