Sugar Kings captain Jeff Jordan scored twice on the Kitchener Dutchmen in the first period on Wednesday night in Elmira to pace his team to a 4-2 win.
The Kings now lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Kitchener on Friday night.
“We came out of the gate strong, obviously you can build off momentum when you get the first goal. That was definitely nice to see, especially being at home,” said head coach Ty Canal on Thursday morning.
Jordan opened scoring early in the first, assisted by Mitch Hoelscher and Ty Biles. Jeremey Goodwin added his own just 31 seconds later. Ethan Skinner assisted.
Jordan’s second goal came at 13:31, helped by Spencer Comelli and Biles.
Kitchener swapped out goalie Jackson McIntosh for Riley Daniels after the first period.
In the middle frame, Elmira increased their lead to 4-0 with Tyler McBay’s first goal as a Sugar King. Keanan Stewart and Jacob Buch assisted.
A power play opportunity turned fruitful for the Dutchmen as Logan Schmidt, helped by Adam Kawalec, put his team on the board.
Canal says they spent too much time shorthanded in the second period, and they ended up chasing the puck.
“We got away from the type of hockey we played in the first,” Canal said.
Kitchener attempted to stage a comeback late in the third period as Ben Morris, assisted by Ashton Stockie, put one past Elmira goalie Jonathan Reinhart, to make it 4-2.
But that would be the last goal for the game, even when Kitchener was awarded a penalty shot, which Kawalec couldn’t manage to get in Elmira’s net.
“The guys did a good job on the penalty kill. We stayed aggressive and just tried to disrupt their shooters as much as we could,” Canal said.
Tensions ran high especially in the third period as 22 penalties were handed out in the final 20 minutes alone.
Kitchener finished the game with 68 penalty minutes to Elmira’s 60 minutes.
At one point in the final period there were a total of seven players sitting in the penalty boxes.
He says they’ll be reminding the players how those penalties affect the team, prior to Friday night’s matchup.
“Do all the little things as a team. It’s tough though, there’s no question. It’s got to be team first, and all those other frustrations and angers, you’ve got to try to utilize in a different way.”
Players who were really pulling their weight for Game 5, were Jordan with two goals, Biles with two assists, and Jacob Black for face offs. And of course, Reinhart, who made 41 saves.
Elsewhere in the Midwestern Conference, the Listowel Cyclones finished their series on Wednesday night, defeating the Waterloo Siskins in Game 4. They have yet to lose a game in the playoffs. Listowel will face the winner of the Elmira-Kitchener series to play for the Cherrey Cup.
Game 6 is Friday at 7 p.m. at the Kitchener Auditorium. If the Dutchmen tie the series with a win over the Sugar Kings that night, Game 7 is back at the Dan Snyder Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.