The Kingston Frontenacs did everthing they needed to do in coach Todd Gill’s eyes — everything that is but nail down a victory against the first-place Barrie Colts.
Anthony Camara sent the game to overtime with a goal at 18:25 of the third period and the Colts won the extra point in a shootout, taking a 3-2 decision over the Frontenacs before a crowd of 4,461 at the K-Rock Centre Friday night.
“It was a solid, solid hockey game. We did everything right. Anyone can say what they want but we deserved better in that game,” Gill said.
“We made one mistake and that is what first-place teams do, they make you pay for that one mistake.”
It was Kingston’s 10th straight game without a win. After winning their first five shootouts of the Ontario Hockey League season, Kingston (20-24-2-3) has now dropped three straight.
The Peterborough Petes, who beat Saginaw 4-2 Friday night, are now just six points behind the Frontenacs, who occupy the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Frontenacs have one game in hand on the Petes.
Gill assured his players, after Camara scored the only goal of the shootout, that playing the way they did against Barrie will net results in upcoming games.
“Tonight we had our best game since (before) Christmas. I told them we are going to get better each and every game and Sarnia is the next step,” Gill said, referring to Sunday’s game against the Sting.
Goaltender Colin Furlong, who got the start for Kingston, turned back 32 shots. He had no chance on either goal — the first by Zach Hall on a power play at 9:26 of the third period. Camara, who now has 29 goals, one-timed a pass behind Furlong for the tying goal.
“I thought we had a great game, basically did everything right,” said Furlong. “When you are down you are down and things happen. (The puck) came out to the wrong guy in the slot.
“But compared to our last six or seven games it is a huge improvement. It was nice to see.”
Sam Bennett and Spencer Watson did the scoring for Kingston in the second period. With the 2-0 lead, the Frontenacs were tireless in getting sticks on loose pucks, filling gaps and sticking to the Barrie forwards.
“I thought we really filled Giller’s system. It shows it works,” Furlong said. “To do that against a first-place team shows we can beat anyone, just stick to our system.”
Barrie coach Dale Hawerchuk echoed, too, that he thought it was a good, hard-played hockey game by both clubs.
“It is that time of year when points are hard to come by and I think it was a good battle by both teams,” said Hawerchuk, whose team (33-15-0-2) leads the Central Division.
“We had a couple breakdowns and (Kingston) took advantage. We came out hard in the third and started to get more pucks to the net. I give my guys credit, they kept coming and hung in there.”
The Frontenacs had the best chance in overtime but goaltender Alex Fotinos made a great save against Ryan Kujawinski, who was set up alone by Billy Jenkins.
It was the Kingston kid line, reunited by coach Gill and given the first shift of both the first and second periods, who got the offence going in the second period after the scoreless opening period.
The strong cycle play was back and it led to Watson’s goal, the 16th by the rookie who was sat out for the first time in the previous game. Bennett and Ikonen both had the helpers on it.
Ikonen, on penalty kill, later looked to be hurt when he caught the worst of Cody Alcock’s attempted hip check on a Colts forward. Ikonen went off under his own steam but did miss a shift.
Slater Doggett took his place and it was his good work behind the Barrie net which set up Bennett’s goal to make it 2-0.
The Frontenacs, much better in their support play at filling the gaps and in general just doing everything they could to get pucks out of their zone, were not allowing the Barrie forwards time to find space in the offensive zone.
Furlong was steady to, stopping 22 shots over the first two periods.
Fotinos was the busier of the two goalies in the first period. His best saves were on a one-two combination off a shot by Sam Povorozniouk, which left a fat rebound for Kujawinski on the left side. Fotinos recovered for the stop.
Kujawinski recorded three shots on goal, which is a good sign in itself. The Frontenacs are looking for him to use his shot more.
It was a very quick period with only one minor called against Ryan Hutchinson for holding. It was a good kill for Kingston and Furlong had one good stop on Hall.
Game notes: Barrie rookie Brendan Lemieux is the son of former NHLer Claude Lemieux. Scouts who have seen Brendan say he plays the same way as his dad, the chippy side included. In 23 games, he has 40 penalty minutes and has scored three times. … The Sarnia Sting, with former Frontenac Charlie Sarault now their captain with Alex Galchenyuk’s departure to the Montreal Canadiens, are in Sunday at the K-Rock Centre. Game time on Super Bowl Sunday is 2 p.m. Sarault is vying for the OHL scoring title with 72 points, five back of London’s Seth Griffith heading into Friday’s games.
Article Courtesy The Whig-Standard