(TILBURY, ON) – As the two top GMHL seeds, Kingsville Kings and St George Ravens, beat up on each other, the 3rd place Niagara Whalers keep them within harpooning range. Last night at Tilbury Arena, the Ravens dominated in a 5-2 win over the Kings while the Whalers put away the Northumberland Stars 6-4.
St George leapfrogged over the Kings to move into first place. They looked the better team by skating to a 4-0 1st period lead and chasing starting Kings goaltender Zachary Uppleger after just 12:16. The Ravens moved to a 5-0 margin in the 2nd frame, before Kingsville’s Nicholas Lang broke Jackson Swindells’ shutout at 13:59 from captain Blake Naida.
Trailing 5-1 late in the 2nd period, the Kings found themselves playing a man down for five minutes after Noah Shultz was assessed a 5 minute major for a hit on Marko Ondov. To their credit, Kingsville successfully killed off the infraction and actually took the play to St George through much of it.
The Kings managed a second tally in the 3rd period when Naida and Merek Malinsky assisted on Petr Panacek’s power play goal at 10:41. The hole was just too deep for the Kings to climb out of, however.
Uppleger took the loss for Kingsville, stopping just 3 of 6 shots. In relief, Nicolas Jouanne gave up 2 goals on 29 shots. Swindells was credited with the win after facing 59 shots from the Kings.
Kingsville now trails St George in the standings by a single point. The Ravens (28-3-0-1) sit atop the GMHL South Division with 57 points while the Kings (28-6-0-0) are one rung down. The Whalers (27-5-0-1) round out the top three with 55 points.
The Kings will have time to regroup before they travel to London on January 27 for an 8pm meeting with the Lakers. They’ll return to the area the next day to meet the Windsor Aces at Adie Knox Arena at 7:30pm. The Kings don’t return to Kingsville until February 18 for a meeting with the Star, but they do have a home game schedule again in Tilbury on February 10 when they faceoff with the Whalers at 7:30pm.
The Windsor Aces have been quietly making their mark in the league. Dating back to December 9 last year, the Aces are on a 6-game winning streak, out scoring their opponents 52-21 on aggregate. In January Windsor is 2-0 after home and away wins over Tillsonburg, 6-4, and Tottenham, 9-5.
The Aces (12-19-0-0) sit smack dab in the middle of the pack in 7th place, just 9 points behind Northumberland (14-12-0-5). Windsor will host 10th place Toronto today a 2pm before turning their sights on the Ravens on January 20 at 7:30pm.