Thibodeau scores twice as fronts defeat Petes 5-2 on Pride Night

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For the third time in five games this season, the Kingston Frontenacs (22-21-1-2) took a huge East Division win over the Peterborough Petes (25-19-1-2), on Friday night at Leon’s Centre, with a 5-2 victory in a game they never trailed.

First star Chris Thibodeau scored a pair and defenceman Ben Roger added a tally in the second before the Petes squared the game 2-2 in the third. The Fronts would seal the win scoring twice in 77 seconds late in the game taking a 4-2 lead on tallies by Thibodeau and Mitchell Brooks on the way to an empty net goal by Maddox Callens for a 5-2 win. Tommy Budnick and Linus Hemstrom joined Thibodeau and Callens on multi-point nights.


It was the 31st appearance for Colorado Avalanche prospect Ivan Zhigalov in the Kingston net facing 28 shots with 26 saves, particularly solid in the second period. For the 12th time Liam Sztuska took to the Petes crease and allowed four goals on 24 Frontenacs shots seen.

Head coach Luca Caputi welcomed blueliners Alec Belanger and Ian Lemieux returning to their Black and Gold uniforms after injury had kept the veterans off the ice for extended time. Lemieux earned an assist in his return.

Kingston’s Chris Thibodeau had a pair of shots come off a rush seven minutes in on a great chance that had the Petes goalie needing to be quick to prevent an early home lead with the shots even 5-5 halfway through the penalty-free frame in a preclude to the forwards’ two-goal night.

After Zhigalov made a great save off Seattle Kraken prospect Tucker Robertson, Thibodeau would put the Fronts on the board first with the 29th game-opening tally for Kingston, second most in the OHL.




After team-assist leader and Chicago Blackhawk prospect Paul Ludwinski dumped a pass at the visiting blueline, Thibodeau (12) made a nice move to cut into the net beating Sztuska past the left pad making it 1-0 with his second tally on Peterborough this season. Assistant captain Maddox Callens also assisted for his first point of the game at 15:06 for points in consecutive games, and Ludwinski’s assist was his third in two games.

The Fronts maintained the one-goal lead through the first frame holding a 13-9 shot lead and improved to an 18-10-1-0 record when registering the games first goal. The Petes would play with more urgency, doubling Kingston shots by a 10-5 margin but remained down a goal after forty minutes.

On Kingston’s first shot of the second frame, Ottawa Senators prospect Ben Roger (2) made it a two-goal lead for the Frontenacs wiring a long range shot past Sztuska’s blocker. Rearguard Tommy Budnick made a quick pass to set up Roger for the assist at 6:11 making it 2-0 with Paul Hughes adding a helper.

Shortly after the second Kingston strike, the Petes took the games first penalty with just over 12 minutes remaining in the second period and got back within a goal on their eighth shorthanded tally. Robertson (28) scored his fourth on the season against Kingston, finishing off a beauty centring pass by Avery Hayes after an unfortunate collision at the Fronts blueline dropped Roger to allow an odd man rush on Zhigalov at 9:24 for the 2-1 score.

Callens had a good chance staved off by the Petes goalie with just over four minutes left and Zhigalov made a nice glove save off a Melee shot with 4:18 left to hold the score at 2-1 Fronts heading to the third.




Kingston is now 13-2-1-0 with a lead at the start of the third period but it wasn’t easy as they went to their first penalty-kill just over a minute in.

The Petes had a deflected shot by Connor Lochart (20) beat Zhigalov at 5:06 that was initially waved off by on-ice officials, but a video review deemed the allowable tally and set up a tied 2-2 game. Robertson earned his second point of the night on an assist.

With fourteen minutes remaining, the teams went four-on-four after McCoy and Ludwinski were sent off on coincidental minors before Kingston went up again with a 3-2 beauty goal at 9:29. Thibodeau (13) and Linus Hemstrom played give-and-go with Thibodeau netting his second of the game tipping a saucer pass by the Petes goaltender for the game-winner and tying him with Soto for the team lead. Ian Lemieux earned his first point as Frontenac with an assist in his first game back from injury.

Rearguard Duncan Schneider made a great defensive play in front of Zhigalov directly leading to a Kingston break and a fourth goal just 1:17 after Thibodeau’s second marker. Mitchell Brooks (3) got a second two-goal lead for the Frontenacs after finishing off a sweet three-way passing play on a nice shot with Ethan Miedema and Owen Outwater assisting at 10:26. It was Thibodeau’s second career multi-goal game and tied him for the team lead with Matthew Soto, and Miedema is now tied with Soto for the team points lead (35).

Hemstrom made a generous assist breaking in on an empty Petes net setting up Callens (10) for his double-digit goal on the season and now has points in consecutive games with his second point of the game. Hemstrom and Budnick each earned second assists on the final 5-2 tally.

The Black and Gold hit the road looking for consecutive wins to finish three-games in three days starting tomorrow in Barrie against the Colts at 7:00 pm.




KGN: Thibodeau (12,13), Roger (2), Brooks (3), Callens (10)

PBO: Robertson (28), Lochart (20)



KGN: (0/1) (shorthanded goal against)

PBO: (0/0)



BMW of Kingston Hardest Worker:

Mitchell Brooks – (1G)



Three Star Awards:

  1. Chris Thibodeau KGN – (2G, GWG)
  2. Tucker Robertson PBO– (1G,1A)
  3. Ben Roger KGN – (1G)


Fronts Notes:

  • Frontenacs Hockey Club officially announced its bid for rights to host the 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Kia
  • F Ethan Miedema – played in CHL Prospects Game Jan 25 in B.C. – pts consecutive games (1G,1A)
  • KGN – 3rd lowest goals against in the 1st period OHL (36)
  • KGN – 2nd most game-opening goals in OHL (29)
  • D Alec Belanger – returned fr Inj
  • D Ian Lemieux – returned from Inj
  • F Maddox Callens – pts in consecutive games (2G,1A), pts last 6 games (4G,1A)
  • F Paul Ludwinski – pts in consecutive games (3A), pts last 6 games (5A)


Team Stat Pack – G.P. (46) (22-21-1-2) 47 pts


Goals –Soto, Thibodeau (13), Miedema (12)

PPG – Ludwinski, Soto (5), Miedema (4)

Assists – Ludwinski (24), Hemstrom, Miedema (23)

PPA – Hemström (11), Burns (9), Outwater (8)

Points –Soto, Miedema (35), Hemstrom (32), Ludwinski (31)

PPP – Ludwinski (12), Hemstrom, Soto (11), Burns (10)

SOG –Thibodeau (92), Soto (83), Outwater (78)

Plus/Minus –Burns, Miedema (+6), McGowan (+4)

PIMs – Burns (77), Budnick (54), Uens (41)


On The Front:

The Frontenacs hit the road for a pair of games finishing off a three-game in three days stretch tomorrow, Sat, Feb 4, at 7:30 pm against former assistant captain Braden Hache and the Barrie Colts and Sun, Feb 5, at 4:00 pm in North Bay versus the Battalion. The next home game sees the Oshawa Generals make a visit on Fri, Feb 10, at Leon’s centre at 7:00 pm for Talk Today theme night.

96.3 Big FM and 104.3 Fresh Radio are your exclusive home for play-by-play with Jim Gilchrist and Kingston Frontenacs Hockey! Fans can listen live to all the games at Fans can also tune into the game at (subscription needed).

Fans are encouraged to follow the team’s social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for live updates!

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