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Two outta three ain’t bad, at least where Kings’ week is concerned

The Sugar Kings got off to a slow start at last Sunday’s home game Nov. 11 against the Brampton Bombers, but ultimately pulled through with a 4-2 win. [Faisal Ali / The Observer]

Facing the Midwestern Conference’s best and worst, the Elmira Sugar Kings skated away with a pair of victories before coming up short against a Kitchener squad that’s had their number so far this season.

On the road November 9 in Listowel, the Kings squeaked past the first-place Cyclones 3-2 in overtime. Two days later on home ice, they posted a 4-2 win over the last-place Brampton Bombers. But Tuesday night, a short jaunt down the highway to Kitchener saw the team fall 4-1, the fourth straight loss to the Dutchmen.

Starting last Friday on the road, the Kings faced the Listowel Cyclones, eking out a narrow 3-2 victory settled in overtime.

Elmira drew first blood, the goal coming off the stick of Jonah Burley, assisted by Jeremey Goodwin and Hunter Dubecki, at 6:19. Listowel was able to knot things up, however, on a short-handed play, making it 1-1 with less than three minutes to go in the first frame.

It would take almost another full period of play for the tie to be broken, as Kurtis Goodwin (Zack Cameron, Burley) took advantage of a power play to get the go-ahead goal at 16:47. It was the middle period’s only scoring play.

The situation was reversed in the third, as Listowel scored the frame’s lone goal well past the midway point, forcing the an eventual overtime situation.

Scoring remained elusive through the first overtime, but Goodwin needed just 16 seconds in the second OT to end it courtesy of his second goal of the evening. Cameron and Burley drew the assists again.

Shots were 31-25 for Elmira, which performed just well enough to take the win from the conference-leading Cyclones (14-2-0-2).

On Sunday, the Kings were back home to welcome the Brampton Bombers. But what ought to have been an easier go of it against last-place team in Midwestern Conference (3-15-2) proved to be a protracted slog as Brampton took the lead and played the Kings tight well into the third.

Special teams were a factor in this one, as each side scored one on the power play, with Elmira adding a shortie into the mix.

There was no scoring in the first frame, and it was only halfway through the second that the Bombers the first goal courtesy of a power play.

Elmira responded minutes later, with a daring short-handed rush by Ty Biles (Burley, Luke Israel).

The score was 1-1 when the final frame rolled around, and now the Kings were starting to find their stride. Mason McMahon (Israel, Biles) found the back of the net at 7:47, but the Bombers responded just seconds later to make it 2-2.

Damian Figueira (Israel, McMahon) then followed with a lightning fast reply 20 seconds later to make it 3-2, which is where things would stay for nine more minutes before Brody Waters (McMahon, J. Goodwin) sealed the deal on the Kings’ third power-play chance of the night.

The outcome wasn’t as nail-biting as the Listowel game, but it was a tight affair given the difference in the standings between the Cyclones and the Bombers.

There was no victory to be had – tight, hard-fought or otherwise – as the Kings returned to the ice Tuesday night to take on the Dutchmen in Kitchener.

Elmira’s had a rough time of it against Kitchener this season, and this time was no exception.

The Dutchmen opened the scoring at 4:06 and added another five minutes later, the only goals of the frame … and that would prove to be enough. There were still 40 minutes to play, however, and Kitchener kept coming, going up 3-0 at 16:29 of the middle stanza before Elmira finally got on the board less than two minutes later. The goal that made it 3-1was a power play marker from Anthony Azzano (Cameron, Jakson Kirk).

There would be no more scoring until the last minute of the game when, with the Elmira net empty for the extra attacker, the Dutchmen the game away.

After a busy three-game stretch, the Kings have been taking a breather before the lone game of the week Sunday night against the Brantford 99ers. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the WMC.

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