Kings up 2-1 in Cherrey Cup finals heading into Game 4

Having dropped Game 3 Tuesday in Listowel, the Sugar Kings headed into Wednesday night’s game with a 2-1 series lead in the battle for the Cherrey Cup. Playing on home ice and facing the prospect of going down 3-0, the Cyclones scored first and never trailed en route to a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.

Last updated on May 03, 23

Posted on Apr 06, 17

5 min read

Having dropped Game 3 Tuesday in Listowel, the Sugar Kings headed into Wednesday night’s game with a 2-1 series lead in the battle for the Cherrey Cup.

Playing on home ice and facing the prospect of going down 3-0, the Cyclones scored first and never trailed en route to a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.

Listowel’s Jakob Lee opened the scoring at 5:34. Elmira answered just two minutes later courtesy of a goal from Klayton Hoelscher, assisted by Matt Murray and Austin Ulett, to send the teams into the first intermission tied 1-1, but that was as close as it would get.

The Cyclones scored twice midway through the second frame before Dawson Shackelton scored an unassisted goal at 16:16. Listowel sealed their victory with the sole marker of the third at 18:39.

While special teams played a role in Elmira’s victories, the Kings failed to capitalize on four power play chances Apr. 4, though they did successfully kill all five of Listowel’s advantages.

Head coach Ty Canal says Game 3 was a departure from the first two in the series.

“We were on our heels a bit more than before, and I don’t know why, but we gave them more opportunities and they were able to capitalize,” he said on Wednesday morning. “We weren’t able to get that continuous momentum that we would have liked.”

There was a glimmer of the game Canal wants to see from the Kings early in the first, but it wasn’t enough.

“I thought we matched them alright in the first, and from there, we just couldn’t jump any momentum and get the shifts we needed when we needed them,” he said. “There were spurts of it, there were some times we were playing good hockey, they just need to be a little longer. I thought we put the puck to the net more often than Game 1 and 2, but I think we still need to do more of that. We are going in the right direction.”

The series started in Listowel’s barn, with an exciting 3-2 overtime win. All three Kings’ goals were scored on the power play, with everyone showing up to get the tick in the W column.

“Five-on-five, Listowel didn’t give us a whole lot. We didn’t get any odd-man rushes or anything like that,” said head coach Ty Canal. “We were forced to get the puck down low and get shots from the corner or from the point. Our power play was able to step it up there and get the goals we needed.”

The game didn’t get off to the best start for the Kings with the Cyclones potting the first goal of the night on Mar. 31. Listowel’s Holdyn Lansink scored on Jonathan Reinhart with help from Cullen Mercer and Max Coyle at 13:39.

The second period leaned the other way. Jeff Jordan sunk the puck on the power play less than two minutes into the second, assisted by Klayton Hoelscher and Jake Brown. Brown followed up with another power play marker at 14:21 from Ethan Skinner and Hoelscher. Listowel’s Lee tied it up with only a minute ten left in the second.

The third period saw no scoring, and led to overtime. Jordan scored the game winner, also on the power play, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Brown. Listowel had what looked like a breakaway before Brown chased them down, back checked and put a stop to the advance, getting the puck to Jordan.

The final score was 3-2.

Game 2 told much the same story for the Kings. Listowel started the count with a marker from Jamie Huber, assisted by Coyle and Ben VanOoteghem close to the end of the first.

Brown picked up all three goals for Elmira on Sunday afternoon, the first seven minutes into the second, tying up the game, assisted by Jacob Black and Jeremey Goodwin. He scored again, this time on the power play, from Goodwin and Jordan.

Listowel was quick to tie up the game three minutes later with a goal from Riley Robertson, helped in by Blake Nichol and Caleb Warren.

Brown scored his third of the afternoon, making it a hat trick on the power play, assisted by Skinner.

Canal says the team needs to build on that momentum, but still only take the series 20 minutes at a time.

Elmira netminder Jon Reinhart looks to get a handle on the puck during game action Apr. 2 at the WMC. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]

“We have been talking about it all year, and I know we can get it in four,” he said. “That is the mindset going into this. We have to hit the reset button and try to get in the mindset that it is a new game, and it is a new 20 minutes.”

Brown was the standout player for Canal so far this series, and the playoffs in general. He has 12 goals and 11 assists in 12 playoff games. He has scored four so far this series.

“It is good to see him like that. He has done this before, he has gone through it. He is a 20-year-old and that is what you like to see happen out of those guys, that have the experience. They want to win and they will do whatever they can to win,” said Canal. “They put that weight on their own shoulders, and it is great to see him come through that way. He is usually more of a set-up man for us, but it is nice to get those goals when we need them. When you get those opportunities, you need to capitalize on them when you are on the power play, and Jake is a guy who knows how to score goals. He has just got that touch to the back of the net. It is nice to see him break out like that for us.”

The rest of the team also showed up ready to fight for the Cherrey Cup this year.

“On the other side of that, when you get those types of goals. Everyone settles back in and I thought we play a pretty good defensive game with all of our guys,” said Canal. “All of our lines were doing what was needed, blocking shots. Biles had a blocked shot for us, some of our D did, Shackelton had one off an ankle, so it is nice to see the guys stepping up to do whatever it takes to win at this time of year.”

Game 4 went Wednesday night in Elmira, but results were not available before press time.

Game 5 starts at 7:30 p.m. in Listowel on Apr. 7. If necessary Game 6 will be played at 7 p.m. on Apr. 9 at the Woolwich Memorial Centre. If the series goes the distance, the final game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Listowel on Apr. 10.

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