Mike Morrison Shines Against His Two Former OHL Teams
Kingston's overaged netminder, Mike Morrison and his Frontenac teammates defeated the Peterborough Petes and the Kitchener Rangers in back to back nights. Morrison said that his teammates knew there were "lots of feelings" in these games for him and that they "battled hard, and did all the little things, like blocking shots." Morrison was drafted by, and played for, the Kitchener Rangers from the 2008-09 season until he was traded to the Petes, at the beginning of last season.
A big overtime win in Peterborough, against their Eastern Conference rival Petes is how the Frontenacs started their weekend. 16 year old Spencer Watson scored at 2:59 of overtime on a nice rush down the right side, after receiving a sharp pass from defenseman, Michael Moffat. Veteran Darcy Greenaway scored a pair, his 4th and 5th, and Cody Alcock scored his 5th.
Described as a "character win" by Coach Gill, the Frontenacs were up 3-1 at the end of the 2nd period. The Petes battled back in the third to tie the game with 6:44 gone in the third. Rather than hang their heads, the Fronts tightened up and forced overtime, to gain their first road point of the season, setting up Watson's overtime winner. What was most impressive was their penalty killing, especially at the end of the 3rd and the beginning of overtime, as Kingston took two consecutive delay of game penalties, and were faced with a long 5 on 3 disadvantage. In the end, the Fronts were a perfect 6-6 on the PK in the game. Morrison stopped 26 of 29 shots in this one.
Kingston returned home on Friday to take on the Kitchener Rangers, who were in town waiting for them. Tending goal for the Rangers was ex-Frontenac goalie, Frankie Palazzese, who played in 34 games for Kingston in the 2010-11 season. In goal for the Frontenacs was former Ranger goalie, Mike Morrison. Former Pete, Matt Puempel is currently leading the Rangers in scoring.
The first period was scoreless, but both teams had some chances. Morrison made a nice save on Nick Czinder and Palazzese with a great stop off Trevor Morbeck, who was back in the Frontenacs' lineup tonight for the first time in a while. Darcy Greenaway beat Palazzese, but not the post, late in the first.
The Fronts were great in the 2nd period. Jean Dupuy laid out Rangers' captain Ryan Murphy, with a great open ice hit, which seemed to fire up the team, early. Henri Ikonen scored his first OHL goal at 5:04 of the second from Ryan Kujawinski and Mike Moffat. Former Pete, Matt Puempel tied the game at 8:54 from Radek Faksa, his team leading, 6th of the season. Ikonen tallied his second of the night, as he ripped one past Palazzese, this time on a Fronts' powerplay. It was 2-1 for Kingston, after 2.
Just over 5minutes into the 3rd, Trevor Morbeck would score his first of the season to give the Fronts a 3-1 lead. Morbeck took a nice feed from rookie c, Dylan DiPerna, and broke down the right wing. He wristed one past the Rangers' goalie, high glove side. Kitchener would make it interesting, taking the play to the Fronts, and were rewarded when Eric Ming notched his first of the season, on a "close in" rebound chance on Morrison. This one was one tick shy of the 9 minute mark. Mike Morrison held the fort the rest of the way for Kingston, frustrating many of the "snake-bitten" Rangers. The post helped Morrison out, at least twice in the third, but he made many key saves, as well, most notably on Matia Marcantuoni, who was left all alone in the slot. Marcantuoni remains without a point in 7 games this season. Puempel was frustrated yet again by former teammate, Morrison, and it appeared as though the two "shared a moment" after some Morrison "thievery" near the end of the game.
Despite some tremendous late pressure by the Rangers, with Palazzese on the bench for the extra attacker, Kingston held on for a 3-2 win, to make it a perfect 2-0 weekend. Morrison was named the game's first star, after stopping 39 of 41 Rangers' shots.
The Frontenacs move to 5-3 on the season, and the Rangers drop to 3-3-0-1. This was the first time Kingston has defeated the Kitchener Rangers in more than 6 years.
It doesn't get any easier for the Frontenacs, as they will play 3 very good teams next weekend. They host the Plymouth Whalers next Friday night, and go to St. Catharines, to take on the Niagara Ice Dogs on Saturday, and finish their 3 games in 3 days in Kitchener, on Sunday afternoon. The Dogs and Rangers will be looking to avenge losses that they suffered at K-Rock Centre against the Frontenacs.