(TOTTENHAM, ON) – The Kingsville Kings have found themselves in a deep rut and Game 2 did not help their cause. After outplaying the Tottenham Steam handily for the first 52 minutes of Game 1, the Kings dropped the game by allowing three power play goals and losing in an overtime shootout.
The Steam’s momentum carried over to the second game and Kingsville never seemed to regain their footing as Tottenham mounted a 3-1 win to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Greater Metro Junior A final series.
Matt Fischer opened up the scoring for the Steam at 11:17 into the first period, after finding space behind Kings goalie Jan Pechek.
In the middle frame, Kingsville started things off with a shorthanded goal by CJ Nicholson only 39 seconds into the play. The Kings looked like they had taken the lead halfway through the frame when Ivan Hodulov knocked in an errant puck, but the goal was called back for high-sticking.
Tottenham pounced on a dejected Kingsville squad and popped two goals late in the period. The first was by Cale Markham and the latter from Graham Pickard.
The Steam chose to utilize the trap in the third stanza, keeping most of the scoring chances to the outside. Kingsville failed to make any headway in the period and Tottenham road to their third straight victory against the Kings in as many games.
Although Game 2 was a tense game, there were only two penalties leading into the third period. Things became a little more heated in the final 20 minutes as the two teams started to butt heads.
The period saw Tottenham called on four infractions vs two to the Kings.
Steam net minder Denny Dubblestyne put up impressive stats by stopping 36 of 37 shots for the win. Pechek made 35 saves for the Kings.
Kingsville bounced back in Game 3 Tuesday night in Tottenham. Nicholson was the hero by quelling a Tottenham come-back, netting a pair of 3rd period goals, including the winner, to take the game 3-2.
Lukas Havelka scored the only goal of the 1st period at 5:22 from Matt Matyi and Hodulov. Havelka’s score would stand up all the way into the 3rd until Tottenham drew even on a tally by Pickard.
Nicholson then went to work notching two markers just 18 seconds apart for a commanding 2-goal margin with 6 minutes to play. Despite a Tottenham power play goal by Brandon Yorke with Johnny Guerrero off for interference, the Kings held on to make the series 2-1, advantage Steam.
Pechek was the game’s first star as he made 37 saves for the victory. Nicholson took home second star, while Dubblestyne was recognized as third star in goal for Tottenham.
The next home game for the Kings will be Game 4 on Thursday night in Kingsville at 7:00pm.
– with files from Ian Shalapata.