Vilardi scores two again, Fronts win 4-2 to even series
In game three Kingston continued the trend of the home team winning each game of the series. On Tuesday they needed that trend to continue again in order to tie the series at two games apiece. Max Jones returned to the lineup in game three and made a noticeable difference. It gave Kingston three lines to roll, but also a physical force that the Colts struggled to handle. In game four Kingston was looking to continue the physical game and continue to do a good job of keeping the Barrie top line quiet while at even strength.
Kingston had a strong start for the second game in a row, but Leo Lazarev held them scoreless. He made an incredible pad save on an odd man rush to keep the game even. Barrie capitalized on a power play late in the period to take the lead. It was a beautiful passing play with Andrei Svechnikov passing to Lucas Chiodo for the goal. Although Kingston trailed, they had a solid first period and outshot the Colts 13-9. They just needed to find a way to beat Lazarev.
The Frontenacs broke through in the second period in a big way. Gabe Vilardi tied the game at 5:28 when he tapped in a loose puck with Lazarev sprawled out on the ice. The Colts would take the lead back at 12:24. It was a clean face-off win in the offensive zone that led to a Dmitry Sokolov goal. His shot hit the post and bounced by Helvig to make it 2-1, but Kingston bounced back quickly. Gabe Vilardi scored his second of the game from the slot area. Leo Lazarev got a piece of the shot, but not enough to keep it out and the game was tied again. The Frontenacs jumped into the lead before the period ended, and they did it while shorthanded. Cliff Pu won a race to the puck and put it in a place that Linus Nyman could pick it up and shoot. Nyman picked the corner to give Kingston their first lead of the game. It was 3-2 heading to the third.
There was an early test in the third period when Max Jones went to the box for cross checking. Kingston killed the penalty off masterfully and that started a lengthy period of back and forth hockey. With very few whistles in the opening half of the period, both teams had some scoring chances but both goalies were solid. For the second game in a row, Barrie pulled the goalie in the final minutes looking for an equalizer, and for the second game in a row Kingston scored into the empty net to earn a 4-2 victory. With the win, the Frontenacs have come back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the series 2-2 as they head back to Barrie for game five on Thursday night.
The Linus Nyman game winning goal was the 800th playoff goal in Kingston franchise history. The win marked the first time the Frontenacs have won back to back games in round two since the 1993 playoffs against Oshawa. With his two goals in game four, Gabe Vilardi now leads the OHL in playoff scoring with 18 points and is tied for the lead league in goals with 9.
Game five takes place on Thursday night in Barrie at 7:30 PM. Game six will be back in Kingston on Friday night at 7 PM.