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Kings humbled by Huntsville Hawks

May 25, 2014

Josh Smith scored six goals, Zach Masterson tied an all-time Kingston junior record for points in a game but it couldn’t prebent the Kingston Kings from dropping an 18-17 decision to the Huntsville Hawks in an Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League game Saturday night at Centre 70.

The win was the second in five games for Huntsville, while the loss left the Kings at 1-3-1, with just one win in their last eight games at home, dating to May, 2013.

Kingston looked like it was going to run away with the game, with three goals in the first two and a half minutes, but that was before Huntsville scored the next five in a row, in a span of less than eight minutes, to chase starting Kings goaltender Isaac Sharrow.

Kingston never did regain the lead, despite some furious scoring flourishes, as the teams traded five goals in a span of three minutes in the first period, six goals in the first seven minutes of the third and four in less than three minutes at the end of the game.

The Hawks held period leads of 8-6 and 12-10, then with three straight goals to start the third period looked poised to put the Kings away. Kingston rallied, but the Kings couldn’t close the gap to less than three goals until less than two minutes remained to be played. Bryce Drew’s second goal of the game with 1:42 left and  Masterson’s third goal of the game at 19:07 brought the home team within a goal.

Kingston called time out with 19.1 seconds left and had possession of the ball but the Kings missed their shot, Huntsville got the loose ball and ran out the clock to preserve the win.

Masterson ended the game with 13 points — three goals and 10 assists — tying the all-time Kingston junior record for points in a game set by Bryan Alexander on July 27, 1975, against St. Regis.

It’s the second time in three games that Masterson had a record night. Against Gloucester May 15, he had 10 points in the 12-12 tie, matching the modern (post-2009) single-game record. He now has 11 goals and 31 points in Kingston’s first five games this year.

In just his third game, Smith increased his goal total to 15 and Drew scored his first two goals of the season for Kingston amid a four-point night. Kaleb Bingley and Cain Brown also scored twice for the Kings, who got their other goals from Eric Brick — his first as a junior — and J.P. DiFilippo.

A team that scored 27 goals in its first four games of the season, Huntsville was led by Tyler Conn and Luke Allen. Conn, who had just two goals in his first four games, scored five times for the Hawks and added three assists. Allen had seven points, including a pair of goals. Teagan Meredith, Jon Brown and Chris McLaughlin, with three goals apiece, Brodie Muckler and Shea Greenaway scored the other goals for the Hawks.

The Kings have given up more than 18 goals three times since the team was revived in 2009, but they hadn’t allowed more than 14 goals in a game since 2010. Their 17 goals matched the team’s offensive high water mark in the modern era.

The 35 total goals was the most by two teams in a game since the junior C league was reformed in 2008, breaking the record of 34 set June 28, 2010, when Peterborough defeated the Kingston Cavaliers 29-5.

Kingston will conclude its four-game home stand Thursday, when the Cornwall Celtics will visit Centre for an 8 p.m. match.

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