(KINGSVILLE, ON) – This weekend, the Kingsville Kings and NOTL Patriots split their home-and-home series, each with a win on the road in Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League action.
The Kings (14-5-0) have slid into second place in the South Division, while the Patriots (9-9-1) improved to sixth.
On Friday night, the Kings travelled to Niagara-On-The-Lake for the first of the two meetings.
Outshooting the Pats 37-27, they walked away with a 7-3 victory.
Justin Whetham opened the scoring with a goal for NOTL just five minutes in. He was answered with a pair of Kingsville power play markers late in the frame from Aleksi Haapakoski, both assisted by Matyas Mach.
Early in the second act, Antoine Michaud drew the score even for the Patriots.
Midway through the period, Kingsville’s Jan Sefl scored on the advantage from Richard Boruta and Filip Kafka. Boruta gave the Kings a two-goal lead with a short-handed marker with less than five minutes remaining from Radim Kalista.
Kafka was given the gate for a five-minute head-butting major with just under six minutes left in the frame.
In the third, Mach scored early, unassisted on the power play, to make the score 5-2.
Late in the game, a man-advantage marker from Kingsville’s Ondrej Benda, assisted by Boruta and Mach, and a goal from Bryce Tracey from Bret Berry blew the game wide open.
A last-minute goal from NOTL’s Trentin Dixon was too little, too late for his team.
Hans Meling improved his record to 7-2-0 for the Kings, making 24 saves for the win, while Casim Shaikh took the loss for the Patriots, turning aside 30.
In Kingsville on Sunday, the Kings hosted NOTL for the backend of the head-to-head match-up.
Despite being outshot 54-52, the Patriots surged in the third, winning the game by a 6-4 margin.
NOTL’s Bailey Pritchard scored the lone goal of the opening frame on the power play.
In the second, Jake Anderson extended the Patriot’s lead early in the period, but was answered with just over three minutes remaining by Sefl from Haapakoski and Mach.
A minute into the final stanza, NOTL’s Frolov Mikhail retook a two-goal lead, but the Kings battled back with markers from Mach and Tracey, evening the game at 3-3.
With 12 minutes left in the match, the Patriots took over. Mikhail tallied with a power play marker, followed by an unassisted goal from Bailey Pritchard six and a half minutes later.
Haapakoski brought the Kings back within one with 3:50 to go, but an empty-netter to complete the hat-trick for Mikhail proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
Ondrej Klimek took the loss in net, falling to 6-2-0 on the season, stopping 46 of 51 shots. Iskander Shamsiyev picked up the win for NOTL making 50 saves.
The Kings are next in action this Sunday as they host the South Division-leading St. George Ravens (15-3-0) at the Kingsville Arena at 3 p.m.