Pembroke Lumber Kings blank Nepean Raiders 3-0

Pembroke Lumber Kings's forward Andrew Poulias controls the puck in the corner while being watched by Nepean Raiders's goalie Tyler Laureault during first period action at the PMC Dec. 22. Poulias scored a goal and added two assists in Pembroke's 3-0 win. Tina Peplinskie / Pembroke Observer and News

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The Pembroke Lumber Kings are headed into the Christmas break on a winning note after blanking the Nepean 3-0 at home Dec. 22.

Reece Proulx earned his second shutout of the season, stopping all 25 shots he faced from the Raiders.

The 17-year-old North Bay native credited his teammates for playing well in front of him, saying this was an early Christmas gift.

Think they played really well,” he said after the game. “I maybe had a couple of big saves but a lot were outside and they did the rest.  They are always playing for me, and especially going into the third they said let’s worry about Reece for this one and they did.”

Proulx added it was especially nice to bounce back from a lopsided 10-1 decision in favour of Rockland on Dec. 20. He is looking forward to the Christmas break to recuperate and get ready for the second half of the season.

Kings’s coach and GM Alex Armstrong was also happy to see Proulx rewarded with the shutout.

“I’m happy for him going into the break getting the shutout because there have been nights where he deserved that and one squeaked through” he said. “He’s had a great first half. He’s one of the best goalies in the league, if not thee best so we are looking forward to seeing if he can take us to the promise land.

With the win, the Kings sit in third in the Robinson Division with 42 points in 37 games and sixth overall in the Central Canada Hockey League, just four spots out of fourth and 10 points out of third. Armstrong’s goal since the beginning of the season has been to be .500 or better at Christmas (the Kings’ winning percentage is .553).

“We’ve been banged up found a way to get through it so I’m happy where we’re at going into the break,” the coach said. “We are in the mix and that’s where we wanted to be, so hopefully we can continue to move forward here in the New Year.”

Providing the offence for the Kings against Nepean were Andrew Poulias with a goal and two assists and singles from Ty Hollett and Cameron Hough, who blasted a shot top corner right off the faceoff in the first for the eventual game winner.

Pembroke’s penalty kill was strong again as it held the Raiders scoreless in five power-play chances, but the Kings were also held scoreless on two chances.  Nepean out shot Pembroke 25-23.

The Kings are now off until Jan. 5, 2020 when they host the Hawkesbury Hawks for a 7 p.m. start at the PMC.

Stars of the game: The three stars were Pembroke’s Andrew Poulias and Reece Proulx first and second respectively and Nepean’s Louis Chabot third. The fourth star for hard work went to Pembroke’s Cameron Hough.

On the road: In a game the Kings would rather forget, they fell 10-1 against the Rockland Nationals Dec. 20. Armstrong called it a bad day at the office for the team that was banged up with injuries and guys out of the lineup serving suspensions, coming up a strong Nationals team dressing a full lineup.

One positive from the game is that the penalty kill was once again strong for the Kings as it held the Nationals to just one goal on nine power-play chances. Pembroke was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

Cameron Hough scored the lone goal for the Kings. Nick Beck took the loss in the Kings’s net with 35 saves on 45 shots

On Dec. 19, the Kings edged the Kanata Lasers 2-1. Jack Stockfish and Brady Egan scored, with Egan netting the winner on the power play midway through the second.

TPeplinskie@postmedia.com

Pembroke Lumber Kings’s defenceman William Neault goes to the net after leading the rush during first period action at the PMC Dec. 22. The Kings blanked the Nepean Raiders 3-0. Tina Peplinskie / Pembroke Lumber Kings

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