An­other split pair of games for the Kings

Some re­silience on dis­play as Elmira puts loss in Brant­ford be­hind them to win con­vinc­ingly at home against Dutch­men

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

HOME COOK­ING DID THE trick, as the Su­gar Kings re­bounded from a 5-3 loss in Brant­ford Oc­to­ber 26 to post a 5-1 vic­tory over the vis­it­ing Kitch­ener Dutch­men last Sun­day.

The loss on the road was dis­ap­point­ing, as the Kings had skated to an 8-4 win the last time they met the 99ers. Af­ter a back-and­forth start, the Kings let the wheels come off later in the game.

“We def­i­nitely didn’t start the game on time. We didn’t show up the way that we can, un­for­tu­nately. That’s some­thing that we have to work on is our con­sis­tency in show­ing up,” said head coach Trent Brown about Thurs­day’s game.

The open­ing pe­riod was a hard-fought af­fair, with nei­ther side ced­ing much ice, though the home team had a de­ci­sive edge in shots, 14-6. It wasn’t un­til there was less than five min­utes to go in the frame that any­one man­aged to score. Un­for­tu­nately for Elmira, it was the 99ers who did so.

Open­ing the sec­ond down 1-0, the Kings worked quickly to close the gap with Jeff Jor­dan (Zack Cameron, Tyler McBay) bury­ing on just 2:40 in to knot up the score. At 9:20, Matt Mackay pot­ted Elmira’ sec­ond on the power play, this time with Jor­dan and Keanan Ste­wart pick­ing up as­sists.

Find­ing them­selves with a 2-1 lead, the Kings couldn’t hang on through the pe­riod. A penalty at 16:41 proved to be just the tonic for Brant­ford, who scored on the en­su­ing power play. It was 2-2 af­ter 40 min­utes.

It was any­one’s game go­ing into the third as both teams pushed to break the dead­lock. The first signs of dis­as­ter struck at the 7-minute mark when Brant­ford scored, plac­ing them back in the lead 3-2. It was a nar­row lead, but just a minute later, the 99ers pot­ted what would prove to be the game-win­ner.

Down by two, the Kings made it close on a goal by Kurtis Good­win (Cameron, McBay) be­fore opt­ing to pull net­min­der Rhett Kim­mel with two min­utes to go. It was no good, how­ever, as Brant­ford scored the empty-net­ter to seal the 5-3 win.

It was a dif­fer­ent story a few days later, as Elmira scored early and of­ten in a Sun­day win over the vis­it­ing Kitch­ener Dutch­men. It turned out to be a chippy af­fair, with a 17 of­fenses called, in­clud­ing four mis­con­duts.

“I thought it was a great game for us. It was an ex­cel­lent bounce-back game af­ter a not-so-good show­ing against Brant­ford. We got to how we want to play with speed and with in­ten­sity; that was a great game for the Su­gar Kings,” said Brown.

The tone of the match was set from the get-go, with Kitch­ener re­ceiv­ing a warm-up vi­o­la­tion go­ing in. Then, just four min­utes into the first frame, the team was hit with a board­ing vi­o­la­tion, with more penal­ties on both sides fol­low­ing.

Ryan Taka­matsu got things rolling on the score­board at 4:32, scor­ing the first of what would be a nat­u­ral hat trick on the power play. Har­ri­son Toms and Cameron drew the as­sists. He picked up his sec­ond less than five min­utes later (Matt Mur­ray, Good­win).

The in­ter­mis­sion didn’t slow Taka­matsu, who landed the third at 6:11 (Toms, Cameron). It was the only Elmira goal of the mid­dle frame, but Tyler Maz­zo­cato’s shutout bid was ended just sec­onds be­fore the buzzer. The teams went back to the room with Elmira up 3-1.

“He was play­ing great, said Brown about Taka­matsu. “He was fly­ing, he was putting the pucks on net and I give credit to our de­fense to get that puck up to him, and his line­mates get­ting him the puck.”

Com­ing back out for the third, the Kings had no in­ten­tion of let­ting off the throt­tle, scor­ing twice. At 6:29, Ma­son McMa­hon (Good­win) pot­ted the team’s fourth. Fi­nally, with three min­utes to go and Kitch­ener’s net empty, Jor­dan ran the puck down the ice for the fi­nal point of the match. McBay got the as­sist.

“[The game went] pretty well, and we had a pretty strong start and that ob­vi­ously leads into a good sec­ond and third. I was happy with our team’s ef­fort there,” said Taka­matsu, speak­ing af­ter the game.

The Kings are on the road in Lis­towel Fri­day night to take on the Cy­clones, the team sit­ting in first place with a record of 14-3. At 9-8, the Kings are cur­rently in third place be­hind Strat­ford (13-2).

“We got a tough one next Fri­day against Lis­towel, and we’ve had some trou­ble with them this year, but hope­fully we can come back and give them a good game on Fri­day,” said Taka­matsu.

“Lis­towel’s go­ing to be tough, they al­ways are,” said Brown. “They’re an ex­cel­lent team. They’re on top, so we’re shoot­ing for them. We’re go­ing to have a good week of prac­tices here com­ing off a big win against Kitch­ener at home, and just hop­ing to keep that speed, that pace.”

The Kings re­turn home Sun­day night to take on the Bramp­ton Bombers (6-9). Game time at the WMC is

[FAISAL ALI / THE OB­SERVER]

The Kings stole the show at this Sun­day’s home game against the Kitch­ener Dutch­men, skat­ing to a 5-1 vic­tory.

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