Evan Vierling scored a hattrick and the Barrie Colts rebounded from a tough first period to pull out a 5-2 win in Kingston on Monday afternoon. It was Family Day on and off the ice in Kingston as the Frasca brothers faced each other for the second time in their OHL careers. Shane Wright would extend a point-steak to nine games and now sits just three goals back of the Kingston franchise rookie-goal record.
Where: Leon’s Centre in Kingston
Time: 2 p.m.
Barrie Colts: 52 GP: 24-23-3-2 (53 pts – Tied 2nd in Central Div. / Tied 5th Eastern Conf.)
Kingston Frontenacs: 53 GP: 17-32-2-2 (38 pts – 5th East Div. / 9th Eastern Conf.)
After another tough loss late versus London last Saturday night, the Kingston Frontenacs looked to get ahead of the Niagara IceDogs for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East Conference sitting one point back of the Colts with two games in hand. Niagara lost on Saturday && to && helping Kingston have a shot to pull ahead with a win on Sunday afternoon.
The Leons Centre was hopping as it marked the annual Family Day game and home fans were looking forward to potential history in the making. Rookie Shane Wright (33) sits three goals behind the franchise record for rookie-goals set by Bernie Nicholls and is on pace to potentially break John Tavares’s record of goals (42) and points (77) for an underage-season in the OHL.
Wright’s linemates Zayde Wisdom and Martin Chromiak have combined to form one of the more potent lines in the league since Chromiak’s arrival shortly after Christmas.
Jordan Frasca and Jacob Frasca would play each other for the second time this season. The previous two games had circumstances seeing the brothers miss the games against each other. Jacob is having a good rookie campaign with 13 points in 40 games while Jordan is a central part of Kingston’s offence sitting fourth in team-assists (25).
It marked another reunion of Don Mills Flyers alumni as Kingston rookies’ Francesco Arcuri and Wright would take on former teammate Brandt Clarke. Wright and Clarke are tied for the OHL rookie assist lead with 26 each.
Wright entered on an eight-game point streak registering eight goals and nine assists for 17 points during a stretch that has seen him as one of the hottest players in the OHL over the last 10 games.
Kingston had won seven of ten Family Day games historically heading into the matchup versus Barrie.
Game-Night Stat Check:
- Shane Wright leads OHL rookie scoring (59), rookie goals (33), rookie powerplay goals (7), rookie SOG (162), Tied GWG (4) and tied in rookie assists with Brandt Clarke-Barrie (26).
- Wright (20.4 percent) and Martin Chromiak (18.7 percent) both sit in top-five for OHL rookie shooting percentage
- Wright (58), Vitali Pinchuk (25), Chromiak (24), and Francesco Arcuri (18) are all in top-20 OHL scoring for rookies
- Kingston has scored more team-goals (176). A vast improvement over the 2018-19 season (144)
- Kingston’s penalty-killing has been steadily gaining a better efficiency no longer in the last place for OHL team-rankings with a 72 percent rating.
Jordan and Jacob Frasca would take the opening draw against each other with Jordan winning the first of the game-within-the-game matchups with the younger but bigger Jacob. Both strong face-off centers they wouldn’t see each other again in the circle, but both finished above a 50 percent winning efficiency.
Evan Brand made a board-rattling hit on Anthony Tabak early again trying to get Kingston some momentum. Dustin Hutton was then called for a trip at 2:33 for Kingston’s first penalty of game but Kingston’s ever-improving penalty-killing units did a good job mitigated scoring chances by Barrie’s 14th-ranked powerplay.
Jordan Frasca had a nice chance to open the scoring at 6:40 after taking a nice feed from Jake Murray but Arturs Silovs made his first of many good saves on the afternoon.
Kingston would mount pressure over a couple of shifts and shortly after a great offensive-zone forecheck by the Kalloway Mercer, Justin Pringle, Lucas Rowe line, the Wright, Chromiak, and Wisdom trio drew a penalty after Wisdom displayed some great puck possession getting the slashing call on Barrie’s Tabak. It was a good powerplay for Kingston almost scoring early with Dawson Baker having a great chance in the crease to bang home a rebound. Just before the penalty was ending, Chromiak would score his 11th goal giving the 1-0 lead to the home side at 13:04. After some nice give-and-go passing between Nick King and Jakob Brahaney at the point, Brahaney was able to feed Chromiak who buried a slapshot past Silovs on Kingston’s eighth consecutive shot on goal.
From the 7:36 mark, Kingston did not allow another shot on their net holding Barrie to its least amount of shots in a first-period all season with four. Kingston would draw another penalty with 37 seconds left to send the teams to intermission.
Kingston couldn’t connect on the remaining time from the late first period Barrie penalty and moments later it was a tie game. Evan Vierling made it 1-1 at 1:54 with his first of three goals on the day. Immediately after Dugas had made a solid save on his first shot in over 13 minutes, Luke Bignell and Tyson Foerster teamed up to help get Vierling open at the bottom of the circle and he beat Dugas over the glove for his 10th goal.
Unlike the first, Barrie was generating some more offence in the Kingston zone forcing Dugas into a couple good saves including a nice save from a shot in the slot. Baker, as usual, made a good hit just over five minutes in which seemed to turn the tide for the Frontenacs for a few minutes again. Wright would be stoned by Silovs off a nice shot in from the circle and Kingston couldn’t connect on a three-on-two when Wisdom had setup Chromiak. Vitali Pinchuk would also have a good opportunity to give Kingston a lead coming in off a great rush, but Silovs was able to stop the first and second rebound opportunity by Pinchuk.
