CORNER BROOK Travis Taylor has been on the wrong end of some lopsided losses in his first two years with the Western Kings, but he believes the time has come for his team to win a championship.
Taylor is in his third season of provincial major midget hockey and likes what he sees early in the 2012-13 campaign as the Kings boast an undefeated record.
The Kings posted an impressive 3-0-1 record in the annual kick-off tournament before sweeping the Central IcePak in two games at the Pepsi Centre last weekend as the league kicked off in earnest.
The Kings dumped the IcePak 6-1 in the season opener before eking out a 4-2 win in the second game of the series.
“It was big because we have high expectations this year,” Taylor said of the team’s early success.
Taylor believes the Kings are feeling good about themselves and want to keep the streak going when they tangle with the Tri-Pen Lions for a two-game set at the Clarenville Events Centre during the Thanksgiving Weekend.
He believes the Kings have matured as a group with returning players coming into this winter with confidence and experience on their side.
Last year’s roster, according to Taylor, didn’t have any third-year players so there was a big learning curve for himself and others who suited up with the team.
He believes the team is looking like a strong contender more and more every day and he’s happy to be part of it all.
“Our team is all hard working and we have one mindset, which is we want to win,” he said.
The Kings dumped the Lions 11-4 in the kick-off tournament, but Taylor warns that discipline will be a key factor if the Kings want to pick up two Ws against the Lions, who opened the season with two losses to the St. John’s Maple Leafs on opening weekend. According to Taylor, the Lions try to throw them off their game by initiating rough play with hopes of creating man-advantages so they must keep their emotions in check.
“We got to stay out of the penalty box and keep it simple,’ he said.
He likes the way the team has gelled together and believes the offence should be a little more productive this season with the return of Jordan Kennedy to the lineup.
“That’s a big boost for us and our whole team is faster and stronger this year,” he said.
No matter who they play, Taylor insists the team must stick with a plan that has helped them win hockey games.
“Get pucks deep, crash and bang, and score some goals,” he said.