Applekings lose 4-0 to Defending AA Champions, News (Applekings)

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Oct 08, 2023 | Mackenzie | 215 views
Applekings lose 4-0 to Defending AA Champions
The Applekings lost a season opening thriller in Tavistock on Saturday, October 7th, 2023 against the defending AA Champion, Royals. 

Tavistock, ON - The Applekings started on their new hockey journey with a thrilling season opener against the fast and gritty, Tavistock Royals. In a fast-paced and hard-fought contest, the Applekings showed they can compete against the leagues best, but fell short in a closely contested match.

The evening began with a Banner Raising Ceremony to celebrate the Royals' AA Championship-winning team from the previous season. Among the honorees was the long-time Captain, Geoff Killing, who had proudly worn the Royals jersey for nine seasons and had an impressive tally of over 200 senior games, combining regular season and playoff appearances. Royals fans and players paid tribute to Geoff Killing for his outstanding career. Congratulations on your retirement from competitive hockey, Geoff.

The game itself was a showcase of skill and grit, with both teams exchanging scoring opportunities early on. The Applekings generated multiple chances to beat the Royals' goalie. Whether it was a shot hitting the post or a timely defensive clearance, the puck just wouldn't find its way into the net. Players like Austin Russell, Sean Dinsmore, and Evan Buehler came close with some great chances in close range, but the Royals' goalie stood tall. It was Erik Robichaud of the Royals who managed to break the deadlock with a wrap-around goal midway through the first period. Everything else that period was even and shots at the end of the period favored Tavistock 13-12.

The second period kicked off with a bang, as Austin Russell delivered a big hit that led to a 5-minute major penalty for charging. The Applekings displayed grit and determination during the penalty kill but conceded a late goal to Sean Kienapple of the Royals with just 49 seconds left in the penalty, putting them down by 2 goals. Following the penalty kill, the Applekings appeared somewhat sluggish, but they managed to keep the Royals from adding to their lead. Shots in the period were 10-7 in favor of Tavistock.

Although the Applekings were outscored 2-0 in the third period, they continued to battle hard, creating numerous chances in their pursuit of their franchise's first-ever goal. The first of the two goals for the Royals came as Shawn Lantz scored a short-handed goal early in the third at the end of an Applekings Power-Play. The second was netted by Sean Kienapple with 6:33 remaining. Even with their strong offensive efforts, the Applekings couldn't close the gap in the third period, despite outshooting the Royals 15-8.

This game offered a promising start for the Applekings in their new season and league, demonstrating that they can compete with one of the league's top teams from start to finish. A few fortunate bounces early in the game could have significantly altered the outcome.

Noah Featherstonhaugh Gowe, making his first senior hockey start, showcased his skills with some remarkable backdoor saves that left Royals' players in disbelief.

The Applekings now look forward to their Home Opener against the Creemore Coyotes on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 5:30 PM at the Beaver Valley Community Centre. The team aims to secure their first victory in front of their home fans, building on the promise shown in this exciting season opener.
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