Frontenacs Win Two More At Home
Cody Alcock and his teammates have won 5 staight games.
Kingston Frontenacs hosted the Peterborough Petes on Friday night. The Petes had just broken a 7 game losing streak by beating the Ottawa 67s the night before, so they were coming in on a high. The Petes were without Stephen Pierog, who was suspended for one game for a slewfoot in the Ottawa game. The Petes sent veterankeeper, Andrew D'Agostini to the crease, in search of his first win of the season, in his 11th start.
The Fronts were coming in feeling good about themselves, as they had won 3 straight. They had been getting balanced scoring, and had been playing Coach Gill's system of getting pucks in deep, and puttingpressure on opponent's defense. They had looked much better defensively, as the forwards had come back to help the very young defense, more consistently, as well. Overage netminder, Mike Morrison, a former Pete, got his 8th consecutive start for the Frontenacs, in this one.
Ryan Kujawinski opened the scoring, with his 5th of the season, on a pass from linemate, Billy Jenkins. The Fronts had a 1-0, on their 2nd shot on goal, at the 7:18 mark of the first.
The Petes tied it up, when the Fronts left Nick Ritchie alone in the slot. He made no mistake, as he beat Morrison cleanly, low, stick side.
Spencer Watson continued his fine play as he threaded a perfect, centring pass to fellow 16 year old, Sam Bennett, for an easy tap in. The Frontenacs had a 2-1 lead at the end of the first and were being outshot by the Petes, 14-12.
Roland McKeown let fly a low point shot, on the 3rd Fronts' powerplay of the night, in the second period, which rookie, Marc Beckstead tipped in. Kingston had a 3-1 lead.
The Petes showed resilience, as Stephan Nosad tapped in a Greg Betzold pass from the goal line. Betzold did all of the work on the play, as he deked around a couple of Frontenac defenders prior to centering it to Nosad. Morrison had no chance, and it was 3-2.
Kingston would score the next three, including a highlight reel goal, which the rookie line of Sam Bennett, Henri Ikonen, and Spencer Watson, all had a hand in. Ikonen was the recipient of a beautiful pass by Spencer Watson. These three have found terrific chemistry since they were put together early in the season. All three possess great speed, skill and hockey sense, and will be fun to watch for the next couple of years in Kingston. Kingston outshot the Petes 19-11 in the second. The Frontenacs had a 6-3 lead, after 2.
Kingston played a solid, shut down, third period, and gave the Petes very few chances. Marc Beckstead scored his 2nd of the game, 4th of the season, late in third, to make the final 7-3.
Sunday afternoon would provide a huge test for the young Frontenacs, as Ryan Strome, Dougie Hamilton, and the rest of the Niagara Ice Dogs paid a visit to K-Rock Centre.
The Fronts played one of the their most complete periods of the season, in the first, against the second place team in the Eastern Conference. They outshot the Ice Dogs 10-8. Kingston seemed to win most of the puck battles, and really limited Niagara's chances to score.
Cody Alcock set the tone early, as he opened the scoring 1:15 into the opening period. Linemate, Darcy Greenaway pounced on a loose puck behind the Ice Dogs' goal, fed a nice pass to Alcock, who deked around goalie, Christopher Festarini, and deposited the puck into the empty net. The Fronts had an early 1-0 lead.
This seemed to catch Niagara off guard, as they only had 2 shots on goal through the first 13 mins. of the period.
Newcomer, Sam Povorozniouk made the score 2-0 Kingston, as he deposited a backhand behind Christopher Festarini, after new, linemate, Slater Doggett found him in the slot. The period ended 2-0 for the Fronts.
Henri Ikonen scored his 8th of the season, to make it 3-0 Kingston. The game remained that way until just beyond the mid way mark of regulation time.
Brett Ritchie shook off an earlier injury in the period, to notch his first of two goals at the 12:49 mark of the period. OHL leading point getter, Ryan Strome set up Ritchie in the slot, and he made no mistake. The Ice Dogs were coming on, down 3-1.
Darcy Greenaway took advantage of a horrendous Ice Dog giveaway to restore Kingston's lead, just 18 seconds later. Greenaway jumped on a lose puck in the slot, and beat Festarini cleanly, an unassisted marker, to make the score 4-1 Fronts.
With less than a minute remaining in the 2nd period, tough guy Joel Wigle checked a Frontenac defenseman behind Kingston's net, and fed a perfect pass to Brook Hiddink who beat Morrison to bring Niagara to within two at the end of two.
You got the feeling that the 2nd place team in the Eastern Conference wasn't done.
Kingston limited Niagara's chances for the first half of the period, and the score remained 4-2. Billy Jenkins used his speed to generate several opportunities early in the third, but wasn't able to restore Kingston's 3 goal lead. Sam Schutt hit the post 5 minutes into the third.
At 10:32 of the third, Anthony Difruscia ripped a wrist shot past Morrison to make it 4-3, and the comeback was complete when Ryan Strome again set up Brett Richie. Give the Dogs credit, as they completed the comeback, and sent the game to overtime.
Overtime solved nothing, and for the second straight Sunday afternoon, the Frontenacs were going to a shootout on home ice. Coach Gill likes to have his team shoot first to put the pressure on the opponents, and he did that again this afternoon. Spencer Watson beat Festarini, who had been spectacular in this one, to put the pressure on the Ice Dogs. Steven Shipley tied it at 1. Henri Ikonen appeared to put the Fronts up 2-1 in the shootout, but after video review, it was determined that the puck hit the crossbar, and never entered the net. Strome and Greenaway scored for their teams, leaving it up to Sam Bennett who deked around Christopher Festarini to put the Fronts up in the shootout. Morrison stopped Mitchell Theoret to send the nice, Sunday afternoon crowd home happy. Kingston had won 5-4 in a SO, to remain the only perfect team in extra time in the OHL this season. They have won 2 games in OT, and now 3 in SOs.
Kingston ended their weekend with a perfect 2-0 record, and extended their winning streak to 5 games. They have 24 points, and are 3 points behind the Generals and Bulls and have played 3 fewer games than the Gens, and 1 fewer than the Bulls.
Next up for the Frontenacs is a Tuesday night game at Scotiabank Place, in Kanata, against the struggling Ottawa 67s. They follow that with a gruelling weekend road trip to Plymouth, Saginaw, and Windsor, on Friday, and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoon.