Bears down the Kings 6-5 0
SEAN CHASE Smith Falls forward Michael Buonincontri (second from right) scores the first of three goals on Pembroke goalie Andy Monroe. Lumber Kings defenseman Keegan Harper (left) slides in trying to clear the rebound. The Bears beat the Kings 6-5 Sunday night.
For fans of the game looking to drench their NHL hockey drought, the Pembroke Lumber Kings didn't disappoint Sunday night.
The upside for the folks in the stands expecting some high flying action is that 11 goals were scored under the roof of the Pembroke Memorial Centre. The downside is our Junior 'A' club came up one goal short of a win extending their current losing streak to three games.
Smiths Falls edged out Pembroke 6-5. Still the flurry of goal production has to be seen as a positive development after the low-scoring affair between the Lumber Kings and Hawkesbury on Friday which result in a 2-1 overtime clincher for the Hawks.
Early in the first period Sunday Pembroke found themselves on the powerplay and capitalized on the opportunity. Sailing over the blue line, Cody Trowell ripped the shot through traffic at Bears net minder Patrick Martin. Michael Crocock and Keegan Harper picked up the helpers.
However, it didn't take long for the Bears to strike back. After a bad give away by the Kings, who did not clear the puck out of their zone after icing was waived off, Ryan Eardley picked up the rebound and beat Lumber Kings goalie Andy Monroe.
Then with pressure still in Pembroke's end, Smiths Falls' centre Chris Maniccia flipped a backhanded shot at Monroe's pads. While the puck was initially blocked, winger Jesse Blais collected the rebound to allow the Bears to jump out to a 2-1 lead.
With Patrick Sexton off in the box for interference, the Lumber Kings, armed with the man advantage, evened things when Ben Dalpe banged the puck past an unsuspecting Martin to his right side. Jordan Larson and Charlie Connell earned the assists.
The second period was largely a defensive battle with both teams trading momentum. However, it was Michael Buonincontri who sucked the wind out of the Lumber Kings' sails with two quick goals. First, Monroe lost the puck in a scramble before the Bears left winger scored a dirty goal after knocking down the Pembroke netminder. Then Buonincontri, perched to Monroe's left side, intercepted the pass from Sexton to knock the puck giving Smiths Falls a two-goal cushion.
With the period ticking down, Pembroke refused to go away quietly. Right winger Stephen Hrehoriak stormed the Smiths Falls net firing point blank before Dalpe picked up the rebound to score his second of the night.
The pairing of Buonincontri with Yannick Crete restored the two-goal lead for Smiths Falls minutes into the third. Pembroke's Emilio Audie was attempting to clear when Buonincontri stripped him of the puck, dropping it to Crete who blasted it at the Kings' net. However, Hrehoriak drew his team to within one when he roofed the puck top shelf on Martin. Hrehoriak then cycled the puck behind the net and snapped it to Larson who, stationed in front of Martin, drilled it past the goalie to tie the game. Dalpe also picked up assists on both goals giving him four points on the night.
Proving that he will be the Kings' chief nemesis in future meetings, Buonincontri blunted the change in fortunes for Pembroke completing the hat trick with a deflection through traffic.
On Friday night, Pembroke lost a road game to the Hawkesbury Hawks 2-1. After a scoreless opening period, Stephen Hrehoriak, assisted by Brendan McGuire and Jordan Larson, got the Kings on the board in the second. Hawkesbury's Antonios Roumeliotis tied the game in the third. Pietro Antonelli scored the game winning goal in overtime.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist