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Special teams the key as Kings win two

Success on the power play paced the Elmira Sugar Kings to a four-point weekend on the road, helping in wins over Brampton (4-2) and Waterloo (5-4).

The points saw the Kings slip into a tie with the Siskins for third place in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference.

The Kings headed to Brampton Friday night for their first game of the weekend.

Newcomer Marcel Berube ended what was shaping up to be a first-period dry spell with a power-play goal from Braydon Munn and Ethan Skinner at 19:33.

The Bombers replied in the second with one of their own. But the Kings took back the lead soon after, with an unassisted goal on the power play from Ethan Wiseman, his first of what would be a good weekend for the veteran.

“He is so strong, and he’s got a good shot – he can shoot the puck as well as or better than a lot of the guys in the league, so when he gets an opportunity to put one on a ‘T’, he has a lot of success,” said head coach Trent Brown of Wiseman. “We jigged a few things, the power play and some line combinations and what not and he is reaping the benefits of that right now.”

The third started off a little slow, but Jeremey Goodwin got the Kings third power-play goal of the game from little brother Kurtis Goodwin and Damian Figueira at 5:55.

Extending the lead to 4-1, Wiseman got his second of the game while the team was shorthanded, from Skinner and Alex Peterson.

Brampton rounded out the evening with a late goal, but it was 4-2 for the visitors when the buzzer sounded.

The team went 3-6 with the man advantage, while holding Brampton off on their three opportunities, a turnaround in the special teams Brown was happy to see.

“Their arena there is so tiny, everything happens there so quickly that our power play goals were scored in a number of different ways, whether it was off of entries, whether it was off of the rush, off of a broken play that we capitalized on and put pucks towards the net. We talked before the game about getting pucks and bodies towards the net, so it’s good to see the guys get rewarded for that,” said Brown.

Saturday night the team headed to Waterloo for what would be a tough back-and-forth victory.

Wiseman opened up scoring early in the first, again on the power play. Assists went to J. Goodwin and Skinner. Waterloo tied it back up at 4:31, and took advantage of a man advantage of their own to take back the lead.

Late into the second, Wiseman found the net, his fourth power play goal of the weekend for the Kings, from J. Goodwin and Berube, at 18:21. Less than a minute later, Berube got one of his own (Munn, Skinner) to put the Kings ahead again, 3-2.

Waterloo tied it up again early in the third, but Elmira’s Mason McMahon was quick to respond, needing just 38 seconds to put the Kings back on top.

Given the pace of the game, it was no surprise when the Siskins made it 4-4 with half the frame to go.

The score remained knotted up for the next 10 minutes before Zach Cameron scored the game-winning goal with only 45 seconds left, with Tyler Beauparlant picking up an assist.

The Kings (25-19-0-0) are currently tied for third with Waterloo, however the Siskins (23-15-1-3) have two games in hand.

The team has been idle since the weekend, with just one game on the schedule this week, Sunday night at the WMC against Stratford. Elmira’s struggled at home against the Warriors, but are looking to turn things around this weekend.

“[It’s] very important to win, very important to win at home against Stratford. It’s very, very important for us to have a good record at home in the last half of the year,” said Brown. “We have talked about that, and clawing up the standings is going to be important to us. Anything we can do to solidify that third place, that will be tremendous for us.”

At the WMC Sunday, the puck drops at 7 p.m.

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