The Elmira Sugar Kings posted another pair of wins last weekend to keep pace in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference race, running their record to 24-7. With 48 points, they’re one point back of the KW Siskins (22-5-5) with a game in hand.
The team’s weekend saw a 6-1 win on the road February 11 in Caledon and a 2-1 OT winner over the Siskins Sunday afternoon in Waterloo.
“We didn’t quite catch Waterloo but nevertheless beat them,so, yeah, we are happy with the weekend,” said head coach Rob Collins.
Friday night’s game in Caledon saw the Kings build a lead that was never threatened. Kurtis Goodwin got things rolling with a power-play goal midway through the first, with assists going to Brody Leblanc and Jaxson Murray. Less than five minutes later, it was Murray potting one, assisted by Luke Eurig and Goodwin. And at 16:11 it was 3-0 for the visitors when Jack Tos (Leblanc, Adam Grein) scored. That’s how the period would end, the Kings having outshot the Bombers 19-14.
“It was nice to get a first period like that where he kind of took control right away and never let go,” said Collins.
In the second, the only scoring came courtesy of an unassisted marker from Tos.
Just 38 seconds into the final frame, however, Eurig made it 5-0, assisted by Goodwin and Nathaniel Mott. The home team finally got on the board with a shorthanded goal at 8:24, but less than four minutes later it was 6-1 when Grein scored on a power play, assisted by Liam Eveleigh and Brock Reinhart.
Final shots were 35-23 in Elmira’s favour, with netminder Matthew Lunghi stopping 22 for the win. Elmira was 2-8 with the man advantage, while the Bombers went 0-7.
It was a much closer match Sunday afternoon in Waterloo, with first place on the line.
Elmira was on the board first, with Grein’s power-play goal, assisted by Owen O’Donnell and Eveleigh, at 11:47 the only scoring of the period.
The 1-0 lead would hold until 15:20 of the third when the Siskins tied the score, setting the stage for overtime. Murray’s 19th of the season at 4:11 settled things in Elmira’s favour, with Mott picking up the assist.
The point picked up in the loss allowed the Siskins to remain a point ahead of the Kings.
Shots were 27-19 in favour of the visitors, the 18 saves providing a win for goaltender Daniel Botelho. Elmira was 1-5 on the power play, with Waterloo going 0-7.
“I wouldn’t say either team had their best stuff on Sunday – we got a power-play goal early and didn’t really get a whole lot of pushback from Waterloo,” said Collins of the match.
The Kings’ extended road trip finds the team in Ayr tonight (Thursday) to take on the Centennials, then in Listowel Friday to face the Cyclones. They’re on home ice for the first time this month on Family Day (Monday) for a 2 p.m. matinee game against the Brantford Bandits.
“Ayr is trying to catch Cambridge and Ayr plays us really, really tough – I think we’ve had three or four overtime games against them,” said Collins. “With Listowel, both teams are hopefully going to get excited for it to be a good rivalry game. Neither game will be taken lightly, that’s for sure.”