The Kingston Frontenacs (0-1-0-1) continued their 2022-23 preseason with an afternoon tilt against East Division rival Peterborough Petes (2-1-0-0) with a 2-1 penalty filled shootout loss. Francesco Arcuri (1) scored the Fronts lone goal with Tucker Robertson (1) replying late on a shorthanded marker to send the teams to a shootout. Linus Hemstrom and Alec Belanger drew helpers with Konnor Smith also tallying an assist for the visitors. Robertson also scored in the shootout with Connor Lockhart adding a goal for Peterborough. Arcuri and Thibodeau were both stopped by Simpson in extra time to seal a visitor extra point.
It was a scoreless game through the first two periods with the Fronts doubling their counterparts on the shot clock, including 18 on the opposition net in the middle period before Arcuri made it 1-0 early in the final frame. Alec Belanger and a first OHL exhibition assist for Linus Hemstrom drew helpers on the opening goal.
Ivan Zhigalov got his first start in a Kingston uniform making 24 saves on 25 shots being beaten finally with just over a minute of play left. The maroon and white countered with veteran stopper Michael Simpson, seeing plenty of rubber with 38 shots fired by Kingston, who was solid in keeping his club within one goal before tying it late.
Fans got to catch veterans Braden Hache, Francesco Arcuri, Ben Roger, Paul Ludwinski dressing for their first action of the preseason for Kingston.
Ivan Zhigalov made his first but possibly most difficult stops as a Frontenac on an initial penalty to Kingston in the first period making 2 quick consecutive saves from the crease early in the game. The saves proved to be of importance as the game would feature just a pair of goals by the squads overall. The former QMJHL goaltender with the Sherbrooke Phoenix was selected by the Colorado Avalanche (pick #225) at last summers NHL Draft. He was busy in the final period, facing 12 shots. Fellow rookie Linus Hemstrom was impressed by his teammates play. “Ivan played a good game, I thought he was excellent.”
Hemstrom earned an assist in the game and is getting comfortable with the North American game. The 2nd round Import selection from Gavle, Sweden described the game as one they could have won. “I think we played a good game over 60 minutes,” added Hemstrom, “We should have had some more goals but they didn’t go in today, but, we will keep working to get better. The rookie is getting accustomed to the OHL rink size and play. “It felt much better today. The first game was a little harder cause everything is new. It’s a smaller rink and the tempo is high.”
The Frontenacs did a great job limiting dangerous opportunities on their net in the opening twenty minutes. They had a faster paced forecheck then in the opening game that kept the Petes time in Kingston’s zone minimalized. The penalty killing units allowed just two shots on two penalties in the opening period. The Black and Gold had a 25-12 edge on the shot clock after two periods, and 38-25 overall, with the Petes’ Simpson forced to be the busier goalie. He made 18 saves in the middle stanza alone.
Kingston’s 2022 second-round selection Jacob Battaglia was utilizing his size and speed effectively as the forward gets accustomed to the pace of OHL hockey in his second exhibition game. The Mississauga, ON native had five shots to double his total from the opening game versus Ottawa and led Kingston with pucks on net.
With under seven minutes left in the second period, Kingston went down two men on a lengthy Petes two-man advantage. However, Braden Hache, Ben Roger, and Nathan Poole teamed with Zhigalov to keep the visitors off the scoreboard with solid efforts until a Peterborough penalty cut short the five-on-three advantage and allowed the Fronts to eventually open the scoring.
Arcuri On Board
Dallas Stars prospect Francesco Arcuri made a great play setting himself up in the slot after beating two Petes defenders to open the scoring on the early third period man advantage. The 1-0 goal at 3:42 of the final frame assisted by rookie Linus Hemstrom and Alec Belanger was Kingston’s first goal of the preseason after the shutout loss in the opener. Arcuri, Kingston’s playoff scoring leader from last season had another opportunity from close range on a third period powerplay chance and traded opportunities with Ludwinski throughout the game with the duo firing four shots each. Linus Hemstrom earned his first point on the play, but concedes he got a break. “I think it was Ludwinski’s apple, but Arcuri took it to the open lane and fired it in. It was a good feeling to be on the ice for the goal.”
On The Front – Exhibition
Kingston takes the show on the road for their final two pre-season games on Friday, Sept 23 in Cobourg at 7:05 pm in rematch of today’s game with Peterborough. The Fronts then travel to Cornwall, ON to take on the Ottawa 67’s for a Sunday matinee at 2:00pm on Sept 25.
The regular season kicks off at Leon’s centre on Friday, Sep 30 against the Western Conference Erie Otters at 7:00 pm. Single game tickets and 2022-23 Season Ticket Memberships are on sale. For more details visit, www.kingstonfrontenacs.com.