Coaches in the provincial major midget hockey league are quick to heap praise on the undefeated Dennis GM Western Kings.
The Kings are riding a 14-game winning steak into this weekend’s two-game series against the St. John’s Maple Leafs slated for the Corner Brook Civic Centre.
Chris Peach, head coach of the TriPen Osprey, has been impressed with the physical and relentless attack of the Kings in the early going. He credited the Kings coaching staff for getting the players to bring a strong work ethic to the rink.
“They got some luck and they got some bounces going their way, but they are a hard-working team that right now are the team to beat in this league,” Peach said earlier this week.
“Everything is clicking for them right now. Everybody seems to be on the right page,” he added. “They play a system and everybody has bought into that. They seem like a well-oiled machine right now.”
Peach has seen his team lose to the Kings on four occasions, but on the bright side, he liked the compete level of his team, losing a couple of close games at home by scores of 4-2 and 3-1.
He knows the challenge will be to make some adjustments, but he’s OK with finding a way to slow down a team that seems to be a stride ahead of others with team speed in their favour.
“We’re going to continue to improve and get better,” he said. “The season is only young and there’s lots of hockey to be played yet.”
Brad Yetman, coach of the East Coast Blizzard, has been impressed with the depth of the Kings after watching his team lose four games against the boys from the west.
He believes the Kings have a good mix of players, a number of third-year players to build a team around and a handful of rookies, singling out Skylar Coates as one of the guys in this category, who have been impact players in their first taste of major midget.
To show the teams, depth, Coates plays on the third line for the Kings with Brayden Ryan and Drew Langdon.
“They’re very deep, and they’re big and intense so it’s hard to match up with them in that regard. But that’s certainly what’s been giving them success so far,” he said.
The biggest thing on Yetman’s mind is getting his players to adjust from game to game because no team is going to continue with a particular style when they have to play opposing teams eight times throughout the schedule.
“You got to adjust and work out a particular game-plan that you think may be most effective against a team and just try and make sure you’re players execute it,” he said.
The Kings will try to extend the streak tonight when they clash with the St. John’s Maple Leafs 7 p.m. at the Corner Brook Civic Centre. The two sides will wrap up the two-game series Sunday at 11 a.m.