The Elmira Sugar Kings extended their winning streak to seven with two wins over the weekend and another victory Tuesday night. In conjunction with that, netminder Jon Reinhart made history, breaking the record for the most wins by a Sugar Kings goalie with the 3-1 win over Brampton.
The Kings faced the Kitchener Dutchmen on Tuesday night in Kitchener.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s game, head coach Ty Canal said it’s a good test for the team to have just one day off between games. The last time they faced each other was Oct. 18 where the Kings beat the Dutchmen 7-6.
“Small mistakes against a good hockey team are going to cost you. So we’ve got to make sure that we’re not doing that and playing how we can and make sure we limit our mistakes and not give them any odd man rushes or second scoring chances because they’re definitely going to score on those,” Canal said.
The Kings beat the Dutchmen 3-0.
Andrew McIntyre scored late in the first for the Kings, assisted by Zack Cameron and Jeff Jordan. The second period saw no scoring. In the third, Mitch Hoelscher (Ethan Skinner, Jake Brown) and Cameron (Brown, Skinner) gave the Elmira squad the win.
Canal was pleased with the team’s efforts over the weekend.
“I thought we skated well, we competed well. Penalties were down which was something that we’ve been definitely focusing on and I think we actually outshot both teams, which is something that we were making note of and making sure that we were on the right side of that. The guys were able to step it up and get it done. It was nice to see that,” Canal said.
The Kings played a tight game in Brampton on Friday, only earning two penalties in the 60 minutes.
Sugar King Skinner scored the lone goal in the first period, assisted by Brown and Hoelscher. Elmira increased to a 2-0 lead in the second with a successful shot on net from McIntyre. Spencer Comelli and Tyler McBay were helpers.
The Brampton Bombers scored just once on Reinhart at 16:41 in the second from Adel Zivojevic, assisted by Masson Sarris and Ryan McDonald.
Skinner earned his second goal of the night in the third on a power play, helped by Quinten Bruce and Brown, ending the game 3-1 for Elmira.
Canal says the team was playing the game the way they’re supposed to, with level heads and not letting the other team have many second scoring chances.
“We played a lot more power plays than penalty kills that game which was a good sign for our guys. Transition was going well, the puck was moving pretty quick. So it was a good team game that I think we needed. The second period was a little bit of a lull for us there, but then on Sunday I thought the guys brought more of a 60-minute game, which is something we’ve been harping on for awhile,” Canal said.
At home on Sunday against the Brantford 99ers, Skinner was still bringing his A game, putting two more goals in for Elmira in the first. Jordan, Brown (2) and Josh Slegers assisted.
Brantford’s Alec Tiley, assisted by Nolan Regan and Hunter Dubrecki, was the only one to put his team on the board.
The second and third periods didn’t see much action in the Kings’ end. Brown (Matt Murray, Slegers) and Kyle Soper (Bruce, Blair Butchart) scored to give the Kings the 4-1 win.
“Skinner’s line played really well actually. And Jordan’s line, those guys work. They don’t take anything for granted, they just keep pushing,” Canal said.
He also noted MacIntyre’s work ethic on the ice.
“He’s one that just goes every shift, every game. You know what you’re getting. He’s a really good hockey player. He’s played really well for us and he’s been really consistent,” Canal said.
Ty Biles was suspended for two games after the Sunday game for a head check early in the first period. He’ll be back on the ice this Saturday.
Elmira is now in second place in the Midwestern Conference, just two points – or one win – behind the Listowel Cyclones.
Goalie Tyler Mazzocato should be back within two weeks. Canal says they’ll hopefully have Keanan Stewart back on the ice by next week too.
The Kings’ weekend will be consumed by nothing but hockey as they play three games in as many days. Canal says it’ll be a grind but the players are in prepared.
“It’s tough on guys too because it’s still early in the season. But at the same time that’s what happens in the playoffs. It brings a different mindset, compared to a regular two game weekend. I think it’ll be good for our guys. It’ll make our guys refocus quick,” Canal said.
On Oct. 28 they’re in Stratford to play the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. Then they’re home on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, hosting the Waterloo Siskins at 7:30 p.m. and the Guelph Hurricanes at 7 p.m.