(KINGSVILLE, ON) – The Kingsville Kings picked up their fourth win of the young season on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Oshawa Riverkings in Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League action. Led on the strength of a Dan Leach hat-trick, the Kings trumped the Riverkings 7-3, capping off the victory with a dominant final period.
The match was chippy from the get-go as Oshawa was cited for the first infraction only 40 seconds into the game. With five minutes remaining in the first period, Leach struck on the man advantage, picking up his own rebound and working the biscuit around a down and out Andrew Slawiak.
Slawiak was peppered in the opening frame, but kept his team close by stopping 16 of 17 shots. He was not aided much by his teammates who accumulated 23 minutes in penalties in the first 20 minutes alone.
“I thought we played a good first period,” said coach Michael Guzzo on Monday. “[We] played smart, pucks in and out and to the net.”
Early in the 2nd, Leach lit the lamp again, blasting a cross-slot, one-time pass from Zach McDonough, to take a two-goal lead. Midway through the act, the Kingsville assault continued when Tyler Garcia ripped the puck through Slawiak’s five-hole from the slot.
The second half of the period was plagued by unneeded penalties and disorganization in the defensive end by the Kings.
With 7:40 left, Oshawa’s Josh Cameron stole a cough-up in front of the Kingsville net while shorthanded, and ripped the puck past Kings goalie Pierce Dubowski to break the goose egg.
Two minutes later, the Riverkings found themselves on a power play of their own. Mitchell Stewart was able to put his team back within one, soon after, when he picked up a rebound off of Dubowski and buried it.
Not 30 seconds later, the Kings were unable to clear the zone and Oshawa’s Geoff Walker tied the game with an unassisted marker.
“We had [the] opportunity to put the game out of reach,” said Guzzo. “We didn’t do that and let them back into the game.”
The third was speckled with undisciplined penalties by both teams, but Kingsville’s offence was unphased either way.
Backing Oshawa onto their heels, the Kings pumped them for four tallies, finding offence from Marek Malinsky, Adam Kusior, Leach, and Jakub Mecir.
“We were able to be smart with the puck,” said the coach. “Pucks got deep and we played together.”
Dubowski faced 15 shots in his season debut and collected his first win, while Slawiak took the loss, allowing five goals in 48 minutes of play. The Oshawa back-up, Joshua Mitchell, let in the last two goals of the game in relief. The Oshawa pair faced a combined 51 attempts by the Kings.
Assist getters for Kingsville were Mecir and captain McDonough with two apiece, while David Vostarek, Andrew Baxter, Miroslav Hylena, and Jaromir Vlcek each picked up singles.
“We found a way to win the game and that is what good teams will do,” concluded coach Guzzo.
The Kings are back in action Saturday as they travel to meet the Komoka Dragons. Sunday afternoon, Kingsville will host the expansion Lincoln Mavericks at 3:00pm. Finally on Monday, they return to Komoka for a Thanksgiving afternoon face-off.