Kingston used a couple of home wins to even the second round series against the Barrie Colts at 2-2. On Thursday they were looking to be the first team in this series to win a game on the road and take a 3-2 series lead. Kingston was more physical in games three and four and it seemed to change the momentum in the series. Barrie was struggling to deal with the physical presence of the big Kingston forwards. With Barrie having last change in game five on their home ice, Kingston needed to slow down the top line of the Colts the same way they did in Kingston to continue to find success.
There is no better start for a road team than Kingston had in game five. Max Jones scored his first of the playoffs just 1:15 into the game. It was the start of a big period for Kingston. Gabe Vilardi extended the Kingston lead just minutes later when he took a pass from Matt Hotchkiss and made a nice move around Leo Lazarev for a 2-0 lead. Barrie did get back within a goal when Jason Willms scored midway through the period, but Kingston continued to roll. Brett Neumann tapped in a loose puck to make the lead 3-1. That was followed by a Jason Robertson shot that beat Lazarev between the legs for a 4-1 lead. Gabe Vilardi got his second of the game with a sharp snap shot to the glove side of Lazarev. When the buzzer sounded on the first period, Kingston had put up five goal and took a 5-1 lead into the dressing room.
The second period started the same way as the first. With Leo Lazarev on the bench after being replaced by Kai Edmonds, Sean Day welcomed Edmonds to the game with a breakaway goal at 1:54 of the period. Kingston was able to even out the ice time between their four lines for the majority of the period after that. That allowed Barrie a few more scoring chances, but Jeremy Helvig was solid when called on and didn’t allow a goal in the period. Matt Hotchkiss added another Frontenacs goal late in the period to make it 7-1. Kingston headed to the third period in good shape to get the first road win by either team in the series.
When the third period started, it was about preservation and resting for the top two lines. Jay Varady was able to roll lines and buy his minute-munchers some rest on the bench. There were no goals in the period, but things started to get chippy. Once the game got to a point that was obvious Barrie would not come from behind, they started to try and set a tone for tomorrow’s game six. There were big hits, some coming after the whistle. It led to Kingston having a two man advantage to close the game. Liam Murray thought he had scored but after review the puck hit the crossbar and the post but never crossed the goal line. It was the second review of the game that went against Kingston, but the Frontenacs didn’t need either one. The black and gold rolled to a 7-1 victory and a 3-2 series lead.
Kingston had 9 different players record points and 6 different goal scorers in the game. The win marks the first time in franchise history Kingston has won 3 consecutive games in the second round of the playoffs.
It is the first time Kingston has led the series and it couldn’t come at a better time. They will return home tomorrow night for game six with puck drop scheduled for 7 PM. Tickets are available now.