Reece Proulx earns shutout as Pembroke Lumber Kings blank Hawkesbury Hawks 4-0

Pembroke Lumber Kings' goalie Reece Proulx keeps his eye on the puck as Josh Pratt of the Hawkesbury Hawks comes in on the backhand during second period action at the PMC Sunday night. Kings' forward Jack Stockfish is also trying to help prevent the scoring chance. Proulx made 30 saves as he earned the shutout in the 4-0 win. Tina Peplinskie / jpg, PM

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Reece Proulx made 30 saves to earn the shutout as the Pembroke Lumber Kings blanked the Hawkesbury Hawks 4-0 at the Pembroke Memorial Centre Sunday night.

Gabe Malek led the offence with a pair of goals, including his second of the night on the power play.

This was Proulx’s fifth game since joining the Kings in early October. He is happy to be back with the team and thrilled to get the shutout.

“It feels awesome; it’s always the best feeling,” the 19-year-old said after the game. “You always have to stay dialed in; I was pretty good at doing that tonight. I’m pretty happy with how I played tonight.”

He also credited his teammates for playing well in front of him and blocking shots on the way to victory. The goaltender is happy to be back in Pembroke.

“I love it here. Sunday night in the PMC; it doesn’t get much better than that,” he said. “I seem to play well here so it’s always nice. It’s good to be back.”

With three wins, a loss and shoot-out loss, Proulx boasts a 1.55 goals-against average and .945 save percentage.

Pembroke coach and general manager Alex Armstrong was also pleased with Proulx’s performance and feels it was redemption for the shoot-out loss he suffered against the Hawks on Oct. 15.

“Reece he had to make some big saves; it wasn’t easy,” the coach said. “He made some big saves in the first and big saves overall. Reece is Reece; teams try to distract him nothing fazes that kid, he is two years older now and more mature.”

Overall Armstrong was pleased with the team’s performance.

“We were good tonight; the shot clock may not indicate it, but the shots we took were quality shots,” he said. “We played well in own end. They’ve got a good goalie and we wanted to get to him early and we did that and he didn’t last long. For us our penalty kill was good and we had some chances on the power play. Overall it was a good weekend for us.”

Malek opened the scoring just three minutes into the game when he let a shot go from the top of the face-off circle, which beat Max Donoso. Jack Stockfish and Nathan Duck assisted on the eventual game winner.

Pembroke Lumber Kings’ forward Gabe Malek (centre) celebrates his second goal of the night with Brady Egan, who earned an assist on the power-play marker, and Jake Dale during the first period of Sunday night’s game against the Hawkesbury Hawks. The Kings blanked the Hawks 4-0. Tina Peplinskie / jpg, PM

Jacob Zwirecki put the Kings up 2-0 with 5:06 to go in the first when he tipped the puck in front of the net. Brady Egan and Jesse Kirkby assisted. Two minutes later Malek struck again with another rocket into the top corner on the power play to send Pembroke to the dressing room with a 3-0 lead. Egan and Raphael Seguin assisted on Malek’s second of the night.

Following a scoreless second, which saw a strong penalty kill for the Kings and some big saves from Proulx, as well as Dimitri Pelekos taking his spot between the pipes in the Hawkesbury net, Joe Jordan added some insurance when he scored 3:14 into the third. Assisting were Zac Correia and Kirkby.

The Hawks turned up the pressure in the third, but they could not solve Proulx.

The Hawks did hold a 30-23 advantage on the shot clock. The Kings were 1-for-6 on the power play and Hawkesbury failed to capitalize on five opportunities with the man advantage.

The Kings have a big weekend ahead with two games at home – Friday night they host the Navan Grads at 7:30 p.m. and the Cornwall Colts are in town Oct. 31 for a 7 p.m. start. at the PMC. The Kings lost the last game against the Grads at the Fall Showcase so Armstrong sees this as a big test for his club.

“In my mind Navan and Ottawa are the top two teams right now regardless of their records so for us this is a good measuring stick as we want to continue to play well and get better,” he said.

Three Star Selection: Pembroke swept the three stars – Reece Proulx was first, Gabe Malek was second and Brady Egan was third. The fourth star for hard work was Pembroke’s Joe Jordan.

On the road: On Friday night (Oct. 22) the Kings held on to beat the Rockland Nationals 5-3. Pembroke led 3-1 after the first and were outscored 2-1 in the second to hold onto a 4-3 lead. Captain Brady Egan led the offence with two goals and two assists, including a power-play and empty-net goal. Jesse Kirkby scored his sixth of the season, Max Martin his second and Nathan Duck netted his first goal of the season. Dalton McBride had a solid game in the Kings’ net with 25 saves on 28 shots. Jack McGovern took the loss. Scoring for the Nationals were Mateo Despoil and Alexander Brochette.