Kingston Frontenacs Complete Perfect Weekend
Pictured in Frontenacs' forward Henri Ikonen who was a game star in both games this weekend.Kingston hosted their arch rivals, the Belleville Bulls on Friday night, November 9th, on Hometown Heroes night at K-RockCentre.
Both teams came out flying in front of the biggest crowd of the season at K-Rock Centre in Kingston, announced at 4273. Both goaltenders were equal to the task in the first period, as the game remained scoreless, after one. Morrison made difficult saves early in the frame off of Brady Austin from the slot, and late off of Joseph Cramarossa, who snuck in on the left side. Malcolm Subban made point blank saves off of Jean Dupuy and Billy Jenkins, who was set up beautifully by Ryan Kujawinski.
Daniil Zharkov beat Morrison cleanly, but hit the post, early in the 2nd period. He gets rid of the puck quickly and has a sweet shot. Jordan Subban, who was clearly the Bulls' best defenseman in the game,took a penalty in the first half of the period, but it was the Bulls who seemed to draw energy from it, and Morrison made a huge stop off of Garrett Hooey. Mitchell Fitzmorris stuck up for teammate, Dupuy, who had been high sticked in the face, as he fought Adam Bignell. Bignell was only assessed a 2 min minor and 5 minutes for fighting. Fitzmorris got 2 for being the instigator, 5 for fighting and a 10 minute misconduct. The game was scoreless, after two, and the two teams each had 21 shots.
Malcolm Subban entered the third, having shut out the Frontenacs for 5 straight periods, dating back to their 1-0 Bulls' win back on October 27th in Belleville. The teams had a combined total of 120 shots, and only one goal had been scored, by Austen Brassard, in the first period of the Oct. 27th game.
The third period saw the goalies continue to shine. Joseph Cramarrossa was robbed early by Morrison, on a point blank opportunity, and Billy Jenkins was stopped on his first shot, and again on a rebound, by Subban. Daniil Zharkov took an accidental high stick by newest Front, Ryan Hanes, which required some attention. Zharkov was out for much of the third, but returned near the end of the period. A tough kid, for sure.
While killing a penalty, mid way through the 3rd, Kujawinski, and Jenkins broke in on a two on one, but couldn't beat Malcolm Subban. Jenkins would be stopped later in the frame, on a clear breakaway from the blueline.
The line of Ikonen, Bennett, and Watson broke the ice and scored the first goal of the game, on a play where they used their speed to their advantage. Sam Bennett grabbed a puck in the Bulls' zone, feed Watson behind the net, who found Ikonen, who beat a defender from the side boards, to the front of the net. Henri made no mistake, as he backhanded a low shot between Subban's legs, at 15:15 of the 3rd. Kingston had a 1-0 lead, with less than 5 minutes left in the third, much to the delight of the largest crowd of the season at K-Rock Centre.
Sam Bennett would add an empty netter to seal the win, for the Frontenacs, who returned to the .500 mark, at 9-9-0-0. It took Kingston until the 5th of January to register their 9th win last season. Despite the low score, this game was anything but boring. The big crowd got their money's worth, for sure.
On Remembrance Day, the Frontenacs hosted the Saginaw Spirit, who were coming in after beating the Ottawa 67s 8-3, on Friday night, and the Belleville Bulls 4-3 in overtime, on Saturday night.
Mike Morrison got the call in goal for Kingston, his 7th start in a row. Rookie, Russian Import, Nikita Serebryakov got the call for Saginaw, his 5th start of the season. Serebryakov finished only one of his first 4 starts of the season, his last one, on October 27th, against the Peterborough Petes. In that game he stopped 47 of 50 shots, but took the loss (and the third star) in a 3-1.
Kingston wanted to put the pressure on the young goalie early in this one. The Fronts' broadcasters certainly wanted this, as well, so they wouldn't be forced to pronounce his name throughout the entire game, if he was lifted in favour of Saginaw's starter, Jake Paterson.
Both teams came out flying in the first, and the goalies were good. Mike Morrison was the busier of the two goals, and made nice stops off of Vincent Trocheck, and Garrett Ross. The Spirit broke the deadlock at17:10 of the first, as Terry Trafford and Eric Locke broke in on a 2 on 1, shorthanded. Trafford feathered a perfect pass over to Locke, who buried his, team leading, 13th of the season. The period ended, with the Spirit ahead of the Fronts, 1-0.
Marselis Subban, cousin of PK, Malcolm and Jordan, took a penalty early in the second, and it only took the Frontenacs 15 seconds to respond with a powerplay goal. Warren Steele spotted Darcy Greenaway in theslot and fed him a perfect pass. Darcy beat Serebryakov cleanly over the glove hand. Kingston had tied it at one. Cody Alcock also recorded an assist on the play.
The line of Henri Ikonen, Spencer Watson and Sam Bennett were buzzing in the Spirit zone, but as is often the case, the Spirit scored their second of the game, to take a 2-1 lead. Morrison was screened and Nick Moutrey scored, unassisted.
The Frontenacs would get their second powerplay opportunity late in the period, and would take only 18 seconds to tie it up. This time Henri Ikonen would spot Spencer Watson streaking towards the goal.Watson wristed his 8th of the season over Serebryakov's shoulder. The game was tied at two after two.
The Timbits players really seemed to spark the excitement in the building, as both teams had a great third period.
Henri Ikonen collected an "eye high" pass from Jean Dupuy and buried his 6th of the season, just shy of the 5 minute mark of the third. Rookie, Roland McKeown would also get an assist on the play. Kingston had a 3-2 lead.
Five minutes later the Fronts would score theirthird powerplay goal of the afternoon. Billy Jenkins would score from the slot,on a great pass from Darcy Greenaway. The Frontenacs had a 4-2 lead.
Give the Spirit loads of credit, as rather than fold, they took the play to the Fronts for the latter half of the frame, and were rewarded at the 11:57 mark, on a goal by Vincent Trocheck, who was easily the most dangerous Spirit on the afternoon. Just over two minutes later, Saginaw would tie it up, on a powerplay goal by Dalton Young, his second of the season.
Regulation would end with the two teams tied at 4, and for the second straight game, against Eastern opponents, the Spirit were headed for overtime.
Kingston had the better of the play in overtime, but couldn't beat backup goalie, Nikita Serebryakov, who played a very good game for the Spirit.
A shootout was needed. The goalies were determined to continue to extend the game, as neither team scored until the 5th round, when rookie, Sam Bennett stickhandled past Serebryakov for the goal. Dalton Young was stopped by the goalpost, then slid into the goalpost, for good measure, and the Fronts hadtheir 5-4 victory.
The Frontenacs completed their, 2 game, perfect weekend, and moved to within a single point of the Brampton Battalion, who have played two more games than Kingston, and hold down the 6th spot in the EasternConference. More importantly, the Frontenacs have built a little momentum in their continuing quest to improve, with such a young lineup. Kingston proved early in the season that they can score in bunches and win in wide open hockey games, but now they seem willing to follow Coach Gill's game plan, and work hard enough to win tight checking, low scoring games, as well.
The Fronts will continue their home stand next weekend with games against the Peterborough Petes on Friday night, and the Niagara Ice Dogs on Sunday afternoon.