Sep 21, 2019 | Sportsgate | 207 views
Kingston JRs Win Home Opener
September 21, 2019: Sportsgate HOCKEY: So how did the Kingston JR Ice Wolves follow up a season in which no previous team or individual record appeared insurmountable? Well, at least in their 2019-20 Provincial Women’s Hockey League season-opening contest on Friday night at the Invista Centre, they simply laid waste to another bundle of bests.
The Ice Wolves, who finished first in the league last season with a franchise-best 28-2-7-1 mark and destroyed numerous old records along the way, dumped the Southwest Jr. Wildcats of Windsor 10-4.And it didn’t take long for the records to start breaking.Following a bit of a shock when the Wildcats’ Sarah Marchand scored on their very first shot of the game 33 seconds after the opening faceoff, the Ice Wolves regrouped and stunned the Wildcats right back — first with a pair of short-handed goals on the same penalty just 46 seconds apart surrounding the three-minute mark.Veteran defencemen Zoe Uens of Belleville and Megan Breen of Kingston did the scoring on near identical plays when they were fed the puck after finding themselves unusually all alone in front of the net with the Wildcats enjoying a manpower advantage. It was the first time in franchise history (the club was launched in 2012-13) that the team had scored multiple times while killing a penalty.Later in the first period, following a power-play goal by veteran Rebecca Thompson of Kingston at 8:10, newcomer Kiara Zanon chipped in with the team’s third short-handed marker, both an Ice Wolves period and game record. Their previous game and period high was two short-handed goals, set by Brianna Gaffney and Deena Birney in the first period of a 2-1 victory over the Brampton Canadettes on Sept. 28, 2014.Zanon, of Rochester, N.Y., and a member of the 2019 U.S. under-18 team, had drawn assists on Breen’s and Thompson’s goals and went on to collect a franchise single-game high seven points, scoring twice and tying the team high-water mark of five assists.The previous record of five points in a game was achieved by Darcie Lappan three times (twice last season and once in 2017-18) and Thompson and Madie Stockfish, twice each last season. Included in one of Lappan’s five-pointers was a five-assist game.Maddi Wheeler of Erinsville, and a member of the 2019 Canadian under-18 team, also made a splash in her Ice Wolves debut, collecting six points, including also tying the assist record of five.After opening their 4-1 first-period lead, the Ice Wolves reeled off three more goals in the second period, with newcomer Alexa Pongo of Midhurst, Ont., Zanon and Wheeler doing the scoring.In the third, the teams each scored three times, with rookie Madison Cronkwright of Napanee, returnee Chihiro Suzuki and rookie Haylie Kirkpatrick of Kingston doing the damage for Kingston. They were the final three of a team record nine different players to score at least one goal in the same game, and the team’s 10 goals overall landed it one shy of the club single-game record, set last season in an 11-0 win over Brampton on Jan. 20, 2019.The season-opening win extended the Ice Wolves’ impressive record in first games of a campaign. Since 2012-13, they have only been beaten once in their inaugural game, going 4-1-3. Their only loss came in 2016-17, when they opened the season on the road in Cambridge. The Ice Wolves did, however, win their first home game that same season, and are now a sparkling 5-0-3 in such contests.