Robertson and Brahaney score in 4-2 loss to Guelph
The trade deadline has passed, and the roster is set. Kingston added two more names in the week leading up to their Friday tilt with the Guelph Storm. First, they acquired Max Jones from the London Knights immediately following his return from Team USA at the World Juniors. Later in the week they added defenseman Mitchell Byrne from the Erie Otters. That brought the number of trade deadline acquisitions to five. The new, and final, look Frontenacs were looking to put on a show in their first game together on Friday night. The Guelph Storm got the best of Kingston in a 5-4 Frontenacs loss on December 15 at the Sleeman Centre. Brendan Bonello was getting his first home start with Kingston, while Guelph turned to Anthony Popovich in net.
Max Jones lined up with Vilardi and Nyman to start the game and the line showed instant chemistry. It felt like every time they stepped on the ice they had a quality scoring chance. It wasn’t that line that opened the scoring, however. Jason Robertson stole the puck just inside the Guelph blue line and beat Popovich between the legs to put Kingston ahead. Guelph fought back and tied the game later on in the period. Initially, it appeared Brendan Bonello had made an incredible pad save, but after video review the puck was deemed to have crossed the line. Cedric Ralph was credited with the goal that tied the game. In a period that saw the shot totals reach 15-14 in favour of Kingston, each team was only able to score once, and the period ended 1-1.
The second period saw more solid play from the top two Kingston lines, but it was the goaltenders who were putting on the best show. Both Brendan Bonello and Anthony Popovich were turning away quality scoring chances throughout the game. The Kingston penalty kill also played well. After taking a too many men penalty, Pu and Neumann killed almost thirty seconds in the Guelph zone while Nichol and Cranford cleaned up in the defensive zone. With the solid goaltending and penalty killing, it was no surprise that neither team was able to score in the period and the game remained tied 1-1.
Heading into the third period, it looked like it would take a miracle to beat either goaltender. Then Kingston seemed to get one. On a simple flip in from centre ice by Jakob Brahaney, the puck bounced awkwardly on Popovich and somehow slid through him. It gave Kingston a lead, but the Guelph players were determined to get it back for their goaltender. Before the midway point of the period they evened the score. Isaac Ratcliffe tucked one between Bonello and the post to tie the game and erase the bad goal from their memory. On a Kingston power play later in the period, the Frontenacs appeared to take the lead back, but a quick whistle resulted in a no goal decision after a video review. That turned out to be costly. Guelph would end up with a two on one while short handed and Ratcliffe cashed in on his second of the game to put the Storm ahead. Popovich proved he had a short memory making several key saves late in the game and Guelph added an empty net goal to seal the win by a 4-2 score.
It was a tough loss for Kingston. They had several high-quality scoring chances that were stopped by Anthony Popovich. The goaltender was the difference in Guelph taking a win out of Kingston.
The Frontenacs are right back in action tomorrow afternoon when they host the Oshawa Generals for Toronto Maple Leafs day. Due to the Sportsnet national broadcast, the game has a special start time of 3:30 PM.