The Elmira Sugar Kings finished the regular season with a 6-1 win over the Brantford 99ers Sunday, capping a six-game winning streak. The team headed into the GOJHL playoffs Wednesday atop the Midwestern Conference.
“One of the things we wanted to do was achieve as many points as we could.” head coach Jeff Flanagan said. “We clinched first place in our division the Sunday before and it was important for us to win out the season.”
The Kings were diligent against Brantford, stifling their power plays, even while down two men. Elmira’s Chad Herron found the back of the net in the first period, assisted by Alex Mutton, to end the first frame with the lead.
That lead would only increase as Zac Coulter, Eric Palazzolo, and Adam Brubacher all got goals of their own in the second. Assists came from Mutton, Brodie Whitehead, Palazzolo and Herron.
Brantford finally managed to get one past Elmira goalie Jon Reinhart, when Ray Munro (Brett Parsons, Lucas Zitmanis) scored early in the third frame. Reinhart made 23 saves on 24 shots to Brantford netminder Jack Moylan’s 24 saves on 30 shots.
But the Kings continued to tally up the goals, as Steve Jakiela whipped one in the net unassisted and shorthanded, followed by Brubacher’s second of the night, helped by Brendan Schneider and Mitch Wright.
“Jon Reinhart was really good in nets,” Flanagan added. “You get to that time of year and most of the positions are set so Brantford was already out. We wanted to make sure it was a good clean game and it turned out to be.”
The Sugar Kings spent 24 minutes in the penalty box to Brantford’s 14.
They ended the season with a record of 38-7-4, eight points ahead of the second-place Kitchener Dutchmen. The finish saw them draw the Brampton Bombers in the first round of playoffs, which began this week in Elmira. The Bombers finished the season in eighth place with an 8-34-7 record.