The Elmira Sugar Kings have extended their winning streak to 10 after a busy weekend with three games in as many days.
The weekend wins also put the team in the top spot in the conference.
Scoring a whopping 11 goals on Friday night to the Stratford Warriors’ two, the Kings set the tone for Saturday and Sunday games. Hosting the Waterloo Siskins on Saturday, the team took another win with a score of 5-2, before defeating the Guelph Hurricanes 7-2 the following night.
Head coach Ty Canal says he was happy with the hockey he saw from the guys during their busy, busy weekend.
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“It was a big point weekend for us. Anytime you can come together with some wins on back-to-back nights, it is a really good thing,” he said. “The guys were focused from game to game. The first period was good for us in all three games. We came out of the gate skating well and playing some good hockey. We scored on our chances, especially in the first periods. We have definitely gotten closer to playing 60 minutes each game, but it has been a lot of hockey for us in the last 10 days.”
Friday night’s game against Stratford was a blowout, starting off with a goal from Elmira’s Quinten Bruce on the powerplay. Defenseman Spencer Comelli scored just 47 seconds later, followed by Jake Brown, also on the powerplay.
In the second period, Mitch Hoelscher and Andrew McIntyre both put the puck past Stratford. Warriors’ Trevor Abbot scored one of the team’s two goals for the night halfway through the second.
The Kings dominated the third period as well, with markers from Zack Cameron, Jeff Jordan, Hoelscher, Klayton Hoelscher, and two from Kyle Soper. Stratford snuck one in from Jack Scanlan.
Soper started scoring on Saturday against Waterloo on home ice, followed by a marker from Klayton, the older Hoelscher and a second from Soper.
Starting the second with a sizeable lead, Elmira let one slip past them with a goal from James Ranson.
It started looking good for the Siskins at the start of the third with a goal from Nick King, but Elmira wasn’t having it. Ethan Skinner scored on the powerplay and Mitch Hoelscher put one in the empty net, giving a final score of 5-2.
Cameron was the star of Sunday’s game at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, scoring three goals in the first, and another in the second. Brown, Skinner and Shaun Pickering, on loan from the Wellesley Applejacks, added to the 7-2 win over the Guelph Hurricanes. Anthony Mota and Cameron Stokes put Guelph’s only two goals on the board.
Canal says he suspects the weekend successes for the Kings had a lot to do with attitude, momentum and just playing the game the way they know how.
“Momentum is a funny thing like that, for sure. Offense was big for us on Friday and Sunday. On Saturday, we didn’t really get a lot of scoring chances, but we were able to capitalize. I think not too long ago there was a weekend where we only got one 5-on-5 goal,” he said. “So, it’s funny how the momentum shifts like that, but the guys are finding ways to win and that is good early on. There are different ways to win a hockey game and now we have to make sure that we get all those things compacted in 60 minutes.”
He says Cameron was a big part of Sunday’s win.
“He was able to find areas that gave him those scoring chances on Sunday. He had two pretty much breakaways, and that is big for him. He can skate quickly, he can shoot a puck and he is good with it. The main thing for him is finding those areas that gives him the chances and he was able to capitalize on them for sure,” shared Canal, adding that overall, the weekend was a team effort.
“A weekend like that, though, you need everybody. It was great to see guys contribute each night. There were some guys that played better than others, but when you have that many periods of hockey to play in that short amount of time, you definitely need everybody,” he said. “When we needed good goaltending, we got it, when we needed a good penalty kill, we got it, when we needed a goal on the power play, everything just seemed to be clicking when we needed it, which I think it is good for them to see.”
The Kings are heading to Guelph to play the Hurricanes again this weekend for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop on Nov. 5 before returning home to the Dan Snyder Arena on Nov. 6 to play Cambridge at 7 p.m.
The team will also be participating in Elmira’s Remembrance Day parade and ceremonies prior to Sunday’s game.