One continued to be the magic number for the Sugar Kings – the losing side in each of the team’s last five games has been held to just one goal. Fortunately for Elmira, they managed to score more than that on four occasions.
Following last weekend’s 3-1 and 2-1 victories – over Waterloo and Kitchener, respectively – the Kings posted a 6-1 win in Brantford on November 23, lost 8-1 to Listowel on Sunday and bounced back to beat Kitchener 4-1 on Tuesday night.
The first of three games in the past week saw the Kings be very ungracious guests in Brantford, a bit of payback after losing the last two games against the 99ers.
“It was finally nice to get some revenge on those guys and show them how we can play,” said captain Jeff Jordan, who picked up his 100th point as a King in the 6-1 win.
Brantford opened the scoring, but that was it for their offense.
Ethan Wiseman got the King’s on the board at 15:26 into the first, from Ethan Skinner and Jeremey Goodwin. Skinner would round out the period’s scoring, assisted by Goodwin and Tyler McBay, with only 26 seconds left to give them their first lead of the game at 2-1.
Jordan (Ryan Takamatsu, McBay) made it 3-1 less than a minute into the middle frame. He then got his second of the game on a power play from Wiseman and Goodwin at 6:38.
Niki Molson scored his first goal as a King, from new acquisition Braydon Munn and Spencer Comelli, at 17:16
“It did feel nice to get the so-called monkey off your back – not a goal and all, but just to help the boys out in any way that I can. I was glad that we got the two points at the end – that’s all that mattered,” Munn said of his first game with the new team.
Skinner would get his second of the game, from Goodwin and Wiseman at 2:52 into the third. That would be the last goal scored, bringing the King’s their first victory over Brantford in the last three outings.
“I think it was just plain pride,” said head coach Trent Brown of the win. “The guys were definitely upset with the performance and outcome of last time we were in Brantford – we worked much harder and as more of a team.”
The Kings returned home to face off against Listowel, however their momentum from the prior blowout didn’t transfer over against the first-place team, as they gave up eight goals and replied only once before calling it a night.
Skinner scored Elmira’s first and only game at 9:27 of the first, assisted by Goodwin and Wiseman.
Listowel answered two quick goals back before the end of the first, the second with an extra attacker, to bring their lead to 2-1. They then scored another at 10:10 into the second, Cullen Mercer scored for Listowel on the power play goal and again shorthanded at 19:43 into the second.
Mercer scored his second shorthanded goal of the game for a hat trick, and his forth at 14:20 on the power play with an extra attacker to bring the score to 7-1.
Listowel scored one more on the power play to finish the game 8-1 in favour of the visiting team.
“The first period or just shy of the first period, I thought that we were excellent. We gave up a couple early and we didn’t really have the resiliency to respond and it just kind of imploded and caved in. We have to be better and more consistent,” Brown said of the loss. “We lost a lot of one-on-one battles tonight as the night progressed. I’d say that we got shown where the benchmark is – we have to get there.”
Things didn’t look a whole lot better for the Kings going up against the Dutchmen in Kitchener on Tuesday night, with the home team scoring just 13 second after the opening faceoff.
However, the Kings weren’t ready to roll over just yet, coming back stronger after the first intermission. Wiseman (Cameron, Skinner) got the team on the board at 11:05 of the second, and things seemed to fall into place. Just over two minutes later, Karson Massey put Elmira ahead to stay, assisted by Wiseman and McBay.
Into the third, Matt MacKay extended the Kings’ lead with some help from McBay and Goodwin with just under 6 minutes left in the frame and Takamatsu secured their win with another goal, from McBay and Comelli.
The Kings (15-12) visit Brampton (10-13) Friday evening before returning home to take on Stratford (19-5) Sunday evening. Game time at the WMC is 7 p.m.