May 6 - From the beginning, the 2018 season has been about giving the Saints franchise a fresh start. A new look, a new attitude and a lot of new players. Growing pains are naturally also going to be part of that process and the Saints showed their age in the back-end of a home-and-home with the Kings.
Cory Campbell manned the goal for Newmarket, while Andrew Denne started for Orillia.
Much like the first game between these clubs, the Saints got off to a quick start. Rookie Josh Connors scored his first Jr goal, quickly followed by a tally by Will Lynch. Then the parade to the box reemerged for the Saints. The Kings capitalized with two on the power play and added another to take the lead. A jewelry call also cost the Saints Luca Romano for the game. Newmarket managed to rally and tie the game at 3s with Lynch’s second to go into the break knotted up.
The second started with the Kings controlling the play, leading to a pair of goals less than six minutes in. Once again, the Saints responded. Aiden Flannery finished off a nice fast break pass from Dante Romano, followed quickly by Romano putting home one of his own. Just over five minutes later, Kavon Pinnock flashed some incredible speed and gave the Saints the lead. A spirited tussle between Connors and the Kings Michael Greco seemed to have tilted momentum Newmarket’s way and the team went into intermission up 6-5.
But in the third, it was the Kings that dug in and took over. They tied the game a minute in, kicking off a five goal run. Add in some big stops by Denne in the Kings goal and it was enough to give Orillia the win.
“We had the game where we wanted it, 6-5 going to the third, and we let it slip away,” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. “We made some rookie mistakes, players and coaches, and in the end they capitalized on their chances. Give their team credit, they showed their veteran presence, and they earned it.”
Final score: Kings 10 - Saints 7.
Up next - the Saints travel to Brampton to take on the Excelsiors. Game time is 7PM at Jim Archdekin Recreation Centre.