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Kings to renew engagement with playoff foe

May 21, 2014

Kingston Kings will try for their first win ever over the Whitby Warriors when the teams meet for the only time this Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League season Thursday night at Centre 70.  Game time is 8 o’clock.

The Kings are 0-6 in the regular season versus Whitby since the Warriors entered the league in 2010. Last year, Whitby swept Kingston out of the first round of playoffs in three straight games.

The Warriors come to Kingston with a 2-1 record, while the Kings are 1-1-1.

As Kingston was hit hard by player loss, the Warriors lost their top two scorers from last year. Connor van Ryn (29 goals, 53 points, eighth in the league in scoring) and Jeff Fernandes (39 points in 13 games, 14 of them in two games against Kingston) are both playing this year for the junior B Green Gaels.

The Kings, meanwhile, still have their Whitby nemesis, Zach Masterson. The second-year junior had five of Kingston’s 14 regular-season goals against the Warriors last year (and assists on three of the other nine) and he then had a hand in eight of the Kings’ 17 goals in the playoff series with Whitby, scoring four of them.

Masterson is coming off a team record-tying 10-point performance last week in the 12-12 overtime tie against Gloucester, a game in which he scored a career-best five goals.

With 17 points in three games, Masterson stands fifth in league scoring, behind four players who have all played at least one more game. Kingston’s Josh Smith is sixth, with 15 points in the two games he’s played.

Whitby’s leading scorer, Matt Latin, has 11 points in three games. To date, no one among the Warriors has scored more than four goals.

Averaging 10.3 goals per game, the Kings are the third-highest scoring club in the 17-team league, behind Peterborough (12.0) and Cornwall (11.3). They’ll face a tough test Thursday, however, against the league’s fourth-best defensive team (Whitby has allowed just 6.0 goals against per game).

The game is the second of four in a row the Kings are playing at home this month. Saturday at Centre 70, the Kings will play the Huntsville Hawks for the first time in team history. The Hawks are 1-2 going into their game Thursday with winless Innisfil.

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