Hotchkiss scores 2 in 6-2 win over Colts
The Frontenacs were coming off a rare home loss to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Friday night, but had an opportunity to get back to their winning ways less than 48 hours later when they hosted the Barrie Colts. Kingston and Barrie could not have been more even, statistically speaking, coming into the Sunday matinee. The Frontenacs had 34 points in 27 games, while Barrie came into the game with 33 points in 26 games. Kingston’s offence had managed 101 goals on the season while Barrie’s had scored a nearly identical 103 goals. Both starting goalies were veteran overage players with a ton of experience. Everything pointed to this being a quality, tightly contested hockey game.
That is exactly what we got in the first period. Both teams had two opportunities on the power play and the shots at the end of the period were 13-10 in favour of the Frontenacs. Ironically, it wasn’t the power play units that were making a difference, it was the penalty kill units. The only goal of the period came while the Frontenacs were shorthanded. Brett Neumann and Ted Nichol broke out on a 2 on 1, Neumann kept the puck and shot glove side. Leo Lazarev made the initial save, but the puck wasn’t covered up. Neumann stayed with the play and skated behind the net to tuck in the wrap around goal that put the Frontenacs in front. At the very end of the period, Kingston gave up a glorious scoring chance while they were on the power play. Barrie earned a wide open breakaway chance, but Jeremy Helvig came up with a big save with just three seconds remaining in the period. Kingston took the 1-0 lead with them into the dressing room.
In the second period we saw a ton of penalties. The Colts took four penalties in the middle frame, while the Frontenacs made their way to the box three times. 8:05 into the period Tyler Burnie struck on one of the Kingston power plays. He used his strength to bang the puck over the goal line to extend the Kingston lead to 2-0. At 14:26 Barrie also scored on the power play. Jeremy Helvig made multiple top notch saves, but Barrie was given to many chances and they were finally able to beat Helvig to cut the lead in half. Barrie was making an obvious attempt to get on Helvig’s nerves as a Colts player ended up on top of Helvig multiple times in the period. Helvig was certainly getting fired up, but it was just making him play better. Through two periods he had recorded 32 saves, and with 0:17 remaining in the period his teammates rewarded him for his great work. Tyler Burnie tried a wrap around on the back hand, but the puck ended up bouncing off Ryan Cranford and into the Colts net. Kingston led 3-1 after two periods.
The late second period goal was the boost Kingston needed to finish this one off. They came out flying in the third period and added three more goals. Sergey Popov made a beautiful move early in the period and slid a pass to Matt Hotchkiss who had a wide-open net for his first goal of the night. Later in the period, Nathan Dunkley banked a shot off Leo Lazarev for a power play goal that made the score 5-1 Kingston. Ryan Suzuki did get one back for the Barrie Colts, but Kingston had one more in them as well. Matt Hotchkiss got his second of the period on another great pass, this time from Bryan Laureigh and that would be the final tally of the game to make the final score 6-2 Frontenacs.
Kingston has now earned 5 of 6 points through the first three games of the home stand. They will look for the final 4 points on Friday December 8th, when they will host the Niagara IceDogs in the annual teddy bear toss game. They will follow that up with a rare home Saturday night game on December 9th against the Sudbury Wolves.