(KINGSVILLE, ON) – The nicest thing about Kingsville Kings losing streaks is that they are always short. After dropping their last two games in Greater Metro Junior ‘A’ South Division hockey action, the Kings chose to take out their frustrations on the Toronto Attack.
After a 6-5 overtime loss to the Attack on November 13, the Kings were bound to respond. Not only did they respond, but on December 7, Kingsville drove up to Toronto’s barn and made a statement.
Outshooting the Attack 61-38, the Kings crushed them by a 7-1 score.Netting a goal each were David Vostarek, Matyas Kasek, Thomas McKinnon, Andrew Baxter, captain Zach McDonough, Miroslav Hylena, and Marek Malinsky
The Attack’s lone goal was potted by Dalton Barnes.
Windsor-native Pierce Dubowski turned aside 37 shots for the win, while Toronto’s Hendrik Wennberg took the loss.
Four days later, the Kings hosted the Tillsonburg Hurricanes on a snowy Sunday afternoon.
The Hurricanes scored first, five minutes into the game, but were answered three times before the first buzzer. Kingsville’s Malinsky, Dan Leach, and Arthur Panchenko deposited three snipes in less than three minutes to take a 3-1 lead into the second.
Tillsonburg and the Kings traded goals in the middle act from Chandler Knibb for the Hurricanes and Ondrej Tomek for Kingsville, in reply.
The ‘Canes would not go away, though.
Midway through the third, Mircea Constantin scored to bring the Kings’ lead down to 4-3. Minutes later, Kingsville reasserted their dominance when Jakub Mecir and Leach each ripped the road team’s mesh to push their advantage to three.
Tillsonburg’s Jeremy Racicot would add a late goal, but his team could not mount a comeback.
Dubowski picked up his second win of the week, turning aside 13 shots in the 6-4 victory. At the other end, Tyler Jensen stopped 56 of 62 for the Hurricanes.
Two days later, the Kings travelled east to Port Colborne to test their mettle in a prospects showcase. Facing two of the top teams from the North Division, the Kings would head home with a win and a loss in a pair of hard-fought battles.
Making his season debut on Tuesday morning, against the South Muskoka Shield, was returnee goalie Wes Werner.
Werner, a LaSalle native, was an outstanding back-up to GMHL goalie of the year Jan Pechek, last year, and set the league record for lowest one-season goals against average in the process. Werner was particularly helpful to the Kings down the stretch and in the first two rounds of the playoffs after Pechek was suspended late in the season.
The veteran goalie returns after starting the season in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Blind River Beavers, and a short stint as a backup with the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Wellington Dukes.
Werner’s comeback was successful as he picked up a 2-0 shutout and was named the first star of the game.
Scoring for Kingsville was Blake Naida and Tyler Garcia.
South Muskoka’s Garrett Wills turned aside 17 of 19 shots in the loss, while the Kings’ goalie faced 15.
That afternoon, the Kings took part in their second game of the day and dropped a 1-0 nail-biter to the Bradford Rattlers. Bradford’s Oskar Rzekanowski scored the lone goal of the game.
Kingsville outshot the Rattlers 36-24, but Ilya Zhurin, Bradford’s goalie, was perfect in net.
Justin Lalonde was not at all shabby either, at the other end for the Kings. Lalonde stopped 23 of 24 and was named the second star of the game behind the Rattlers’ net minder.
The Kings return to the road tonight as they travel back to Port Colborne for another crack at the league-leading Niagara Whalers. The Kings are 0-2-1 against the Whalers this season.
Kingsville’s last home game of 2016 is this Sunday at 3:00pm, as they host the Hurricanes again at Kingsville Arena.