(KINGSVILLE, ON) – On Sunday afternoon, the Kingsville Kings hockey club just kept hammering at Lincoln Mavericks’ goalie Ruslan Sharafutdinov until the dam broke and the floodgates opened. Extending their record to 6-2-1 with their fourth straight win, the Kings are amping up for their October 15 grudge match with the defending league champion Tottenham Steam.
The weekend began with a false start.
In what was supposed to be a busy back-to-back Thanksgiving weekend, the Kings only ended up playing one game, but picked up a forfeit win for the Saturday night game against the Komoka Dragons. With no Dragons to slay, Kingsville settled on trouncing the Mavericks by an 11-2 score.
“We [were] able to stick to the game plan and execute our chances,” said coach Michael Buzzo after the game. “We were able to get everyone involved and run all four lines. Being able to do that makes a big difference during the game.”
Early in the match, Sharafutdinov kept Lincoln in the game despite being shot-up in a gauntlet by the Kings. But, unlike the old Clint Eastwood movie The Gauntlet, where Detective Shockley and Gus Mally slowly make their way to safety under a hail of bullets, Sharafutdinov and his cohorts didn’t even come close.
Dan Leach scored the lone goal of the first period to give Kingsville the lead after one. To start the second, Marvin Simmons gave the Kings a two-goal spread with a snapshot from the slot. The Mavericks made it on the board soon after when Milan Bango banged in a rebound on the doorstep.
From then on, the Lincoln defense began to crumble.
First, Marek Gharibyar flew up the wing and labelled a rocket from the faceoff dot for the Kings. Then Adam Kusior knocked in a high rebound off a Gharibyar attempt.
Before the period could end, captain Zach McDonough threaded the needle with a one-timer just inside the post that eluded the Maverick tender’s blocker.
In the final act, the Kings put Lincoln to the slaughter.
Despite Zach Riley netting a single for Lincoln midway through the frame, Kingsville rained down the rubber in the third and were clearly in control.
Simmons blasted Sharafutdinov again with a chip-in on a cross-ice feed from Blake Naida only 1:39 in. Just over a minute later, Miroslav Hylena ripped the mesh with a rebound goal to extend the lead.
Lincoln gave the rest of the night off to Sharafutdinov who, despite a great effort, could not hold the Kings back any longer.
It was Blayze Denton’s turn to face the onslaught. Despite some early saves, which allowed his team to briefly regain their composure and put together Riley’s goal, there was not much he could do against the steady bombardment.
In the final 11 minutes, Kingsville would bang in four more goals. Scorers were Matyas Kasek with 2, Marek Malinsky, and Andrew Baxter.
Chase Stanford took the win in net, stopping 18 of 20 attempts from Lincoln. At the other end, Sharafutdinov allowed seven goals on 38 shots, while Riley blocked 15 of 19 in relief.
The Kings will be in action next on Saturday, when they travel north to take on a struggling Tottenham Steam squad. The next afternoon the Kings will be back at home to face the undefeated North York Renegades at 3:00pm.
Coach Guzzo still knows there is work to be done to get his team in good for the playoffs.
“As always, we still have things we need to get better at,” cautioned Guzzo. “But, we are taking steps in the right direction.”