Orillia's Experience Nissan Kings jumped out to a fast start, ran into penalty trouble and sputtered in the middle stanza as they dropped their Ontario Lacrosse Association Jr. B season opener Saturday night at Rotary Place.
The Kings squandered a 3-1 lead and were outscored 6-2 in the second period en route to dropping a 15-11 decision against the West Durham Ironheads.
Kings' newcomer Chris McLaughlin, a Huntsville native who played Jr. C lacrosse in his hometown the past three years, led the Orillia attack with three goals, while veteran Trent Boyd potted a pair for the home side. Dallin Blunt, Owen King, Tyler Goodchild, David Wilkie, Nevin King and Jordon Roberts added single markers for the Kings, while Matthew Campbell was the top playmaker with four assists. Owen King, Teagan Meredith, Michael Montgomery and Wilkie each contributed a pair of helpers. Cameron Murphy was charged with the loss in the Orillia net.
Prior to the game, the Kings and the Orillia Minor Lacrosse Association honoured Ryan Crowther, who played for the Jr. B team in the mid-1990s and coached minor lacrosse in recent years. Crowther died suddenly late last year. Last season, Crowther coached the local midget team to a provincial championship and three players from that team are playing for the Kings this year: Roberts, Montgomery and Logan Matthews.
The Kings will be practising this week in preparation for a pair of tough road games this coming weekend: Saturday at Akwesasne and Sunday in Kahnawake. The Kings are not back on their home floor at Rotary Place until May 12 when they host Brampton in a 8 p.m. contest.
KINGS THINGS: The visitors scored three power-play goals in eight opportunities while the hosts tallied three power-play goals on six man-advantage opportunities. Only veteran Cam Shilling (overage) did not return from last year's team that went 10-9-1 before being swept in the first round of the playoffs by Halton Hills. Roberts' goal was the first in his junior career; he played two games last year as a midget callup. Wilkie, a cousin of Ryan Crowther, changed his number to 14 this season to honour Crowther.