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Kings enter final week of regular schedule
Posted: July 9th, 2013 @ 12:28am
Kingston Kings will conclude their Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League schedule this week with a pair of games, beginning Wednesday night in Ottawa, where they will face the winless Gloucester Griffins.
It will be the final game of the season for the Griffins, 0-15, and they'll be looking to upset the Kings, the only team they defeated this summer, in an exhibition game in May. The Kings, meanwhile, will need the victory to retain hope of finishing fourth and securing the advantage of first and extra home game in the first-round of playoffs.
As it stands, the Kings, 5-8-1, can finish no lower than fifth and no better than fourth, which means a date in the opening best-of-five series with the Whitby Warriors, 6-7-1 and two points ahead of Kingston as the final week begins. Whitby, similarly unable to finish any higher than fourth place, concludes its schedule with a home-and-home series with Peterborough.
Kingston must finish ahead of Whitby to secure fourth place, since the tie-breaker would favour Whitby, winner of both regular-season contests with the Kings.
Kingston's final game will be at home Thursday night against the Brockville Ballistic. The Ballistic were part of an interesting weekend in junior C lacrosse, as it defeated division-leading Clarington 12-6 in Clarington on Saturday for just its fourth win of the season. Then, on Sunday, the Cornwall Celtics took over the East division lead with a 12-4 win at Clarington.
The Shamrox, three-time defending Ontario champions, opened the season 12-0 but they have now lost three in a row.
Brockville, 4-10-1, can move into a points tie with Kingston if the Kings lose both games, but the tie favours Kingston, which has two wins and a tie with the Ballistic this season and has already clinched the season series.
The Kings haven't faced Gloucester since June 9, when they posted a 16-9 win in Ottawa, jumping to a 6-0 lead eight and a half minutes into the game and coasting from there. It was Kingston's largest offensive output of the year but the nine goals the Griffins scored that night - and in the season-opening 12-9 loss at Kingston - also represent the Griffins' offensive high-water mark this season.
Kingston's game with Brockville Thursday will be interesting beyond the years-long rivalry the teams share. It will be the first time former King Jay Waller will face his former teammates in a Ballistic uniform. Waller, released by the Kings June 29, joined Brockville in time for its weekend games with Whitby and Clarington, scoring once and collecting four assists.
To date, Kingston has won both meetings in Brockville, and posted an 8-8 overtime tie at Centre 70, in a game where the Kings overcame a 7-3 deficit with three unanswered goals in the third period to force the extra period.
These two games present an opportunity for Kyle Aylesworth to climb as high sixth place among Kingston junior scorers, all-time. With 49 points in 14 games this year, Aylesworth now has 133 points in his career, most by any player in the modern era, and with average games (3.5 points per game) he can move past Dan Wilson (135 points) and Hugh McDermid (138 points), both of whom played for the Kings in the mid-seventies.
Thursday's game at Centre 70 will begin at 8 p.m.
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