Two late first-period goals paced the Kings to an early start, and goaltender Jeff Smith made 25 saves in a 4-1 Powell River victory over the Surrey Eagles at Hap Parker Arena Friday.
Curtis McCarrick's left-wing shot in the final minute of the opening frame proved to be the winner, as despite a 37-save effort from Bo Didur the Eagles were unable to crack the stingy Kings defense.
Powell River raced out of the gate, outshooting Surrey 16-5 in the opening frame, but Didur stopped everything he saw until a laser beam off the stick of captain Aidan Wright from the left point found the back of the net on a late Kings power-play. McCarrick put the hosts ahead 1:02 later after being set up from behind the goalline by linemate Jarid Lukosevicius.
The Kings started the second period with a power-play, and it was Lukosevicius who answered the bell, beating his former Vancouver Northwest Giant teammate Didur from in tight 1:19 into the frame to make it 3-0.
Surrey clawed back to within two goals just before the midway mark of the middle frame when Darius Davidson snapped home his fifth goal of the season from the left wing after a determined effort from defenseman Kale Bennett to get up-ice.
The goal seemed to spur on the Eagles offense, but Smith stood tall, robbing Anthony Conti from in close then denying Chase McMurphy on a breakaway.
Lukosevicius added an insurance marker with 90 seconds left in the third period as Powell River snapped a five-game skid.
Results elsewhere in the BC Hockey League Friday confirmed the Eagles' first-round playoff opponent as the Langley Rivermen. The Mainland division semi-finals are slated to begin Tuesday, March 4th, but a full schedule has yet to be announced.
My Three Stars:
1. Jarid Lukosevicius, Powell River
2. Jeff Smith, Powell River
3. Bo Didur, Surrey
Up Next: The Eagles continue the weekend with a Saturday night tilt in Nanaimo. Game time is 7:00 at Frank Crane Arena.