The Elmira Sugar Kings extended their 2020 winning streak and their hold on the conference standings with a pair of wins over the weekend.
The team travelled to Brampton to extinguish the Bombers 6-2 Friday night before narrowly taking down the Stratford Warriors 4-3 on home ice Sunday afternoon.
The Sugar Kings (29-6-0-4) now have a seven-point lead atop the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference, with the Kitchener Dutchmen (25-8-2-3) holding down second place.
It was Elmira who drew first blood January 10 against Brampton, with Jeremey Goodwin taking advantage of a power play at 9:23. Hunter Dubecki and Brody Waters picked up the assists. The Kings’ special teams were consistently a huge advantage throughout the match, with Matthew Tolton (Waters, J. Goodwin) scoring the next power play goal at 11:09. Brampton finally retaliated at 15:15, closing the frame with Elmira up 2-1.
Roughhousing early in the frame led to Elmira being slapped with several penalties, which left the team at a disadvantage. Brampton capitalized, scoring at 3:09. But Jakson Kirk retaliated, a shorthanded, unassisted marker at 12:15.
It was all Elmira in the third, with Dubecki (J. Goodwin, Harrison Toms) taking advantage of a power play at 7:36. Brett Allen kept the momentum going at 13:03, with Kirk and Keaton McLaughlin picking up the assists. The final goal came courtesy of Dubecki, a shorthanded, unassisted marker at 14:47. This wrapped up the match with a 6-2 Elmira win.
Saturday’s matchup saw a much closer result. Elmira got on the board first, with Tolton taking advantage of a power play at 10:33. Assists went to Jacob Black and Luke Eurig.
It wasn’t until the second stanza that Stratford managed to respond, capitalizing on their own power play at 4:26. This period had a particularly aggressive tone, with a total of 18 penalties doled out. The Warriors managed to pot one more – and take the lead – an unassisted marker at 11:39.
A Brett Allen penalty shot resulted in a goal at 5:56 in the third to even the score, then Brody Waters (J. Goodwin, Dubecki) gave the Kings the lead at 7:44. Elmira really rallied in the third, with Cooper Way potting one more for good measure at 9:49. Anthony Azzano and Niki Molson picked up the assists.
With time winding down and at a two-point disadvantage, Stratford pulled their goalie. The strategy worked out for them, with a Warrior exploiting the combo of both a power play and the extra attacker to score at 18:20. However, it didn’t do much in the way of changing the end result, which was a 4-3 win for the Sugar Kings. The shot count reflected just how close the match was: Elmira’s 30 compared to Stratford’s 27.
Neither team will have to wait long for a rematch, as the Sugar Kings will welcome the Warriors to the WMC on Sunday (January 19) in their lone game of the weekend. The puck drops at 7 p.m.