Big character win for the Fronts in 3-2 third period comeback vs North Bay
The Frontenacs saw their 6-game win streak come to an end on Friday night, but they were able to scratch out a point against a tough Owen Sound team to extend their point streak to seven games. On Sunday they looked to get back in the win column against the visiting North Bay Battalion. The two teams had only met once this season to this point, and that game was back in October. North Bay dominated Kingston 8-2 in a rare off night for Jeremy Helvig. Both rosters had changed significantly since that game. Brendan Bonello gave Jeremy Helvig the afternoon off getting his first start since January 12th.
It was a stellar third period effort by the Frontenacs. Ryan Cranford took full advantage of his promotion to the top line recording the game tying goal and later adding an assist on the game winner. Kingston showed resiliency to come back in the third, as well as their great depth. Neither Gabe Vilardi or Cliff Pu recorded a point, but the team still found a way to claw back and earn two points in a 3-2 win over North Bay.
For the second game in a row, Kingston got off to a slow start. Brendan Bonello showed no signs of rust despite the length of time between starts. His first save of the game was a beautiful left pad save. Bonello made several key saves throughout the period to keep Kingston in the game. North Bay was able to jump ahead late in the period. Mitchell Byrne took a tripping penalty to put the Battalion on the man advantage. He didn’t spend much time in the box, however, as Justin Brazeau scored just ten seconds into the power play to put the Battalion up 1-0 with just 6.6 seconds left in the period.
The second period was more of the same. Kingston struggled to create offensive chances. Linus Nyman had the best chance of the period after making a great move on the defenseman, but he wasn’t able to beat goaltender Julian Sime. Near the midway point of the game Adam Thilander extended the North Bay lead to 2-0. A wrist shot from the point handcuffed Brendan Bonello and beat him blocker side. Kingston’s frustration was starting to become visible. After shooting a puck high, Gabe Vilardi was noticeably upset with himself while going off the ice on a line change. Although things weren’t going well, the Frontenacs were still in the game trailing 2-0 with one period to play.
When you let a team with as much talent as Kingston hang around, it could come back to bite you, and that is exactly what happened to North Bay. The Frontenacs took complete control of the third period from the drop of the puck. Jason Robertson started the comeback with a nice tip in to get Kingston on the board. The pressure continued, but Kingston couldn’t find the back of the net for another ten minutes. When they did it was a beauty. Ryan Cranford, who had been bumped up to the top line with Vilardi and Nyman, scored on a short side wrist shot that went off the crossbar and in to tie the game. At that point it felt like the go-ahead goal was inevitable. Just over a minute later Linus Nyman proved that to be true. A point shot from Conor Ali bounced its way to the front of the net and Nyman tapped it in for the game winning goal.
Kingston will now head to Ottawa on Wednesday for a Valentine’s Day match-up against the rival 67’s. They return home on Friday night to host the Peterborough Petes at 7 PM in the first of three home games next weekend. They will also host the Kitchener Rangers on Sunday afternoon and the Barrie Colts on Monday afternoon. Both of those games will be 2 PM starts.