DAUPHIN, MB - The Dauphin Kings started hot but ended cold Sunday in a 5-3 loss to the OCN Blizzard at Credit Union Place.
The Kings came out strong and Grady Hobbs (24), who was playing in his 201st regular season game for the Kings, opened the scoring just 17 seconds in. Baron Thompson (17) would pad Dauphin's lead, scoring five minutes late to make it a 2-0 contest. OCN would score three minutes after that to make it 2-1 Kings after 20 minutes.
The second period saw the Kings out play the Blizzard. Dauphin would lose starting goaltender Matthias Smith to a lower body injury just over four minutes into the second period. He turned aside eight of nine shots before leaving. Zach Grouette replaced Smith and allowed two goals on the first two shots he faced before settling in. The Kings would tie things up late in the middle frame when Grady Hobbs snagged his league leading 25th goal of the season. At the same time Hobbs took over the league lead in scoring from teammate Nakodan Greyeyes. As the Christmas break hits Hobbs (51) and Greyeyes (50) sit one-two in the MJHL scoring race.
The third period saw Dauphin continue to control things, but the Blizzard scored on their limited opportunities to make it a 4-3 contest. The club would add an empty netter to make it a 5-3 final despite being out played for most of the night.
Zach Grouette suffered the loss in goal, turning aside 12 of the 15 shots he faced. Dauphin out shot OCN 39-25 in the affair.
The Kings finished the night 0 for 5 on the power play and 4 for 6 on the penalty kill.
Dauphin will enjoy their now two week Christmas break. The club is missing a number of players due to injury. Nakodan Greyeyes, Austin Lamotte, Andrew Liwiski, Landon Russell and Carter Sawchuk were sidelined in Sunday's contest. That's well over 100 points missing from action.
The Kings' record is 17-15-3-2 on the season and they'll return to action on Sunday January 5th when they visit the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.
For now, Credit Union Place will be transformed into a curling rink for the 2020 Junior Provincial Curling Championship. It hits Dauphin January 1st to 5th. The Kings play their first home game of 2020 on TV Tuesday January 7th with puck drop at 7:30pm.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR FANS!
SEE YOU IN 2020!
|0:17||DK||Grady Hobbs (24) ASST: Baron Thompson (20)|
|5:18||DK||Baron Thompson (17) ASST: Ty Brant (2), Brendan Arnold (7)|
|8:50||OCN||Jaxon Blight (2) ASST: None (PP)|
|4:23||OCN||Darren Gisti (10) ASST: Sam Willits (3), Ryan Butler (12) (PP)|
|7:25||OCN||Cole Haukaas (3) ASST: Nate Pane (5)|
|11:05||DK||Grady Hobbs (25) ASST: Drayden Kurbatoff (1)|
|6:55||OCN||Boston Bird (8) ASST: Ryan Butler (13)|
|18:50||OCN||Aidan Litke (3) ASST: None|