Too Close At Top For Kings Comfort

Moments before the puck squirted past Jackson Swindells in the St George goal, the referee blew the play dead, negating a Kingsville goal on 11 November 2017 in Tilbury.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Moments before the puck squirted past Jackson Swindells in the St George goal, the referee blew the play dead, negating a Kingsville goal on 11 November 2017 in Tilbury.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

(TILBURY, ON) -After a 6-5 tune-up win over the Toronto Predators in North York on Friday, the Kingsville Kings landed on neutral ice in Tilbury to face the St George Ravens, who were chasing them for the divisional top spot.

By the end of the 1st period Saturday night the damage had been done as the visiting Ravens led Kingsville 2-0 after 20 minutes. In fact, the opening goal by St George came just 30 seconds into the match and cast a pall over the crowd. The Kings play was listless after their match with Toronto.

Kingsville managed to deposit the puck behind Jackson Swindells later in the period, but the play was called back on one of many quick whistles during the night.

Thomas McKinnon raises his stick in jubilation as his shot from the high slot found the corner of the St George net behind Jackson Swindells on 11 November 2017 in Tilbury.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Thomas McKinnon raises his stick in jubilation as his shot from the high slot found the corner of the St George net behind Jackson Swindells on 11 November 2017 in Tilbury.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The Ravens added a third goal early in the 2nd frame before Thomas McKinnon got the Kings on the board. His seeing-eye shot from the high slot found the corner of the net to the left of Swindells, and gave hope to the fans in attendance.

Further hope was added by Marek Malinsky at 19:43 of the 3rd period, but it was a case of too little too late.

On Sunday, however, Kingsville took out their frustrations by beating up on the visiting Tillsonburg Hurricanes 9-5.

Moments before the puck squirted past Jackson Swindells in the St George goal, the referee blew the play dead, negating a Kingsville goal on 11 November 2017 in Tilbury.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Moments before the puck squirted past Jackson Swindells in the St George goal, the referee blew the play dead, negating a Kingsville goal on 11 November 2017 in Tilbury.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Matyas Mach and Petr Panacek struck early to put the Kings in front 2-0, but the Canes evened the score before the end of the opening act.

Panacek then led another pair of goals to open the 2nd period, aided by a tally by Jakub Hendrych, to reestablish the 2-goal margin, but again Tillsonburg retaliated with a power play goal to cut the lead in half.

The period was marred with 32 minutes in penalties being called, including a period ending dust-up between Griffen Sinden and Jan Prochazka.

Filip Kafka (19) holds off St George's Liam Fleming as he takes the puck into the offensive corner during GMHL action in Tilbury on 11 November 2017.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Filip Kafka (19) holds off St George’s Liam Fleming as he takes the puck into the offensive corner during GMHL action in Tilbury on 11 November 2017.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The Hurricanes took advantage of the ensuing power play to tie the score at 4 apiece, 41 seconds into the 3rd period. Not to be outdone, the Kings launched three missile behind Raymond Smith. Mach, Nicholas Lang, and Matyas Kasek put Kingsville into a commanding 7-4 lead with 3 minutes remaining on the clock.

The Hurricanes had some wind left in their sails and added a goal to their output, but Lang and McKinnon left no doubt as to the outcome.

Nicolas Jouanne earned the win in goal for Kingsville by making 23 saves. He’s now a perfect 6-0-0 this year.

Guy Polillo was credited with the first goal of the game for St George, at the 30 second mark, against Kingsville on 11 November 2017.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Guy Polillo was credited with the first goal of the game for St George, at the 30 second mark, against Kingsville on 11 November 2017.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The Kings retained their lead in the GMHL Southern Division over the 2nd place Ravens, though their comfort margin is just a single point.

Kingsville will travel Highway 3 to meet Windsor this Friday at 7:30pm before returning home to face London on Saturday at Kingsville Arena with the puck dropping for a 3pm matinee.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata

Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States.
Email Ian Shalapata

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