Quiet sched­ule sees Kings top Brant­ford 5-2 on home ice

Hav­ing won the lone game of the week, Elmira finds it­self busier this week­end, fac­ing Cam­bridge and Lis­towel

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

THERE ARE SOME WEEKS in the Ju­nior B sched­ule when the com­pe­ti­tion is re­lent­less, with the games com­ing back-to-back or even three in as many days. Then there are those stretches were the team is af­forded some down­time be­tween games.

This week fell into the lat­ter cat­e­gory for the Sugar Kings, as the Elmira team faced just one chal­lenger, the Brant­ford 99ers, in a Sun­day night game on home ice.

De­spite run­ning into plenty of penalty trou­ble – 56 min­utes on 16 in­frac­tions – the Kings had rel­a­tively lit­tle trou­ble en route to a com­fort­able 5-2 vic­tory.

Elmira opened the scor­ing, with the first goal com­ing about mid­way through the first pe­riod off of the stick of Jak­son Kirk. Kur­tis Good­win and Ma­son McMa­hon picked up as­sists on the play.

It would be the lone point of the frame, but en­ter­ing into the sec­ond, the Kings kept the pres­sure on. Tyson Hil­lier (Brock McKen­zie, K. Good­win) buried the team’s sec­ond of the match just three min­utes in, and Jonah Bur­ley (Kirk, An­thony Az­zano) quickly fol­lowed up with a third on the power play.

Brant­ford re­sponded at the 15-minute mark, fi­nally get­ting on the board, and then found their mark for a sec­ond time on the power play with two min­utes left in the frame.

The game was now a one-point af­fair, the Kings ahead 3-2 as the fi­nal 20 min­utes rolled into fo­cus. Brant­ford was now un­com­fort­ably close on Elmira’s heels – de­spite be­ing sec­ond-last in the stand­ings with a record of 4-16-1), the 99ers were look­ing for a win over the fourth-place Kings (12-4-0-3), and on Elmira’s turf, no less.

Per­haps feel­ing the heat, the Kings locked down the 99ers of­fense, while bury­ing a few more into the op­pos­ing net for good mea­sure. Ty Biles came in for the team’s fourth goal less than three min­utes into the third, with Kirk and Hunter Dubecki pro­vid­ing the as­sists.

The board re­mained frozen in place at 4-2 un­til the dy­ing min­utes of the game, when the 99ers pulled their net­min­der for the ex­tra at­tacker. The tra­di­tional gam­bit back­fired, how­ever, as the open net was easy pick­ings for Elmira’s Zack Cameron (Biles, Har­ri­son Toms), who made it 5-2 at 17:27.

A dust-up broke out a minute later, send­ing a player from each team to an early shower, while Elmira lost two more to a rough­ing in­frac­tion, and Brant­ford one more for the same.

None of that changed the score­board, how­ever.

Power plays pro­vided each team with a sin­gle point on the man-ad­van­tage. Elmira scored once on five chances, while Brant­ford went 1-9.

Hav­ing faced three teams the pre­vi­ous week – Lis­towel, Bramp­ton and Kitch­ener – the Kings had a much eas­ier time of it, the sin­gle game of the week com­ing as a bit of a relief.

That said, the Kings will have to con­serve their strength as they head into the com­ing week­end. On Satur­day, the they’ll be at the Galt arena in Cam­bridge for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Red­hawks. The day af­ter, the Kings will be on home ice for an­other 7 p.m. meet­ing against the Lis­towel Cy­clones.

The Kings have had a solid record against the Cam­bridge con­tin­gent (for­merly the Guelph Hur­ri­canes) this sea­son; how­ever, at their most re­cent match on Oc­to­ber 28, the Elmira team only just man­aged to squeak by with a 2-1 vic­tory. Lis­towel will prove to be the greater chal­lenge. The Kings bested the first place team in the league (15-3-0-2) in their first meet­ing of the sea­son last week, but only just, with a 3-2 de­ci­sion set­tled in over­time.

This week­end will give the Kings a chance to prove their chops for a sec­ond time against the top dog of the Mid­west­ern Con­fer­ence.

[VERON­ICA REINER / THE OB­SERVER]

Elmira’s Kur­tis Good­win comes close to steal­ing the puck from Brant­ford 99ers’ Joshua Hous­ton dur­ing game ac­tion Sun­day night at the WMC. The Kings came out on top by a score of 5-2.

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