(PORT COLBORNE, ON) – Despite outshooting the Niagara Whalers 42-33, the Kingsville Kings have slipped into a tie for the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League’s South Division’s third slot with a 6-2 loss last Friday. Currently sitting with a 30-7-0 record, with five games remaining, the Kings struggled to find offence against the Whalers, at one point falling to a 3-0 deficit during the loss.
Niagara’s Frolov Mikhail opened scoring three minutes into the match and tallied again late in the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead into the break. Early in the second, John Swiatek extended the Whalers’ lead. A minute and a half later, Petr Panacek finally cracked Niagara goalie Will Harvey to shorten the lead to 3-1.
In the final act, the Whalers pulled away from the Kings with an early snipe from Kellan Rosenbaum and a pair of power-play tallies by Ethan Spaxman and Steven Farano. A late goal by Kingsville’s Elvar Olafsson was too little, too late for the road team.
Harvey made 40 saves as his team pulled past the Kings in the standings, while Kingsville goalie Adam Zeman’s record fell to 1-1-0 after allowing 6 goals on 33 shots.
Although the St George Ravens (37-3-1) have already locked up first place in the South Division, the Kings are currently engaged in a three-team horse race for the second seed. The Whalers (30-8-1) have three games remaining on their schedule, while the North York Renegades (28-8-4) have just two.
Niagara’s one-point lead over North York and the Kings appears to be fragile as the Kings’ five remaining games may just be enough to trump both opponents in the race for home-ice advantage in the second round of the playoffs.
Tomorrow night, the Kings will head over to Tillsonburg for a rendezvous with the Hurricanes, before hosting the Whalers at Tilbury Arena on Saturday night at 7:30pm.