For the Independent
With the playoffs looming, the Elmira Sugar Kings were unable to fend off the visiting Listowel Cyclones on Sunday evening. The team put forth a strong effort but couldn’t capitalize on opportunities in a 6-3 loss. It was the third straight loss for a slumping Elmira team, and the 12th in their last 14 games.
The game was close early on, with each team scoring once in the first period, and the game tied at 2-2 in the middle of the second.
After Listowel broke the game open with third straight goals in the latter half of the second period, Elmira fought hard in the third, at one point closing the gap to 5-3. That was as close as they’d come though, as Listowel goaltender Drew Reinhardt slammed the door despite some heavy pressure and good offensive chances by the home team. Kings’ goalie Hayden Neuman struggled at times throughout the evening, allowing 6 goals on 42 shots.
Four of the Cyclones’ goals came on the power play. After the game, coach Dean DeSilva praised his team’s effort, but chastised them for taking foolish penalties and failing to capitalize on their own opportunities.
“We have to be more disciplined and stay out of the box,” he said. “Do I think we deserved all of those penalties? Absolutely not. However, that's hockey and teams have to play through that. We need to be more disciplined and we need to capitalize on our chances.”
With only two regular season games remaining, DeSilva said Elmira’s focus is less on who their playoff opponent will be, and more on getting everyone healthy and focused for the playoffs.
“The league is so tight that it doesn't matter where anybody finishes,” he said. “It will be a battle and war to get out of our division as it is every year. There will be some outstanding playoff series.”
Elmira currently sits 7th in the Midwestern Conference, but only 4 points separate them from Listowel and Waterloo, currently tied for third.
On Sunday night, the Kings main menace was Jacob Robitaille, who recorded a hat trick and added an assist for the Cyclones. Caleb Cameron also had four points for the visitors, with a goal and three assists. Zac Coulter led the way with two goals for Elmira, and while Matt Schieck and Adam Dauda each had two assists.
Elmira’s penultimate game comes on Saturday in Cambridge at 7pm.