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Third-period rally leads Kings to season-opening victory

May 10, 2013

A stirring third-period comeback lifted the Kingston Kings to a 12-9 win over the visiting Gloucester Griffins Thursday night in the opening game of the Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League season for both teams.

Trailing 8-6 going into the final 20 minutes, the Kings outscored Gloucester 6-1 in the third period, scoring four times in the final eight and a half minutes of the game. Outshot 37-27 over the first 40 minutes, Kingston outshot the Griffins 25-5 in the third period.

Playing before a Centre 70 crowd of about 150, there was no shortage of offensive heroes for the Kings.

Josh Smith, the Queen’s University engineering student in his first season with Kingston, scored five times, including the go-ahead goal at 14:46 of the third period. The five-goal performance was the first of his junior career.

Haneh Brant scored all three of his goals in the third period. He scored the first two goals of the period to tie the score 8-8, then gave Kingston a two-goal cushion with 91 seconds left to play. He also added three assists. It was the second three-goal game of Brant’s junior career, and the six points is a career high.

Ba Maracle scored once and drew five assists, assisting on three of the third-period goals. It was also a career game for Maracle, whose previous best in three junior seasons was three points in a game.

Jay Waller had a goal and four assists and Kyle Aylesworth a goal and three assists for the Kings, who led 3-2 after the first period. Kaleb Bingley scored the other Kingston goal, the first as a junior for the rookie from Perth.

Fred Hartley scored four goals for Gloucester, while Jake Richardson had two goals and two assists. Alex Marchese, Nick Finlay and Matt Lewis scored the other goals for the Griffins, who appeared to take command of the game when they scored six times in the second period.

Each team held the lead three times and the teams were tied seven different times in the game. After Brant’s two goals tied the game in the first half of the third period, Maracle’s goal at 11:28 gave Kingston a 9-8 lead. Hartley’s fourth goal less than a minute later tied the game again but two and a half minutes after that, Smith’s fourth goal, with the teams playing five aside, gave Kingston the lead for good.

The Kings resume play Friday night in Peterborough. After a game next Wednesday in Clarington, they’ll return home Thursday, May 16, when they host the Whitby Warriors.

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