Eric Palazzolo and Ethan Skinner, with two goals and two assists each, led the Elmira Sugar Kings to victory over the Listowel Cyclones on November 30. It was the team’s 12th consecutive win.The Kings defeated the Cyclones on home ice 8-4, and 2-1 two nights before in Listowel. The streak ended though as they fell 3-2 to the Kitchener Dutchmen on Tuesday night.
In the first game of a home-and-home series, Elmira’s Mitch Klie opened the scoring early into the first, assisted by Sam Harris and Palazzolo. The Cyclones registered one of their one from Chad Lemire (Reid Simmons, Ray McFalls) to end the period tied.
The second frame proved uneventful as both goalies stopped every shot aimed their way, leaving it still 1-1 entering the third. Sugar King Connor Hall was ejected from the game in the second for checking from behind. He was also ejected from the home game on Sunday for head contact.
They were saved from going into overtime as Elmira’s Mac Clutsam notched a much needed goal at 15:28, assisted by Mitch Klie and Zac Coulter.
Sugar Kings goalie Andrew Lefebvre stopped 42 shots, to Cyclone netminder Ryan Hergott’s 26. The Kings spent 16 minutes in the box, compared to 12 for the Cyclones.
As for the home game, the Kings dominated the Cyclones, never losing their lead. The first period ended with a significant lead at 4-1. Elmira goals came from Alex Mutton (Jamie Huber, Rob Kohli), Adam Brubacher (Coulter, Mitch Wright), Wright (Coulter, Klie), and Skinner (Palazzolo). Keaton Willis (Simmons) scored for Listowel.
Listowel goalie Ryan Hergott was exchanged for Tyler Fassl nine minutes into the game after letting in three on five shots.
In the second, Listowel’s Corey Flemington (McFalls, Jordan Caskenette) found the back of the net at 18:59. But Elmira would finish the period 5-2 as Palazzolo (Brubacher, Skinner) whipped the puck past Tyler Fassl with 10 seconds left.
Listowel brought the score as close as it would get, 5-4, with goals from Ben Shelley (Blake Nichol) and Keaton Willis (Robert White) on a power play.
The Kings stopped their comeback seven minutes later with Palazzolo’s second goal of the night. He was helped by Skinner and Brendan Schneider. And fifteen seconds later Skinner netted his second of the night, with assists from Palazzolo and Brubacher.
And as the minutes ran down, Wright (Brubacher, Klie) scored to finish the game with double Listowel’s score. Racking up all those points certainly improved the team’s average, as they hadn’t had a truly high scoring game since Brantford on November 13. They earn an average of 4.4 goals per game.
Clutsam was also ejected from the game in the third period for checking from behind.
The Kings hadn’t lost in regulation since October 7 until this week when they visited Kitchener and fell to the second-place squad.
The Dutchmen’s Keegan Calder (Mitchell Smith, Jeremy Kuehn) scored the lone goal in the first period. Elmira captain Mitch Klie knocked back their first goal of the game just 12 seconds into the second, assisted by Wright and Coulter.
They pulled ahead of Kitchener when Kohli (Huber) slipped one past Dutchmen goalie Jackson McIntosh 15 minutes later. But with three seconds remaining in the period, Adam Kawalec (Calder, Connor Cole) tied it up 2-2.
The Sugar Kings were defeated when Dutchie Mitchell Smith (Kyle Ellis) scored at the 14:58 mark, leaving the Kings unable to tie it up in the last five minutes.
Despite the loss, the Kings remain in first place in the Midwestern Conference with a record of 20-4-1, their 41 points one better than Kitchener’s total. Elmira has two games in hand.
The Kings play two home games this weekend. Brampton visits the WMC on Saturday at 7 p.m. Elmira will turn around to play Waterloo Sunday afternoon. Game time is 2 p.m.