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Loss to Gloucester dooms Kings to last place

July 3, 2014

OTTAWA — Kingston Kings will face the Far East division champion Peterborough Lakers in the opening round of Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League playoffs, starting Sunday.

The Kings earned that dubious honour Wednesday night when they dropped a 16-12 decision to the Gloucester Griffins. With the win, Gloucester clinched third place and a first-round post-season date with the second-place Cornwall Celtics.

Kingston, 1-13-1 and loser of 12 in a row, will end its regular schedule at Centre 70 Thursday at 8 p.m., against Cornwall.

Playing at Earl Armstrong Arena, the teams were tied 4-4 at the end of the first period Wednesday and 5-5 six minutes into the second when the Griffins took control. They led 7-6 when they scored three goals in just less than two minutes late in the period and they took an 11-8 lead into the third. Gloucester scored three straight goals to start the final stanza to go ahead 14-8 and though they scored four goals in the last 10 minutes of the game, the Kings never threatened to take the lead.

Hunter Drew scored the first four goals of his junior career and added an assist for the Kings. Zach Masterson reached the 20-goal plateau with three goals, and he added three assists to improve his career-best points total to 49. Austin Munro scored his first junior goal and had three assists in his first game with Kingston.

Munro was one of four Nepean intermediate players who joined the Kings for Wednesday’s game. All four had strong performances and two others, Justin Lalonde and Mitch Tunnell, also scored their first junior goals.

Logan Rose and Kaleb Bingley also scored for Kingston.

Josh O’Connell led Gloucester with three goals and four assists. Ryan Lafranchise had four goals and an assist and Matt Lewis scored three times for the Griffins. Tyler Collins had two goals among his five points.

Gloucester, which ended the regular year 2-12-2, continues to hold a spell over the Kings. In their last 43 league and playoff games dating to late June, 2012, the Griffins have but two victories, both of them this year over Kingston. As well, the Griffins gained a 12-12 overtime tie in Kingston in May, and in the past two springs they’ve won three of four exhibitions against the Kings.

Kingston will open the best-of-three division semifinal with Peterborough Sunday, 8 p.m., at Centre 70. Game 2 will be played Tuesday night in Peterborough.

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