The Kingston Frontenacs staged a furious comeback in the third period and Jason Robertson scored in overtime for a 5-4 win over the Ottawa 67’s on Saturday at TD Place.
The comeback win, coupled with a 6-4 Oshawa Generals loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday night, clinched a top-four finish and home-ice advantage for the Frontenacs (35-21-6-3) in the first round of the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Fronts, who are now out of Oshawa’s range, are also close to clinching third place, as they lead the Niagara IceDogs by five points with both teams having three games remaining.
Goals by Ryan Cranford and Linus Nyman 17 seconds apart with just over four minutes left in the third period got the Frontenacs into overtime.
Gabe Vilardi, who had two goals, was tripped in overtime, sending the Frontenacs on the power play.
Robertson took a pass from Cliff Pu for the overtime winner on goaltender Olivier Tremblay.
“Just elite vision by Cliff. It was an easy tap-in for me,” Robertson said in a post-game cablecast interview. “It’s a good lesson here. You are going to deal with adversity throughout the playoffs. Down two goals but fighting back. A good job by everyone.”
The Frontenacs chased the 67’s throughout the game. Ottawa led 1-0 after the first and 2-1 after two.
Travis Barron scored 15 seconds into the third period to establish a two-goal Ottawa lead.
Vilardi’s second of the game, and 20th in his 29 games played, got the Frontenacs to within one.
Quinn Yule, with his second goal of the afternoon, made it 4-2 Ottawa with 10 minutes left.
“We put ourselves in a bad spot but found a way to battle back. It kind of looked bleak, but the guys kept pushing,” Frontenacs head coach Jay Varady said.
“We stuck with it. We got a couple of bounces and got a call in overtime,’’ Varady said, referring to the penalty Tye Felhaber took for tripping Vilardi 58 seconds into the overtime.
The Frontenacs were in the Ottawa zone for the entire power play until Sean Day went down low to Pu, who then went across to Robertson for the winner at 2:14.
“I didn’t think the power play was great for a big part of the night, but those guys made the difference in the end,” Varady said.
The teams traded goals in the second period after Ottawa had taken a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Vilardi scored his first of the game midway through the second. He put the rebound off a Jakob Brahaney shot past Tremblay.
Click here for the full article.