Wild shut out Spruce Kings

It may only be two games into the regular season, but the Prince George Spruce Kings now know what it'll take be successful in 2015-16.

That's after the Wenatchee Wild strode into the Coliseum and dominated the Kings in an 8-0 shutout victory.

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The Wild's win was the second-straight for Washington State-based team against the Kings, who joined the B.C. Hockey League as an expansion franchise in June after competing in the North American Hockey League for the past seven seasons.

The Wild were also impressive in a 5-1 win against Prince George in Friday's season-opener.

As of Saturday night, Wenatchee now sits atop the Mainland Division at 2-0, while the Spruce Kings are 0-2.

"Credit to them, they (the Wild) got off to a good start and they capitalized on their chances," said Kings head coach Chad van Diemen outside the team's dressing room Saturday. "We tried today to do as much preparation as we could and the Wild came here and executed their game plan. They're a very well coached team and Bliss (head coach Littler) has been around a long time. They have a lot of talent on that roster and I'm surprised (about their play). To be that bang on this early in the season, they're miles ahead.

"What we can take away is the bar has been set. That's what we're going to have to do to win some games. Their best players were very aggressive and didn't give us a lot of space out there."

The Wild skated out to a 3-0 lead in the first eight minutes and 12 seconds of the game, on goals from Jeff Makowski, Joseph Drabin (power play) and Brandon Puricelli. They managed to chase Kings starting netminder, 17-year-old Liam McCloskey, out of the net as he allowed three goals on the nine shots he faced.

Veteran Alex Brooks-Potts replaced McCloskey at that point, but he didn't fare that much better.

With forward Braiden Epp serving a two-minute minor for boarding, Wild right-winger Kyle Stephan converted the five-on-four power play opportunity with 35 seconds left in Epp's penalty.

In the second period, 18-year-old forward Dakota Raabe and 19-year-old defenceman Tyler Rockwell padded the Wild's lead with single tallies. Rockwell's goal on the man-advantage was scored with one second left in the period after defenceman Frank Sullivan was sent to the penalty box for a two-minute minor for slashing.

Raabe scored his second goal of the game on another power play at the 11:57 mark and Troy Conzo, an 18-year-old left-winger, rounded out the scoring at the 15:36 mark.

Wenatchee was four-for-seven on the power play, outshooting the Kings 41-23.

"Our discipline was just not there," said van Diemen. "One of the positives for us was the second period where we came out and had some good shifts. I thought Connor Logan and Nic Ponak worked very hard and were rewarded with some scoring chances. But without Jake (LeBrun) in the lineup tonight, we have to assess how the team will respond."

LeBrun, the Kings 20-year-old captain was assessed a five-minute penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct in the third period of Friday's contest.

The checking from behind penalty carries an automatic two-game suspension, so LeBrun did not play Saturday. He also won't suit up in the Kings next game in Langley on Sept. 19.

Greg Chase picked up his second win of the season, while Brooks-Potts made 28 of 33 saves.

McCloskey suffered the loss in net.

"I was very happy with Liam, he was the best player on Friday and the Wild got a few early pucks by him tonight," said van Diemen.

The Kings have an entire week of practice at the Coliseum prior to hitting the road for games in Langley on Sept. 19 and Surrey on Sept. 20.

They're not panicking, rather van Diemen is preaching patience.

"We just have to keep pounding our systems into them," he said, who is in his first year as the Kings head coach. "We have a lot of new faces and it's different from last year. I told Jake it takes awhile to see results. I've talked to a number of coaches in a similar situation going into a new team. We know what we have to do to keep instilling it in our guys and the team is committed to what we're doing."

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