Silovs saves proved to be key as Barrie took the 2-1 lead at 11:09 on a Luke Bignell goal with Foerster getting his second assist and shortly after another crossbar shot by Barrie, Victor Hadfield got Barrie up by two goals with his seventh at 16:38 for the eventual game-winning goal sending it to the second intermission with a 3-1 score.
Kingston coach Kurtis Foster described the period: “We gave up too many second and third opportunities I thought and it gave them an opportunity to get back in it.” He (Silovs) made some great saves. We had some great chances in the second especially which could have tied the game up or gave us the lead and he made some big saves. I thought Wis, Wright, and Chromiak were buzzing all night and he held them back.”
Foster made a change in the Kingston goal, sending Christian Propp out to start the third in place of Dugas looking for a spark. The team had responded well after Propp was pulled in favour of Dugas in an earlier game last week.
Matthew Sredl made a good hip-check on Lucas Rowe as the Kingston forward had great speed almost getting by the Barrie defender shortly before the Wright line again had a couple of quality chances to get back within one during a 30 second-plus shift in the Colts zone.
Barrie would hit a third post as Josh Nelson looked to get Barrie up by three and Propp would make two good saves during a good offensive zone shift by Barrie and the teams would also play some four-on-four with Baker and Vierling called for matching minors.
With Barrie called for their third penalty of the game with under six minutes left, the Frontenacs 15th-ranked powerplay made it a one-goal game on a beautiful shot by Wright at 14:41. The OHL rookie-leading point-scorer whistled a snapshot past Silovs shoulder on the short-side making it 3-2 with his rookie-leading 34th goal. His eighth powerplay goal also leads all first-year skaters.
Kingston has had some quick-strike goals against them this season and unfortunately tonight Barrie made it 4-2 just 10 seconds after the Wright goal. Vierling’s second made it 4-2 effectively ending the game for a Barrie win though Vierling would add an empty netter for his hattrick goal rounding out the scoring at 5-2 and giving Barrie a much needed two points in the race in the Central Division.
Speaking with Jacob Frasca after the game he said: “We had to make it up for last night’s performance. We lost those two points we really needed. Tonight in the second we really bounced back and showed the fans how the Colts play.” On his goaltenders excellent game, he added: “Silly (Silovs) has been unbelievable for us. His second effort is always there, we need him to keep it going ’cause he’s a star player for us.”
Playing against his older brother Jordan was somewhat easier for Jacob saying: “It was better this time as the first time I was a little more nervous. I wasn’t used to it yet, it was only my sixth or seventh game in the OHL. This time was more calming and it was in Kingston this time so I found it a lot easier. Speaking about Jordan: “I honestly starting playing hockey because of him. We played mini-sticks against each other every day. Seeing him play when I was three and four years old, I wanted to be like that and here we are now.”
Frontenacs coach Foster described his thoughts on Jacob: “He’s a good player. For a third-round pick, he’s been really good. He’s a big, strong righthanded centreman that isn’t easy to find. You can tell he’s a similar player (to Jordan) in the way they play. No nonsense to their game and play a good north-south game. Jacob is just a little bigger. I remember playing against my brother in the OHL. I will never forget that and for them to get that opportunity on Family Day is pretty cool.”
Jordan Frasca said after the defeat: “It was a tough loss. We’ve had a few close games the last few days and we let this one slip by.”
He was very happy to get to spend the day with his family and brother on the ice and says his brother brings out the competitive juices saying: “There’s going to be a high battle every shift. It’s for some bragging rights so it’s just a little more competition for me and gets me fired up a little more.” He said he’s also learned from his younger brother: “Just to never give up on something. We would always battle and mostly I would win but he would always come back at me so he taught me that competitive edge.”
Jordan a has been a prominent force in the Kingston attack this season. His teammates understand his value with Wisdom simply describing as “…a horse that is hard to move.” His trade to Kingston from Windsor last summer has worked out for both player and the team. “It means a lot. The coaches trust me and see I’m a good player, and it gives me that extra confidence and a clearer mind to make plays.”
Coach Foster precessed the game afterwards saying: “Yeah, they are a good team and playing well right now they have a good record and I thought we held them good in the first, but in the second they got some momentum. They are always going to push and not fold. They are well-coached and play a heavy game and I thought in the third we came out good. We had plenty of zone time. I thought we had opportunities where we missed the net which was frustrating but we did score two powerplay goals tonight.”
Though Dugas wasn’t as strong as he has been lately, Foster didn’t rest the loss on any one player or play: “If Duggie was his usual self he probably wants a couple of those back. Anytime you have three goals on 16 shots it can be frustrating, but at the end of the day, we got it back to within one and many times we’ve gotten within one we had done a good job getting back in the game. That next shift after a goal, however, is always a huge shift and it’s funny how quickly it can turn.”
- Evan Vierling – BAR
- Luke Bignell – BAR
- Martin Chromiak – KGN
CHL Hardest Working Player (Voted by Fans):
- Zayde Wisdom – Fired four shots on goal and his assist extended a point streak to three games (3G, 3A)
Kingston Frontenacs play their next game on Friday, February 21 at 7 p.m. vs Oshawa Generals at Leons Centre in Kingston