Pictured is Kingston's overage goalie, Mike Morrison in action against his former team, the Peterborough Petes.
The Kingston Frontenacs took on the Peterborough Petes, who were dead last in the OHL, on Thursday night, in Peterborough. The Petes were coming off of a 3-2 OT loss to the Bulls in Belleville on Wednesday night, and came out with a determined effort against another arch rival.
Both teams came out flying and put on a show for the faithful, victory starved, Peterborough fans. The night ended with the Petes' faithful serenading their heroes for a second consecutive Thursday night with a
standing ovation, as Peterborough defeated the Frontenacs 3-2 in OT. Former Frontenac, Alan Quine made a nice play to set up Nick Ritchie at 3:17 of overtime. The Petes had the only 4 shots of the overtime period, after being outshot 52 to 42 in regulation time. Rookie goalie, Michael Giugovaz stood on his head, at times, to earn the win for the Petes.
1600 stuffies made their way to the ice 15:43 into the first period, as Stephen Pierog deposited a rebound off of a Greg Betzold shot, to give the Petes a 1-0, on Peterborough's version of Teddy Bear toss night. The game remained 1-0 until 1:43 past the mid way point of regulation, when Frontenacs' rookie, Spencer Watson beat Giugovaz, for his 12th goal of the season. Ryan Kujawinski had taken the original shot from the slot. Kingston
outshot Peterborough 27-13 in a wide open, second, which finished with the teams tied at one.
Kingston continued to put pressure on Giugovaz throughout the third, but it was the Petes who took the lead on an unassisted goal by Brett Findlay. Kingston's pressure was rewarded at 7:14, when defenseman, and Finnish World Jr team hopeful, Mikko Vainonen scored on the powerplay from Roland McKeown, and Cody Alcock. The team would like Mikko to shot more, as he has is a big man, with an excellent shot.
Former Pete, Mike Morrison, and Giugovaz took over from there, sending the game to overtime, where Ritchie ended it. The Petes had moved past the free falling Ottawa 67s to claim 9th in the Eastern Conference.
Former Frontenac, Clarke Seymour, and current Frontenac, Jean Dupuy were each suspended 2 games by the league, for what was determined to be a "staged fight", after fighting immediately after returning to the ice, after service two minute roughing penalties.
The Fronts had a road point, and this was the first time that they didn't get both points in a game that went beyond 60 minutes.
On Friday night, Kingston hosted the Brampton Battalion for the last time, unless the two teams meet in the playoffs, as the Battalion will be in North Bay next year. Another good Friday night crowd of over 3500 fans attended this one at K-Rock Centre in Kingston. This was the second night in a row that Teddy Bears would be flying at the Kingston Frontenacs.
For the second straight game, Kingston was scored on first. This time a defenseman was beaten at Brampton's blueline, sending Brandon Robinson, and Matt Macleod in on a 2 on 1. Robinson made no mistake and beat, Kingston starter, Mike Morrison cleanly, to open the scoring at 7:15 of the first.
Brampton starter Matej Machovsky was very good in this one, and made a beautiful save off of Marc Beckstead mid way through the first, to keep the score 1-0 for Brampton. Cody Alcock scored the goal that released
the bears, at 16:26 of the first on a great individual effort. Machovsky had just made another great save on Alcock, but Cody was heading to the net, and picked up the rebound, and deked around the Brampton goalie, to knot the game at one.
The first 1:27 of the 2nd period proved to be the most offensive short period of time in recent memory in Kingston's games against Stan Butler's team. Czech import, Patrik Machac tipped in a low shot by Brandon Childerley, offering Morrison no chance to make the save, 30 seconds into the period. Samuel Schutt wristed one past Machovsky 19 seconds after that. Doggett and Greenaway drew assists on Schutt's 2nd as a Frontenac, and 4th of the season. Jamie Lewis made it 3-2 at 1:27 of the period.
The second period was a very entertaining period, and both goalies were on top of their game. Fronts rookie, Sam Bennett drew a penalty as the Battalion couldn't handle the Fronts' rookie line of Spencer Watson, Henri Ikonen, and Bennett down low. Just after the Kingston PP ended it was Bennett who tied the game, with a rocket over the shoulder of the Battalion goalie. The second period ended, tied at 3, with Kingston outshooting Brampton 27-19.
36 seconds into the third, Kingston's leading point getter, Darcy Greenaway scored, what proved to be the game winner, his team leading 18th of the season. Kingston's coach, Todd Gill showed great confidence in the rookie line, as they were out there for many key faceoffs, even in the defensive zone, with time winding down, and the Brampton net empty. The confidence paid off, as Mike Morrison, and the Frontenacs held on for a 4-3, home ice win over Brampton. Each team had won both of their home games in the season series. The win vaulted the Fronts into a 6th place tie with Brampton in the Eastern Conference, with 33 points in 30 games.
Kingston were facing a very tough road game in Barrie on Saturday night, to finish their busy 3 game in 3 day stretch. Barrie led the Eastern Conference, and were ranked 8th in the BMO CHL most recent rankings.
Rookie goalkeeper, Colin Furlong got the start for Kingston, against Barrie's Mathias Niederberger.
It didn't take long for the Ice Dogs to welcome Furlong to the crease, as defenseman Ryan O'Connor ripped his 14th goal of the year by him, before he moved. It was 1-0. The Dogs would have a 3-0 lead before the end of the first on goals by Steven Byers, and Andreas Athanasiou, his first of two on the night. Kingston was getting beaten along the boards, and outworked. The shots were even at 11 in the first.
Mike Morrison replaced Furlong at the beginning of the 2nd and turned aside only 9 Barrie shots in a scoreless period. Kingston got some life when Roland McKeown buried a lovely pass by Kingston captain, Cody Alcock. It was 3-1 six minutes into the 3rd period.
The Colts would get three quick goals over the next 6 minutes to put this one out of reach. Henri Ikonen lifted one over Niederberger's shoulder at 16:23 on a Kingston powerplay.
The game took a nasty turn mid way through the frame, with a number of roughing, high sticking and a check from behind penalty. The final score was 6-2 for the Colts, and they extended their lead on Niagara and Belleville to three points. Barrie leads the Eastern Conference with 43 points in their 30 games. Kingston remained tied with Brampton for 6th in the Conference with 33 points. Brampton has since taken a two point lead on the Fronts with a victory over the Erie Otters on Sunday.
Next up for Kingston is a very difficult 3 in 3 weekend, as they host Mississauga on Friday night, then travel to Sarnia on Saturday night, before facing the OHL's best team, the Knights, in London on Sunday afternoon.
They will be doing all of this without the services of Henri Ikonen, and Mikko Vainonen, who have left to try out for the Finnish World Junior team. Roland McKeown has just been diagnosed with a mild shoulder separation, the same injury afflicting, fellow defenseman, Michael Moffat. Both players are expected to miss this weekend's action, and in the case of McKeown, 2 to 3 more weeks.
Rejoining the team will be Jean Dupuy, fresh off of his two game suspension. Defenseman, Matthew Watson, Spencer's twin brother, may join the team this weekend, as well, as he was recently signed by Kingston.
Hopefully Billy Jenkins will rejoin the team for this weekend, as he missed all of the last weekend, with a bad dose of the flu.
It will be critical for the young Fronts to keep their game simple, work hard, and get solid goaltending, if they have any hope of gaining ground in the standings this weekend. It will be a tall order, indeed.