The Kingston Frontenacs beat the Oshawa Generals 2-0 for the team’s third consecutive win on Sunday night at Tribute Communities Centre. Shane Wright scored the game-winner in the second period and Leevi Meriläinen made 26 saves for his 16th win and second career OHL shutout.
The last time the Fronts shutout Oshawa on the road was back in 2005. Meriläinen was back in net after rookie Aidan spooner backstopped the Fronts to a 6-2 win on Saturday night at home versus Niagara. Rookie Patrick Leaver was in the Gens crease, and he was brilliant, making 47 saves allowing just one goal with an empty netter added late by Kingston’s Lucas Peric.
The East Division rivals played an even period with three powerplays promoting the best chances, but it would be a scoreless affair heading to the first intermission. After taking a 14-7 lead in shots, a late push on an Oshawa powerplay evened out the shooting chances with a 14-12 edge for Kingston.
The Fronts came out pushing with a 6-2 lead in shots five minutes in. Braden Hache made a heavy hit on Ty Tullio on the boards in Kingston’s zone sending the Gens leading scorer for a ride four minutes in.
Kingston took the games first penalty, testing the sixth-ranked powerplay of the Gens, but they held the home side off the shot clock. After some good offensive zone time, Zayde Wisdom drew a penalty, and the Fronts would go to their first man advantage of the game. Unfortunately they could not get the opening goal.
Oshawa’s second powerplay with 3:50 left in the frame gave them three great chances to open the scoring. Tullio rifled a good slapshot on Meriläinen, and a toe save off a Cameron Butler shot highlighted the Kingston goaltenders’ saves. Callum Ritchie and Tullio were also stopped in close with the goalie sprawling to make two more saves. Hache helped his netminder with a key block preventing an automatic goal.
Kingston dominated the middle frame with a season-high 23 shots on goal in the period, but the team only managed to take a one goal lead to the third period. The Gens goalie stood on his head to keep Oshawa in it. The Generals had a shot 27 seconds into the period, but didn’t register another one until the 12:53 mark, as the Black and Gold played with a sense of urgency.
The line of Jordan Frasca, Francesco Arcuri, and Lucas Edmonds had extended zone time a drew another penalty against Oshawa early into the middle frame. Kingston spent most of the time in the Oshawa zone with three shots, but Leaver, who was stellar all game, stood his ground.
Jackson Stewart made another big hit on Smith as Kingston continued its physical play of late.
Kingston would finally get one past Leaver as Shane Wright (13) made a smart play to open the scoring at 5:50. Wright banked a backhand shot between his legs off the goaltender from behind the Gens net. The captain added to his career 100th point he earned in the win over Niagara on Saturday.
Chromiak had made a great play to get the puck to Wright, earning an assist and extending his point streak to four games (3G,4A). The 1-0 goal came on the 11th shot of the period for Kingston holding a 14-1 lead by the halfway point of the period and a 23-5 lead after 40 minutes.
Matthew Soto and Paul Ludwinski were robbed by Leaver preventing a two-goal lead with 6:40 left as the Gens looked to escape the period and regroup.
A much more evenly played twenty minutes was seen in the final frame. The Generals came out better prepared for the Kingston onslaught and began to push with four shots in the first three minutes, but Meriläinen prevented the slim one-goal lead from being broke early.
Lleyton Moore had a great chance from the slot on Meriläinen all alone with eight minutes left, but the Sens prospect swallowed up the laser without a rebound.
Callens had a break but was impeded by a Gens defender and Frasca had a fast break chance after a good Edmonds setup with six minutes left. The Fronts were unable to get the insurance goal past Leaver.
Both Quinton Burns and Tommy Budnick had great defensive plays late in the game to keep the game at 1-0. Burns had a diving play to break up a three-on-one opportunity for the Gens. Moments later, Tullio had a two-on-one, but Kingston’s Thomas Budnick prevented a pass and Meriläinen made good short side save.
The Fronts scored an empty net goal with 1:11 left in the game. The Gens had some pressure, but Lucas Peric (9) scored the insurance marker to make it 2-0. This gave the Fronts a much-earned victory and a three-point lead in the East Division.
BMW Hardest Worker
Three Star Awards
- Patrick Leaver – OSH (47 saves)
- Leevi Meriläinen – KGN (W, 26 saves, SO)
- Shane Wright –KGN (1G – GWG)
- North American NHL Central Scouting mid-season rankings – Lucas Edmonds (107), Paul Ludwinski (29), and Shane Wright (1)
- Shane Wright hit 100 points in OHL career versus Niagara (85 GP)
- Wright scored his 1st OHL goal in Oshawa in 2019
- Frontenacs 134 team goals is tied 2nd in Eastern Conference
- Chromiak extended his point streak to four games (3G,4A)
Team Stat Pack – GP (32)
(20-9-3-0) 43 pts – 1st East Div / 2nd Eastern Conf (MIS -50 pts)
- Goals – Frasca (22), Edmonds, (19), Chromiak (17)
- Assists – Edmonds (39), Chromiak (26), Frasca, Wright (22)
- Points – Edmonds (58), Frasca (44), Chromiak (43)
- PIMs – Haché (42), Budnick (33), Poole (31)
- Shots– Edmonds (151), Chromiak (121), Frasca (111)
- Powerplay Points – Edmonds (20), Chromiak (17), Wright (15)
- Rookie Points – Ludwinski (20), Soto (18), Thibodeau (8)
- Defence Points – Peric (21), Murray (19), Belanger (7)
- Plus/Minus – Frasca (+20), Murray (+19), Edmonds (+17)
On The Front
Kingston will hit the road for a date in Peterborough on Thursday, January 27, versus the Petes at 7:05 pm.
The next home game is on Friday, January 28 at 7:00 pm in a rematch of tonight’s game versus the Oshawa Generals at 7:00 pm at Leon’s Centre.
Listen to all the action on 104.3 Fresh Radio with Frontenacs play-by-play voice Jim Gilchrist. Fans can also follow along with team social media channels at Twitter, Facebook and IG for updates.