The Kingston Frontenacs (22-9-3-0) won their fifth straight game with a hard-fought 4-3 win over the Oshawa Generals (17-15-1-2) at the Leon’s Centre on Friday night maintaining their East Division lead. The win set a new franchise record for the best halfway season point-mark of 47 in their quest for a championship this season.
Shane Wright (4A), Martin Chromiak (2G) and Zayde Wisdom (2A) led the way as the line tallied eight points following up the seven, they tallied in Peterborough during Thursday’s win.
Leevi Meriläinen faced 25 shots in the Kingston crease for his 18th victory to move into second overall in OHL goalie wins. Patrick Leaver who faced 50 shots in the last game versus Kingston was solid again making 27 saves for the Generals.
After an Oshawa push to start the game, Kingston held the play for most of the opening twenty taking a 2-0 lead to intermission with the more high-quality chances and a 14-8 lead on the shot clock.
After Oshawa fired the first three shots in the game, Kingston had a couple good shifts in the Gens zone to start to take over with Chris Thibodeau getting away a point-blank shot on Leaver for Kingston’s first good opportunity. Thibodeau was back in the lineup after missing four games.
Two players extended point streaks to six games when Martin Chromiak (19) scored for the second straight game getting the Fronts the opening 1-0 tally at 6:17. The LA Kings prospect ripped a high shot from the slot taking a nifty backhand feed from Shane Wright.
The Fronts kept up pressure after the goal while stifling the Gens allowing one shot on Meriläinen from the 3:11 to the 13:44 point. Meriläinen had to be sharp on a rebound shot from the crease off Brett Luke Torrance shortly before Stuart Rolofs had another good opportunity from the faceoff dot for Oshawa with five minutes left.
Wright and Zayde Wisdom took advantage of a tired Oshawa line to create a turnover pushing the Fronts lead to a pair. Wright snapped a quick shot on Leaver after Wisdom had collected the turnover and fed the waiting captain in the right slot. Francesco Arcuri (18) banged in the rebound off the Oshawa goaltender with 47 seconds left in the period for his second consecutive game with a goal. Wright’s assist gave him at least two helpers in three of the last four games.
Oshawa made a stand in the second coming back with a couple goals to tie it 2-2, turning the tables on Kingston while taking an advantage of a powerplay in the middle of the frame.
The Black and Gold had a powerplay opportunity early in the period, but it was the Generals with the best chance on a Brett Harrison breakaway that Meriläinen swallowed up trying to go five-hole.
Kingston went to its first penalty kill of the game and it wasn’t long before Oshawa took advantage scoring off the ensuing faceoff in the Fronts zone. The visitors got on the board on a Calum Ritchie (13) tally that was reviewed but deemed a good goal. Harrison and Lleyton Moore drew assists on the powerplay marker at 7:24.
Less then three minutes later, it was tied 2-2 on a weird angle Ryan Gagnier shot that was deflected by Cameron Butler (7) after a Kingston turnover behind their goal line at 10:37.
Oshawa had another man advantage less then a minute after the tying tally but a good save on Ryan Stepien by Meriläinen kept the Generals momentum at bay.
Kingston had its second opportunity with the extra skater with 2:39 left and had a couple good shots on the Gens net. After extended zone time, Lucas Edmonds had the best chance whistling a shot off Leaver’s shoulder, but the teams would head to the second intermission all square 2-2.
Oshawa held a 10-7 shot edge trailing 21-18 after forty minutes.
Kingston scored early in the frame, but a Gens reply set up a late game winner by Alec Belanger. Kingston would only allow one shot on net from the time Gens scored the tying goal to the end of the game.
Chromiak (20) scored his second of the game in the opening minute after taking a Wisdom cross ice pass and burying it 41 seconds in. Wisdom and Wright exchanged the puck off the rush forcing the Gens in their heels for assists.
Edmonton Oilers prospect Ty Tullio (18) scored from in close with after taking a good feed from Stepien tying the game up a second time at 3-3. Rolofs also assisted on the Gens captains’ goal at 4:46.
Kingston got a fortunate bounce of their own to take a 4-3 lead at 7:30. After winning a draw in the Oshawa zone, Alec Belanger (4) scored his second since being acquired from Ottawa 67’s. The smooth skating defender waited a second before firing a shot towards the Leaver finding its way into the Gens cage. Wright earned his fourth assist on the game-winner and now has multiple assists in three of his last four.
An empty net with 1:30 left by Oshawa had some pressure but a couple good blocks by Kingston defenders and some good puck defending kept sealed the Fronts win.
BMW of Kingston Hardest Worker
Chris Thibodeau – KGN
Three Star Awards
- Shane Wright – KGN (4A)
- Martin Chromiak – KGN (2G)
- Alec Belanger – KGN – (1G)
- Shane Wright has points in six straight (4G,9A)
- Maddox Callens was out of the lineup. Day-to-Day
- Martin Chromiak has points in six straight (6G,4A)
- Lucas Edmonds sits second in league assists (41), fourth in scoring (60), second in points-per-game (1.81)
- Zayde Wisdom has four-points (2G,2A) in last two games
Team Stat Pack – GP (34)
(22-9-3-0) 47 pts – 1st East Div / 2nd Eastern Conf
- Goals – Frasca (22), Chromiak (20), Edmonds (19)
- Assists – Edmonds (41), Wright (28), Chromiak (26)
- Points – Edmonds (60), Chromiak (46), Frasca (45)
- PIMs – Haché (44), Budnick (33), Poole (31)
- Shots– Edmonds (159), Chromiak (127), Frasca (115)
- Powerplay Points – Edmonds (21), Wright (16), Chromiak (17)
- Rookie Points – Ludwinski (20), Soto (19), Thibodeau (8)
- Defence Points – Peric (22), Murray (19), Belanger (8)
- Plus/Minus – Frasca, Murray (+20), Edmonds (+16), Arcuri (15)
On The Front
Kingston will be back on the road for the next four games beginning in Hamilton on Sunday, January 30, in a matinee affair versus the Bulldogs at 2:00 pm. The Fronts then head north next weekend for a three-game stretch against Barrie (Thursday), Sudbury (Friday) and North Bay (Sunday).
The next home game is Wednesday, February 9 at 7:00 pm versus the Peterborough Petes. Follow team social media and Website for ticket information with spectators returning to arenas in the near future.
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. Watch the games on Your TV Kingston (channel 700) or on CHL TV/OHL Live.