The Elmira Sugar Kings ended their weekend on a high note, defeating the Waterloo Siskins 4-3 on October 19 after falling to the Cambridge Winter Hawks 3-2 in overtime the previous night.Head coach Jeff Flanagan said the game against Cambridge was a close one, with his team not at its best.
“We thought that we probably had enough scoring chances that should have generated some goals for us but didn’t,” Flanagan said. “That was kind of the difference for us. We gave up a few chances we shouldn’t have. It wasn’t a terrible game, but we didn’t come out on the right side of it.”
In the first period against Cambridge, both teams remained scoreless. The Winter Hawk’s Devin Shell potted the first goal of the night, assisted by Jordan Chard and Jake Moggy. The Sugar Kings’ Steven Jakiela came back three minutes later with his own, helped by Brendan Schneider and Adam Brubacher.
Brubacher took full advantage of a power play in the third period, scoring at 3:54, with assists from Cash Seraphim and Eric Palazzolo. But Cambridge wasn’t about to let that fly, as Moggy, assisted by Devin Shell, made the score 2-2 to end the final period.
It only took 16 seconds of overtime for Winter Hawk Maxime Lamontage (Kyle Liu, Phil Caputo) to find the back of the Sugar Kings’ net and finish the game.
Kings goalie Andrew Lefebvre stopped 37 of the 40 shots that came his way.
Back in Elmira, the Kings were set on regaining lost ground to last year’s Cherrey Cup champs. Elmira pounded Waterloo in the first period, knocking back three goals by the 12:15 mark. Goals came from Alex Mutton (Jamie Huber, Brodie Whitehead), Zac Coulter (Sam Harris), and Mitch Klie (Zac Coulter, Mac Clutsam).
“After the game Saturday we spoke with the guys and said we’ve got to make sure we come with a better effort on Sunday – and we certainly did that,” Flanagan said. “We gave up a few too many odd-man rushes but (netminder) Jon Reinhart played really well for us in goal and then when we had our opportunities to score we definitely did so.”
Flanagan said the game against Waterloo went by fast because they’ve got some “quick and dangerous players.” He added it feels like every time Waterloo gets a rush they have a scoring chance.
Waterloo’s Kyle Betts (Gary Mantz, Nick Hirst) added another one to their side of the scoreboard before the end of the period. In the second frame, Mitch Wright increased the Kings’ lead to 4-1 (Coulter, Harris), which was followed by a successful power play goal by the Siskins’ Chase Campbell, assisted by Evan Kearns.
Siskins player Gary Mantz (Brennan Blaszczak) managed to score on the Sugar Kings while shorthanded, late into the third period. But it wasn’t enough to bring them back.
Waterloo had 30 shots on net to Elmira’s 27.
The Kings managed to keep the Siskins from mounting a comeback, something Flanagan hopes they can continue into the future.
The Kings are looking for a win on home ice against the Kitchener Dutchmen this Sunday to balance out their October 7 loss to them.
“Kitchener for obvious reasons, it’s going to be a tough game,” Flanagan said. “They’ve been playing really well. We feel that we’ve been getting better and better. The games we’ve lost, we’ve given opportunities to the teams we shouldn’t have.
He said the guys feel positive about where the team is going and it’s up to them to get better and be ready for the challenge Sunday. Kitchener sits in first place in the league, with 12 wins and one loss. Elmira is just behind them in second with a record of 9-3.
“I think early on we were giving way too many odd-man rushes against and the guys have done a great job of fixing that; that’s an excellent thing,” Flanagan said. “Our scoring opportunities, we’ve kept those up high, so that’s a good thing. We haven’t capitalized on as many as we’d like to.”
The team’s goaltending has been solid, he added. They’re doing good things at both ends of the ice and they’d like to tighten up their defensive side of the game.
Kitchener visits the WMC Sunday night to take on the Sugar Kings. Game time is 7 p.m.