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Kings whip Gloucester to reach .500

June 5, 2013

OTTAWA — It didn’t take long for Alec Johnston to make his mark with the Kingston Kings. Johnston, who returned home from prep school in Indiana just in time for the Kings’ game Tuesday night in Gloucester, scored a goal just six minutes into the game and he didn’t stop there, finishing with three goals and four assists as the Kings thumped the Griffins 16-9.

The win enabled the Kings to reach the midway point of the Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League schedule at .500 (4-4, exactly the same record they had at this time last year) and move one point past idle Peterborough into sole possession of third place, two points behind second-place Cornwall. The caution is that three of the four wins have come against winless Gloucester, and to date the Kings have yet to defeat a team with a record of .500 or better.

That adds urgency to Thursday’s game at home against the Brockville Ballistic which, at 1-5, will be desperate not to fall out of contention and, with a win, could climb to within four points of Kingston with two games left to play against the Kings after that.

None of that, however, diminishes the splendid performance of Johnston, who graduated on the weekend from Culver Military Academy and is beginning his fifth junior season. It was the fourth three-goal game of his junior career and the seven-point performance was a career best.

One of Johnston’s goals was among the five shorthanded goals scored by Kingston. Haneh Brant had two, Kaleb Bingley had one and Logan Rose scored in the third period when the Kings were two men short. Shorthanded goals by Bingley and Brant 52 seconds apart during the same penalty early in the first period took the Kings’ lead from 2-0 to 4-0 before the game was five minutes old and from that point the rout was essentially on.

Kingston led 7-3 at the end of the first period and scored eight times in the first 14 minutes of the second to take a commanding 13-4 lead. The 16 goals matched the team’s best offensive performance since the Kingston junior club was resurrected in 2009. The Kings scored 16 goals in a home game against Gloucester last July.

Brant finished the game with a career-best four goals, the third time this year he has scored three or more goals in a game. Kyle Aylesworth scored twice, and he continues to share the league lead, now with Clarington’s Keenan Cook, each with 16. Brant follows with 15.

Bingley scored three times for Kingston — his first multigoal game as a junior — and Rose finished the game with two. Josh Smith and Jay Waller scored once each and Jake Evoy collected three assists.

Josh O’Connell scored three goals for Gloucester, 0-8, including one on a penalty shot with three seconds left in the game. Zack O’Gorman, Ryan McCrea, David Plots, Nick Finlay, Tyler Hore and Alex Marchese shared the other Griffins goals.

Kingston outshot the home team 72-44, including 32-12 in the second period.

The Kings’ game with Brockville Thursday at Centre 70 will begin at 8 p.m. It will be preceded by a free barbecue hosted by the team’s alumni on the grounds, commencing at 6 o’clock, to which all fans are welcome.

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