(KINGSVILLE, ON) – On a night where the Kingsville Kings welcomed back veteran forward Andrew Baxter from a lengthy sabbatical, the local hockey team absolutely lambasted the Toronto Attack to sweep their best-of-five Greater Metro Junior A quarter-final series.
Last Friday, in front of a large hometown crowd, the Kings held a 5-0 advantage after one and running the score up to 14-3 by the end.
“Everyone chipped in and played hard; very pleased with the effort,” said coach Michael Guzzo.
Baxter, in his 2017 playoff debut, scored two goals for the Kings, as did Brendan Borg. Single markers were awarded to Jakub Mecir, Cedric Wirz, David Vostarek, Ondrej Tomek, Martijn Broerse, Marek Gharibyar, Marek Malinsky, Brendan Sorrels, Brendan Mackenzie, and Arthur Panchenko.
All but one Kingsville player, who touched the ice, registered a point in the game.
“We had the mindset of just playing each shift hard and smart,” said Guzzo. “We knew Toronto was going to come out and try to dictate the game the way they wanted it to be, and they did that a few times, which gave them [an] opportunity. But, at the end, taking back control and playing our game was key.”
The Attack’s offense was generated by Daniel Byrne, Brett Walton, and Tim Lavigne.
Goalie Wes Werner turned aside 17 of the Attack’s 20 attempts for his third consecutive playoff win. Meanwhile, Hendrik Wennberg and Mark Turnbull were pelted with 66 blasts in the loss to the Kings.
Next up for Kingsville is the second place St George Ravens in the South Division semifinal. The Ravens, who finished the regular season with a record of 33-7-2, are fresh off sweeping the Toronto Predators.
Along with the one-two goalie punch of Ryan Purcell and Tyler Lewis, Kingsville will also have to overcome the dynamic scoring abilities of Scott Dorion, Chris Martin, Chris Haigh, and a lineup packed with offense.
“I think it’s going to be a great series,” said Guzzo. “Both teams have skill, grit, goaltending; should be a fun series to watch.”
The Kings are no stranger to St George. This season, head-to-head, the two teams split their four-game series. In theory, the scoring touch of Dan Leach, Tyler Garcia, Matyas Kasek, and company should be able to match the Ravens’ offensive output.
As well, the strong and consistent goaltending and the defensive core of the Kings, if cool heads prevail, should come a long way to negating much of the St George threat.
Regardless, it will be an entertaining series.
South Division Semifinal Schedule:
- Game 1 – Tuesday, Feb. 28 @ St George – 8 p.m.
- Game 2 – Thursday, Mar. 2 in Kingsville – 7:30 p.m.
- Game 3 – Saturday, Mar. 4 @ St George – 7 p.m.
- Game 4 – Sunday, Mar. 5 in Kingsville – 6:30 p.m. (if necessary)
- Game 5 – Monday, Mar. 6 @ St George – 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)