Nyman scores 2 in loss to Windsor
You could feel the excitement in the air on Friday night as the Kingston Frontenacs were debuting three new players after a couple of blockbuster trades the previous week. Gabe Vilardi and Sean Day were acquired from the Windsor Spitfires on Jan 1, and Cliff Pu was acquired from the London Knights on Jan 4. The trades cemented Kingston’s role as an Eastern Conference contender and Friday night was those players first opportunity with their new squad. The Frontenacs were hosting the Windsor Spitfires who came to Kingston fresh off a win in Peterborough on Thursday by a score of 2-1. In the only previous meeting of the season between Kingston and Windsor, the Spitfires snuck by Kingston in a shootout, winning the game 5-4.
It didn’t take long to get the ball rolling, but it wasn’t any of the new guys that did it. Just 1:38 into the game, Ryan Cranford played follow the bouncing puck and tapped it in to put Kingston ahead. Windsor answered at the 8:01 mark when Curtis Douglas snapped a shot by Jeremy Helvig for the tying goal. Kingston finished the period strong, however, when Gabe Vilardi drew his first point as a member of the Frontenacs. He sent Linus Nyman in on a breakaway, Nyman froze Windsor Goaltender Lucas Patton and buried the puck in the back of the net to reclaim the lead. With under a minute remaining in the period the same combination struck again. Vilardi attempted a wrap around and Nyman found the rebound to give Kingston a 3-1 lead heading into the dressing room.
The second period wasn’t as exciting as the first in a goal scoring sense, but Kingston fans got a good glimpse of what they can expect from the new players. The Frontenacs carried much of the play in the period. Gabe Vilardi nearly added a couple of assists to his first period total using his incredible vision. Cliff Pu used his speed to create plenty of offence and scoring chances. Sean Day and Vilardi acted as the point men on a lengthy 5 on 3 power play that looked very dangerous. Despite not adding to their lead, the Frontenacs looked lethal at times with their new look offence and took their 3-1 lead into the third period.
Things changed dramatically in the early parts of the third period. Windsor stormed out of the room scoring three goals in the first five minutes. Jake Smith was credited with the first goal, but it was actually directed in by Frontenacs defenseman Sean Day. Daniel D’Amico tied the game on a rebound just three minutes later. Less than a minute after that, former Frontenac Cody Morgan put the Spitfires ahead for the first time in the game. After Jay Varady used his timeout, Kingston was able to regain their feet and draw a penalty, but could not capitalize on the man advantage. The final ten minutes saw furious pressure by the Frontenacs, but Lucas Patton continued to play a very solid game in net for Windsor. In the end, a rough five-minute stretch cost Kingston a win. Windsor would hold on to win 4-3.
It is the second time this season Kingston has blown a third period lead to the Spitfires. Aside from the result, there were a lot of positives in the game. Kingston showed the ability to spend a ton of time in the offensive zone. Gabe Vilardi and Linus Nyman appeared to have some early chemistry. Kingston outshot Windsor 32-24 in the game.
Kingston will head to Barrie on Saturday and Guelph on Sunday to finish out the weekend. They return home for back to back home games next week against Guelph on Friday at 7 PM, and Oshawa on Saturday at 3:30 PM.