Lloyd wins power play battle

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:21 AM ET

STONY PLAIN -- After a disappointing performance at their own Allan Cup two years ago, the Lloydminster Border Kings are even hungrier now than they were then.

"I know they were disappointed as hosts that they didn't show very well," said head coach Kent Staniforth. "But the team has been quietly confident that we can come to this tournament and compete."

Why wouldn't they be, after compiling a 34-0-1 regular season record. They lost their Allan Cup opener 4-1 to Bentley on Monday, but bounced back nicely with a 5-4 win over Halifax in a game where eight of the nine goals came on the power play. The Border Kings were 4-for-14 with the man advantage, Halifax was 4-for-19.

"You knew going into this tournament that power plays were going to be key," said Staniforth. "This shows how important they are."

Like a lot of coaches here, he isn't thrilled with the way games are being called.

"At the start of the year they came out with the mandate and called it really tight. It softened up through the regular season, but once the playoffs started you're seeing 18 to 20 power plays a night on each side.

"Do I like it? Not really, but what can you do? It really eliminates some flow to the game and eliminates getting your bench into the game. We're a team that typically likes to roll four lines and when you get into games like this it makes it very difficult. But it's a mandate from CHA. We knew what to expect."

The win puts Lloyd into today's quarterfinal game. If they win that, they go to the semi on Friday and then the final on Saturday. That's four games in four days for a lot of 30-somethings in the lineup.

"Obviously we'd like another day or so to heal, but the tournament starts (Thursday)," he said of the single-game elimination format. "We feel decent with the conditioning of our team. Physically we're going to be OK.

"But we're going to have to be better on the penalty kill, there's no doubt about it."


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