(KINGSVILLE, ON) – The Kingsville Kings hockey club has been a roll lately. After a tepid 2-2-1 start to the season, the Kings have finally settled into their garrison and have started to lay siege to their divisional rivals.
Extending their current winning streak to seven games, Kingsville just capped off their fourth win in five days on Wednesday, pounding the Northumberland Stars 5-1.
The locals began their crusade this past Saturday, riding their cavalry into Tottenham and gaining a measure of revenge for their Game 7 loss against the Steam in last spring’s Russell Cup final. Winning the game 11-7, the Kings outshot Tottenham 68-38 but still found that the Steam had not relinquished their aggressive offensive bite despite their poor showing so far this season.
Kingsville’s Marek Malinsky and Tyler Garcia would bury a hat-trick apiece, with single markers going to Marvin Simmons, Marek Gharibyar, Dan Leach, Jakub Mecir, and Miroslav Hylena.
Tottenham answered back with a pair from Viacheslav Cregrintcev, and a goal to Matthew Fornari, Jonathon DaSilva, Andrew Rennie, Joel Wakelin, and Justin Carter.
Kingsville’s goalies split the game in net, with Chase Stanford allowing four goals in 40 minutes and Pierce Dubowski stopping 11 of 14 in a period. Kent Nusbaum turned aside 57 of 68 shots at Tottenham’s end.
“I think it was a good start to our four games in five nights trip,” said coach Michael Guzzo. “For those returning from last year’s team, I think it was a good win for them and the new members of the team as well. The biggest thing we are trying to learn and bring every game is that this year’s team has to write their own chapters to the book.”
The next afternoon, the Kings returned to Kingsville Arena to host the undefeated North York Renegades. After a strong performance in front of the hometown faithful, the Kings took home another W, while the Renegades saw their perfect start snapped.
It only took 40 seconds for North York’s Patrik Zilak to get on the board. Before the period could end, Leach blasted a one-timer past Renegades’ goalie Evan Purdy to knot the game at one into the break.
The Kings poured on the pressure in the middle frame, blasting Purdy with 20 shots. Midway through the frame, Kingsville’s Garcia walked in and smoked a laser past the glove of Purdy. Then, with less than a minute left in the second, Simmons fed the puck to Leach, who blasted the biscuit from the point to make the score 3-1 on the man-up advantage.
Kingsville continued to dominate in the final act as Brendan Sorrels fired a laser through a crowd and shelved the puck over Purdy. The Renegades’ Justin Pirie was able to pop one more goal, late, to shorten the lead to 4-2, but it was not near enough to mount a comeback.
Justin Lalonde backstopped the win for the Kings, blocking 21 shots. Purdy allowed 4 goals on 40 attempts at the other end.
“The North York game was one of our better games of the season,” stated Guzzo. “[We] had some penalty trouble in the beginning and found a way to get past it. We didn’t stop working and battled hard all game. North York is a good team and they deserve a lot of credit. They played a hard fought game and kept us on our toes.”
A day later, Kingsville headed up to Komoka for a duel with the Dragons. The Dragons struck first with about four minutes left in the first, finding offense from Nelson Pescio. The Kings sprung back a minute later when Malinsky filled the net.
Kingsville scored the lone goal of the middle stanza when Matyas Kasek sniped on the power play to give his boys their first lead of the game. A minute into the third, Axel Guezet answered for the Dragons with an unassisted marker on the advantage to knot the game back up.
The Kings persisted and eventually Komoka folded. A pair of late snipes from Dan Leach made the score 4-2 and buried the Dragons.
Stanford scored the win for Kingsville, stopping 21 of 23, while Simone Pilon turned aside 36 in defeat for Komoka.
“You could tell we had played two games in two nights,” explained Coach Guzzo. “We weren’t clicking or firing on all cylinders, but we found a way to get the job done and that shows a lot of character in the players and I am very proud of them for staying positive and to keep battling the whole game.”
After a one-day breather, the Kings trekked east to Colborne to challenge the Northumberland Stars. Kingsville’s Garcia kicked off the night with the lone goal of the opening frame, midway through the period. Halfway through the second he struck again to extend the Kings’ lead to two.
Northumberland’s Malik Henry put his boys on the board with just under eight minutes left in the middle act, but was bookended by a third Garcia snipe. Simmons tallied twice in the third to give the Kings a 5-1 victory.
Lalonde took home the win between the pipes, stopping 31 shots. Maksim Kuteinikov turned aside 50 attempts for the Stars.
The Kings will next be in action on October 23 as they host the St George Ravens at the Kingsville Arena Complex. Head-to-head, the Ravens control the season series, having defeated Kingsville on September 23 by a 7-5 score.