(KINGSVILLE, ON) – The Kingsville Kings junior hockey club ended 2016 in a big way on Sunday, smothering the Tillsonburg Hurricanes 15-3. This, on the heels of their biggest victory of the year, a 5-3 win, over the league-leading Niagara Whalers.
On Friday, the Kings headed east to Port Colborne to renew hostilities with the Whalers. Going into the game, Kingsville was winless against Niagara.
The lone goal of the opening frame was scored by the Whalers’ Tyler Jackson. Niagara extended their lead late in the second with a power play tally from David Christopher.
Before the period could end, the Kings sprung to life, tying the game with two quick goals in less than 40 second. Brendan Sorrels and Thomas McKinnon were the snipers.
In the third act, Kingsville continued their assault, laying down heavy fire on Whalers goalie Maksim Kuteinikov.
Midway through the stanza, the Kings lanced the Niagara net twice to take a commanding lead. Scoring came from Andrew Baxter and Dan Leach.
The Whalers would answer back, late, with a goal from Manny Manns, but Kingsville’s Blake Naida tallied an insurance marker in the final minute to secure the win.
Making his regular season debut was veteran goalie and returnee Wes Werner, a native of LaSalle. Werner was given the first star of the game and turned aside 44 shots. At the other end, Kuteinikov stopped 23.
Two afternoons later, the Kings hosted their final game of 2016 against the Hurricanes. Hot off their win against the Whalers, Kingsville made fast work of Tillsonburg, putting up their biggest goal tally of the season.
Winning 15-3, against an under-manned ‘Canes squad, Matyas Kasek, Marek Malinsky, and Brendan Mackenzie each put up a hat-trick. Leach added two goals in the game, while Baxter, Brennan Hancock, Tyler Garcia, and Arthur Panchenko each picked up a single.
Nikita Chekardin picked up two goals for the Hurricanes, while Noah Demelo added a goal.
Justin Lalonde was victorious in net for Kingsville, stopping 24 of 27 shots.
All three Tillsonburg goalies found net time, as Andreas Logothetis, Josh Greisbrecht, and Tyler Jensen combined for 58 saves.
Thirty-two games deep into the season, the Kings sit second place in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League’s South Division with a record of 23 wins, six losses, and three overtime defeats.
Leach leads Kingsville with 28 goals, while Garcia is the top point-getter at 48. Leach sits 12th in the GMHL for snipes, while Garcia sits tied for 13th with one less.
The Kings will next be in action on Jan. 8, as they host the London Lakers at 3 p.m. Two days later, captain Zach McDonough, goalie Chase Stanford, and Jaromir Vlec will head to Tillsonburg and join Team World for the GMHL all-star game. Game time will be 7 p.m. and the skills competition will take place during the intermissions.