A lot of things have been different for the Frontenacs lately, and Wednesday’s game was no different. Not only did they play in a rare Wednesday game, but it came with a 10:30 a.m. start time. On November 7, Kingston went to Ottawa for the 67’s annual school day game and suffered a 6-4 loss. This time it was Ottawa making the trip to Kingston for the school day game. Paul Larabie made his return to the Kingston lineup after missing 21 games with a hand injury.
Despite the early start time, the players were ready to go when the puck dropped. The first period was very eventful for both teams. Ottawa started the game strong and it resulted in a couple of goals. Noel Hoefenmayer opened the scoring with a point shot that beat a screened Brendan Bonello. Kody Clark later doubled the lead, but just barely. Bonello got a piece of the puck with his glove, but the puck fluttered over his shoulder and trickled in for a 2-0 Ottawa lead. Things were looking rough for Kingston, but they got a nice boost just before the period ended. It came from Paul Larabie, who beat Cedrick Andree for his first career OHL goal. It brought Kingston back within a goal just before the first period ended and gave them life heading into the second frame.
The second period featured a lot of “rough stuff”. Kody Clark received a check to the head penalty just 18 seconds into the period. That spurred a fight later in the period between him and Cameron Hough. By the time the buzzer sounded, there was one fight and six roughing penalties handed out in the second period alone. The teams played 4 on 4 hockey three separate times over the twenty-minute period, but no goals were scored. Ottawa held a 2-1 lead after two periods.
It was in the third period that the 67’s flexed their muscle. They scored four third period goals to put the game out of reach. The first came from Sasha Chmelevski, which was his 10th of the season. Matthew Maggio scored at the midway point of the period to make it 4-1 Ottawa. Kingston tried to fight back and make things interesting. Jakob Brahaney scored on the power play to give Kingston life. His 3rd of the season made it 4-2 with just over nine minutes left. Ottawa snuffed out the comeback, however, when Tye Felhaber skated in and cut around Bonello to make it 5-2. They later added an empty net goal to make the final score 6-2.
Regardless of the score, Kingston had a solid effort in the game. Lucas Rowe and Billy Constantinou were both noticeable on the ice during most shifts. Paul Larabie had a solid return to lineup after missing extended time with an injury. Brendan Bonello had an incredible second period to keep Kingston in the game heading to the third period. It was a valiant performance from a young team facing one of the top teams in the country.
The North Bay Battalion visit Leon’s Centre on Friday night at 7 p.m. for Kingston’s next home game. Tickets are still available at the box office or at ticketmaster.ca.