Two exhibition victories are in the books for the Kingston Frontenacs.
Just as quickly as those home-ice wins — 5-2 Sunday over the Ottawa 67’s and a 4-3 shootout victory Friday over the Oshawa Generals — were recorded, new head coach Jay Varady was turning the page towards the team’s Ontario Hockey League regular-season opener on Sept. 22.
“I don’t think we put too much into preseason. To me it is more about how we are playing and establishing our identity,” Varady said.
“We’ve got two games in the books and we are going to continue to push that.”
The Frontenacs, with virtually their starting lineup dressed, led 2-0 after the first period and 3-1 going to the third on Sunday.
Top draft pick Cody Morgan, moved to centre for his second exhibition start, looked good. He scored twice and added an assist.
Paul Larabie, Linus Nyman and Jason Robertson had the other goals.
Mario Peccia and Jeremy Helvig split the goaltending. Each gave up a goal.
Morgan scored in the first period and again in the third. The 16-year-old said he was more comfortable playing at centre. He had Larabie and Sam Field on the wings for the most part.
“Centre is my more natural position so I felt more comfortable out there. I was playing with two great players again of course,” Morgan said.
“[Friday’s game] was my first game ever in front of that many people. It was quite the experience.”
Morgan showed a good release on both of his goals, going top corner both times to beat Olivier Lafreniere in the first period and Cedrich Andree in the third.
“I thought I was going to be good with one [goal],” said Morgan, who added his second at 18:55 of the third.
“Dunks [Nathan Dunkley] made a good play [knocking a defenceman off the puck]. I saw an opening and just tried to put it there,” Morgan said.
“He had a good night offensively. He was able to make some plays and convert on some plays,” Varady said. “When he was drafted I think that is what he was drafted to do. So it is nice to see that. It’s encouraging and I think we’ve just got to continue to build on his strength.”
Varady said after Friday’s game. “we are trying to find chemistry and combinations.”
He moved players around for Sunday’s game, using Morgan, Ted Nichol, Dunkley and Tyler Burnie at centre, and had his first look at the big line with Robertson and Nyman on the wings with Nichol.
“We wanted to get a look at those guys and start to get those guys reacquainted,” Varady said.
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