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Kings win two more to keep streak alive

Elmira’s Mason McMahon attempts to take control of the puck during Sunday’s game against the Stratford Warriors at the WMC. There was some back-and-forth, but the Kings won 4-3. [Colin Merlihan / The Observer]

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.

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