Two teams that have enjoyed an excellent start to the season squared off at the Rogers K-Rock Centre on Friday night when the Kingston Frontenacs hosted the Flint Firebirds. After sweeping opening weekend, Kingston collected two wins in three road games last weekend to stretch their record to 4-1. Flint won their first three games of the season before suffering their first loss on Thursday Night in Peterborough. It was Kingston’s only game of the weekend while Flint was playing in their second of three games on the weekend.
There was a quick pace to the game early on as both teams were showing a lot of speed. The speed game caused Kingston to take the first penalty when Bryan Laureigh was sent to the box for hooking just 2:37 into the game. The Firebirds made Kingston pay for the penalty when Ty Dellandrea beat Jeremy Helvig to the glove side to give Flint an early 1-0 lead. Kingston was awarded the next power play of the game but they weren’t able to capitalize on the man advantage. The power play did give them some momentum however, and most of the next few minutes were spent in the Firebirds zone. Finally, after a ton of pressure, Sam Field found a loose puck and slid it in to tie the game 1-1. Each team would have one more power play chance in the period, but neither could cash in. The Frontenacs outshot Flint 13-7 in the period, but the period ended in a 1-1 tie.
In the second period it was Kingston that got on the scoreboard quickly. Just 1:44 into the period Flint turned the puck over in their own zone. Sergey Popov pounced on the turnover, passed it to Nathan Dunkley who dropped it to Brett Neumann, and Neumann beat Luke Cavallin. The pretty passing play gave Kingston a 2-1 lead. After Kingston scored, it was all Flint for the next few minutes but Jeremy Helvig kept Kingston ahead with some big saves. However, just after the TV timeout, Flint would tie the game. Ryan Moore kept banging away at a loose puck until it found its way by Helvig. The momentum would swing again later in the period. With under 6:00 left Kingston had a few quality chances, and although they didn’t get a goal, they did draw a penalty. Just 0:24 into that power play Eemeli Rasanen put Kingston ahead again with a hard point shot. Despite being outshot 20-12 in the period, Kingston headed to the intermission with a 3-2 lead.
The third period began with both teams looking like they could win the game. An early power play gave Kingston some momentum and they extended their lead when Sam Field scored just after the power play expired to double the Kingston lead to 4-2. That was the start of a hectic few minutes. Just 0:41 seconds later Flint pulled within one again off the stick of Max Kislinger. The Frontenacs fought right back and extended the lead back to two when Brett Neumann scored his second of the game just over a minute later. At the 11:03 mark Jason Robertson put the final nail in the coffin when he blocked a shot in the defensive zone, then won a race to the other end and scored his team leading fifth goal of the season. The Frontenacs would win this game 6-3, but the game was a lot closer than the score. It was a solid win for Kingston over a strong Firebirds team. Tonight’s two points makes the Frontenacs the first team in the OHL to hit the 10-point mark.
The Frontenacs hit the ice next Thursday in Peterborough before returning home to host the Petes next Friday for Fort Fright Night at 7PM.