Late surge lifts Fronts to win
The Kingston Frontenacs juiced up their game for the third period and it paid dividends against the North Bay Battalion.
Down 2-0 after two periods and pretty well bottled up by the Battalion, the Frontenacs came alive with three goals to wrestle away a 3-2 win over the Battalion before 3,354 at the Rogers K-Rock Centre on Sunday afternoon.
“We knew we had to come out and take it to them in the third and that’s exactly what we did,” Ryan Cranford, who tied the game at 2-2 at 13:34 and assisted on the game-winner by Linus Nyman at 14:52, said.
“Bonesie [goaltender Brendan Bonello] stood on his head and we got the two points. That’s all that matters.”
Cranford, who was moved to the wing to play with Gabe Vilardi and Nyman, picked the top corner on goaltender Julian Sime from the faceoff area.
Then, defenceman Conor Ali’s point shot turned into a juicy rebound for Nyman to cash and he made no mistake on his 31st of the season.
Jason Robertson’s goal at 4:28, tipping Jakob Brahaney’s shot with his back to the net, started the Frontenacs’ rally.
Combined with a Niagara IceDogs 2-0 loss to the Windsor Spitfires, the victory moved the Frontenacs six points clear of the IceDogs in their battle for third place in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.
The Frontenacs defence played a role in the comeback. Brahaney had two assists in the third and Ali one on the game-winner.
“We had good gap in the third, so I thought we kept a lot of pucks alive. That just gave us more offensive time,” Brahaney said.
“We get chances and eventually we get goals. That’s pretty much how the third went for us.”
There was also the matter of Bonello making some timely stops. He halted Luke Burghartdt’s bid to send the game to overtime with about three minutes left.
“Two saves in the third that kept us in it. They were massive,” Frontenacs head coach Jay Varady said. “I thought he had a really good game. He made big saves for us, especially early when we weren’t giving him a lot of help.”
Varady started juggling lines after defenceman Adam Thilander made it 2-0 for the Battalion midway through the game.
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