The Kings got off to a winning start in the first round of the Midwestern Conference playoffs, edging the Brampton Bombers 3-1 on Wednesday night at the WMC.It certainly could have been a higher scoring game, with the Kings launching 44 shots on Brampton goalie Shane Dietl.
Head coach Jeff Flanagan said it probably wasn’t the team’s best effort.
“We thought we did really well in the first and we actually had a lot of scoring chances that just didn’t transfer into goals,” Flanagan said. “I think that was part of it. We obviously had a lot of shots, which was one of our goals before the game. And their goalie played really well. But we got the win, so it’s 1-0 in the series.”
Small but mighty Brendan Schneider drew first blood, scoring four minutes into the first period. He was assisted by Mac Clutsam and Zac Coulter. Elmira’s Chad Herron upped the lead 2-0 late in the second, helped by Steven Jakiela and Clutsam.
Cash Seraphim gave the Kings a comfortable lead in the second period with a shot from the slot. Assists came from Mitch Wright and Mitch Klie.
Brampton’s Carmine Vietri finally got the puck past Kings goalie Jon Reinhart to finish the game 3-1 for the Kings.
Schneider was ejected from the game after getting into a fight with Bomber Lucas Goodman.
The Kings won five out of six games versus Brampton in the regular season, including downing them 9-0 on January 25.
The Kings and Bombers series will run up to March 8, or until one team wins four of the seven games. The Kings headed to Brampton on Friday and will return to the WMC to face them at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Game four will be played in Brampton on Tuesday, before the action returns back to Elmira on Wednesday if necessary.
As for how the players keep the momentum going with such little time between games, Flanagan says playoff season lends itself to that very thing.
“Once you get into the playoffs the games are what everybody likes to play, so the guys get up for it.” Flanagan said. “We’d actually rather have a few more practices. It usually takes care of itself because everyone’s excited and there’s always that next step that you have to take so we should be okay that way.”