Attempting to extend their streak to a baker’s dozen, the Elmira Sugar Kings came up short last weekend by falling 4-3 to Listowel.
It was still a two-point weekend, however, with the team posting a 3-1 win against Brampton on Sunday night at home.
Head coach Ty Canal says Friday night’s game was a good test for the Kings in a playoff-style, fast paced game. The guys just couldn’t get ahead.
“I thought we battled all right, but there are still some things in that game that our guys know that we have to improve on and puck protection is one of them, and turnovers,” he said. “We had some scoring chances late in the third, but their goalie made a really nice save on Ethan Skinner with about four seconds left. That would have tied it up.”
Listowel’s Keaton Willis started scoring in the first frame with a goal from Holdyn Lansink and Jakob Lee. Zack Cameron fired back for the Sugar Kings, with a goal less than a minute later, tying it up.
In the second, Listowel’s Mitch Deelstra scored the only goal of the period, from Ryley Cribbin and Willis.
Skinner helped Elmira catch up at the start of the third, with an unassisted marker at 1:23. Lee, from Lansink, gave Listowel the lead again, and Deelstra, from Cribbin and Blair Jenkins secured the win for the Cyclones. Ty Biles, brought the lead down to one goal, with help from Matt Murray and Klayton Hoelscher.
Sunday night, the Kings were back on home ice, hosting the Brampton Bombers. Play was scattered and frankly, a bit sloppy, says Canal. The team just couldn’t seem to get a handle on the game. The Kings still took the win, however.
“I don’t know what that was. It was just one after another. Our guys just couldn’t seem to, for whatever reason, get into a type of rhythm. I didn’t think that they were playing the type of hockey that we want to play. I don’t know what it was, maybe it was because it was after a loss,” said Canal. “It was uncharacteristic of us a bit. But, we got the two points, and so there was some good things out of that game. But we just didn’t have the flow or the speed like we wanted. Nothing seemed to come together.”
The first period was scoreless. Jake Brown, from Josh Slegers and Quinten Bruce, tallied a goal in the second period on the powerplay while Brampton’s Andrew Borgatti was in the box for high sticking. Brampton tied it up with a marker from Tyler Illidge, but that would be it from the Bombers for the rest of the game.
Biles scored the Kings’ second goal of the game, from Bruce and Spencer Comelli.
It was quiet on the scoring front in the third, with just one goal from Hoelscher, from Kyle Soper and Phillips.
Phillips is a new face on the Sugar Kings roster, joining the team from the OHL’s Guelph Storm just last week. Hailing from Fergus, the newly added defenseman stands a towering 6’5”, adding some serious size to the Kings’ D-line alongside 6’6” defenseman Comelli.
“He is a big guy. Those two hold up the back end there pretty alright,” said Canal with a laugh. “Right now, he is getting comfortable and getting used to things back there again. He is getting his feet wet, getting used to the guys. He’ll be a good addition for us for sure.”
While the team is adding to their roster, they’ve also been paring it down, as Mason Sinkeldam was traded to Cambridge.
“That was just one of those unfortunate things. He got along with the guys, we got along with him well, he is a good kid, it is just unfortunate,” said Canal. “It was about making sure that he wanted to get what he wanted out of the game. There was no bad anything between everyone, it was just one of those timing things that didn’t work out. He played well for us, we like him a lot, wanted him to be part of the long term, and with Brock coming in, we had too many defensemen.”
The Kings will be up against Listowel again on Saturday, but this time, on home ice. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at the WMC. On Sunday afternoon, Elmira will be in Waterloo, facing off against the Siskins. It is an early game, with puck drop at 1:30 p.m. at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.