It was a good weekend for the Elmira Sugar Kings, who won both games on the schedule and helped raise some money in their annual charity game.
On the road in Caledon January 20, the Kings beat the Bombers 4-0, then returned home for a Sunday to edge the Listowel Cyclones 3-2 in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Still, head coach Scott McMillan wasn’t entirely happy.
“I was little bit frustrated, not with the results and not the work ethic because our guys always worked hard, but I felt like we went into the games not trying to be our best, but instead just trying to be a little bit better than the other team. We got fortunate to come out with four points,” he said.
Even the 4-0 win was cause for some concern.
“The score is what it is, but goalie probably had to make a few too many saves than we would like in a game like that. Too many good saves.”
In Caledon, a first-period power-play goal by Luke Della Croce – assisted by Austin Mumby and Madden MacDougall – proved to be the winner, as netminder Hayden Sabourin would go on to post a shutout. That wasn’t it for the Kings, however.
In the second, Ryan Forwell’s unassisted goal at 8:54 put the Kings up 2-0. Less than five minutes later, Brenna Kennedy made it 3-0, with help from Carter Lawson and Logan Crans.
Less than two minutes into the final frame, Jayden Lammel potted Elmira’s final goal of the night. Liam Eveleigh and Adam Grein picked up assists. The 4-0 score is where things stood when the final buzzer went.
Shots were 33-23 in favour of the visitors, who went 1-5 on the power play, while the Bombers were 0-6.
It was a much tighter game Sunday afternoon as fans flocked to the WMC for the annual charity game, after which specially designed sweaters were auctioned off for this year’s recipient of the funds, Friends of Hockey.
After a scoreless opening period, Elmira broke the deadlock at 5:20 of the second when Grein found the back of the net, assisted by Brock Reinhart and Mumby. That lead would hold for less than seven minutes, however, as the Cylones scored to make it 1-1.
It was the visitors’ turn to lead when play resumed in the third, as Listowel scored just past the four-minute mark. Fans had little time to fret, however, as the Kings replied just two minutes later – Forwell’s tenth of the season made it 2-2, with a little help from MacDougall and Reinhart. At 12:11, Della Croce (Taylor Bothwell, Lammel) made it 3-2, which is how the game would end.
Again, McMillan had the feeling the team wasn’t giving 100 per cent.
“Listowel is a team that always works hard, wherever they are in the standings,” he said. “If you don’t work hard, they’ll make you pay. I think we showed up for that game hoping that we wouldn’t have to work hard.”
Shots were 30-27 in favour of the Kings, with goaltender Daniel Botelho stopping 25 to pick up the win. Neither Elmira (0-4) nor Listowel (0-3) could capitalize on the power play.
The Kings (23-15-1) are in Ayr tonight (Thursday) to take on the Centennials (13-14-1-1), who sit one point ahead of them in fourth place in the Midwestern Conference standings . They’re back on the ice at the WMC on Saturday to face the first-place KW Siskins (30-8-0-1). Game time is 7 p.m.
McMillan expects some stiff competition, as Ayr has won four of this season’s five games so far, while the Siskins sit atop the standings for a reason.