Fronts comeback in the 3rd, beat 67’s 5-4 in OT
Just 17 hours after leaving the ice at the Rogers K-Rock Centre, the Kingston Frontenacs and Ottawa 67’s took to the ice at TD Place in Ottawa for a rematch. The Frontenacs dominated the Friday night matchup beating Ottawa 7-2. Cliff Pu and Linus Nyman both recorded 3 points in that game to lead the Frontenacs. Cedrick Andree struggled in goal for Ottawa on Friday, so the 67’s turned to Olivier Tremblay on Saturday afternoon. After earning 3rd-star honours on Friday night, Kingston went back to Jeremy Helvig, who was looking for a career-high 30th victory.
Saturday afternoons first period showed us how much of a difference a single day can make. Kingston had dominated the opening period on Friday but on Saturday it was Ottawa controlling play in the opening frame. Despite Kingston having the only power play time in the period, Ottawa outshot Kingston 9-5. They also were the only team to get on the scoreboard. 67’s leading scorer, Sasha Chmelevski, found a wide open Tye Felhaber in front of the Kingston goal. Felhaber made no mistake beating Jeremy Helvig to score the only goal of the opening period. At the end of the period, Noel Hoefenmeyer took an interference penalty that put Kingston on the power play with just 0:19 remaining. The Frontenacs trailed 1-0 after the first but had nearly a full power play to start the second period.
The Frontenacs weren’t able to capitalize on the power play to open the period but they did play a better period overall. Kingston found themselves spending more time in the offensive zone and making Olivier Tremblay work a little harder in net. Near the midway point of the period, Kingston was able to tie the game. Jakob Brahaney’s initial point shot was stopped by Tremblay, but Gabe Vilardi swatted at the rebound and knocked it in to even the score at 1-1. Kingston had a great chance to jump ahead on the power play late in the period but it was Ottawa that broke out on a two on one odd man rush. Quinn Yule kept the puck and slid it between the legs of Helvig to put Ottawa back in front. It was an evenly played period and the score reflected that. Both teams scored once in the period and Ottawa took a 2-1 lead into the final frame.
It was a disastrous start to the period for Kingston when Travis Barron scored just 0:15 in to put Ottawa up 3-1. Kingston kept coming however and Gabe Vilardi notched his second of the game on the power play to bring Kingston back within a goal. Ottawa looked to put the Frontenacs away when Quinn Yule scored his second of the game at 9:14 to extend the 67’s lead to 4-2, but a two-goal lead is never enough against a team with as much firepower as Kingston. With under five minutes left, the offence exploded. Ryan Cranford scored a third-period goal for the second night in a row that cut the lead in half. Just 0:17 later Linus Nyman tied the game on a rebound opportunity after Tremblay had made a great save on the initial shot. Kingston had scored three third period goals to get themselves into overtime.
Ottawa shot themselves in the foot early in overtime when they took a penalty in the first minute and put the best power play in the OHL on the ice. That power play took full advantage. After nearly a full minute in the offensive zone, Cliff Pu found Jason Robertson with a cross-crease pass and Roberston tapped it in for his 41st of the season, and more importantly, the game-winning goal.
For the second night in a row, Kingston scored a pair of power play goals to help defeat the Ottawa 67’s. Their power play went 4 for 7 in the home-and-home series. Jeremy Helvig earned his 30th win of the season setting a new career high. The franchise record is 33 held by Mike Moffat in the 1980-81 season. The Frontenacs would lock themselves into the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference with a single point over their final three games.
Next Wednesday night the Frontenacs return home to host the Oshawa Generals on Country Night presented by Boots and Hearts at 7 PM. They will also host the North Bay Battalion next Friday at 7 PM. Tickets are still available for both of those games.