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Kings Rally to Earn Split

06/05/2017, 6:47pm EDT
By Dave Dawson

Orillia's Experience Nissan Kings bounced back from a tough loss Saturday night when they rolled to an explosive 17-6 win over Nepean in a Sunday afternoon Ontario Lacrosse Association Jr. B contest at Rotary Place.

Speedy defender Nevin King put on an impressive offensive display for the home side Sunday, scoring four goals on four transition breakaways to spark the potent Kings' attack. Veteran Trent Boyd continued his recent hot streak with a hat trick, while Owen King, Tyler Conn and Matthew Campbell each potted a pair for the victors. Dallin Blunt, Tyler Goodchild, Michael Montgomery and Mitchell Pellarin contributed single goals. Campbell was the top playmaker with four helpers, while Teagan Meredith and Parker Bowman each had three helpers.

Goalie Cam Murphy had a strong game between the pipes to backstop the victory and help his team improve to 8-6. The Kings took control of the game early, jumping out to a fast start as they romped to a 6-2 advantage after the first period. After an even second period, the Kings dominated the third period, outscoring the Knights 7-0 to secure the home-floor victory as about 120 fans cheered them on.

On Saturday night, the Kings came out flat, ran into some untimely penalties and could never find their rhythm as they suffered a frustrating 11-10 defeat against the much-improved Gloucester Griffins. In that spirited contest, the Kings, on four separate occasions, rallied to tie the score but could never pull ahead of their eastern Ontario rivals.

The Griffins led 3-2 after the first frame and stretched their advantage to 9-6 after two periods. But the Kings never quit and dominated the start of the third period, scoring three straight goals to knot the score at 9-9 halfway through the frame. Undaunted, the Griffins rebounded to score two goals in just over two minutes to regain a two-goal advantage.

With goalie Dylan O'Rourke on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, first-year King Chris McLaughlin scored to bring the home side to within one with 90 seconds left in the contest. The Kings continued to press and just missed potting the equalizer at the buzzer.

Despite the disappointing loss, the Kings showed lots of fight in the back-and-forth contest. It was another balanced attack for Orillia as eight different players tallied goals. Campbell and Boyd led the way with two goals apiece, while singles were netted by Blunt, Conn, Goodchild, Wilkie, Tyler Rowe and McLaughlin. Conn led all playmakers with five assists, while Goodchild and Wilkie each set up three.

The resurgent Kings, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games after stumbling out of the gate, hope to keep their hot streak going. But it won't be easy as they will play three road games over four days later this week. On Thursday, the Kings are in Halton Hills (10-3), on Saturday, the Kings will travel to Newmarket to battle the Saints (0-16) and Orillia will wrap up the tough stretch Sunday in Clarington against the division-leading Green Gaels (11-2).

KINGS THINGS: Gloucester went three for eight on the power-play Saturday night as the Kings were called for too many men on three different occasions. The home side tallied a pair of power-play goals on eight opportunities; the Kings' powerplay is scoring at a 32.93% efficiency, which is good enough for seventh place among the league's 25 teams. The Kings' penalty killing (73.9%) is eighth best. Campbell, in his final year of junior eligibility, continues to pace Orillia's offence with 31 goals and 30 assists in 13 games - he is 12th overall in league scoring.

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