Shane Wright would extend a point-streak to 10 games scoring the game-winner and Christian Propp made 46 saves to help the Kingston Frontenacs to a huge 4-3 overtime win over the Oshawa Generals on Friday night leapfrogging Niagara for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East Conference.
Where: Leon’s Centre in Kingston
Time: 7 p.m.
Oshawa Generals: 54 GP: 24-23-3-2 (64 pts – 3rd in Central Div. / 3rd Eastern Conf.)
Kingston Frontenacs: 54 GP: 17-33-2-2 (38 pts – 5th East Div. / 9th Eastern Conf.)
It was Veteran’s Day game in Kingston as the annual game saw the Frontenacs wear eye-catching military-themed uniforms in honour of our Canadian Military and their families.
Both teams are playing important games as the playoffs draw nearer. The Oshawa Generals, recently named a finalist (with Soo Greyhounds) for hosting the 2021 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia, are five behind Peterborough in the East Division and Conference standings with 64 points, but have three games-in-hand on the Petes heading into Friday’s matchup.
Kingston is one point behind Niagara IceDogs for the final playoff spot in the East and will play their next seven games away from home after Friday’s game. Two points in the bank before heading out on a tough schedule through Western Ontario and Michigan next week would be a much needed building block for the Frontenacs hopes of making the post-season.
Oshawa holds a 5-0-0-1 record versus Kingston but have had a tough time playing their division rivals. 16 goals for KGN 29 for Oshawa. The teams met most recently in Oshawa on Feb 12 in a 5-4 win for the Generals with former Frontenac Brett Nuemann having three points including the game-winner with 39 seconds left less than a minute after Kingston had tied the game at four. It was one of the better games for Kingston all season who likely deserved a better fate holding Oshawa to only five shots in the second and 26 overall. Coach Kurtis Foster will need his group taking that same energy and tenacity into tonight’s game. OHL rookie-scoring leader Shane Wright had three points with Nick King and Jordan Frasca adding two-point games.
Oshawa possesses the league’s fourth-best powerplay and has gotten even better since the arrival of Phil Tomasino and while Kingston’s improved penalty killing units have been better, you don’t want to test one of the leagues more potent offences too many times.
Wright entered on an nine-game point streak registering nine goals and nine assists for 18 points during a stretch that has seen him one of the hottest players in the OHL over the last 10 game sitting just two goals from tying the franchise record for rookie-goals set by Bernie Nicholls. He’s had success playing the Generals with 10 points (5G, 5A) in the five matchups this season scoring his first career OHL goal against the them on Sep 29 during a 4-1 Oshawa victory.
Nuemann spoke on his former team in Kingston after the last game in Oshawa: “They have a good young team in a little bit of a rebuild but they have some good pieces there I think. Some good young players that down the road will keep on developing so I’ve been impressed with them this year especially Shane Wright. That line (Wisdom and Chromiak) is providing lots of offence and they are tough to play against. It’s nice to see that they are finding some good pieces for the future.”
Game-Night Stat Check:
- Shane Wright leads OHL rookie scoring (60), rookie goals (34), rookie powerplay goals (8), rookie SOG (167) – only one game (Jan 4 vs HAM) not recording at least one shot, Tied GWG (4) and second in rookie assists (26) – Brandt Clarke-Barrie (27)
- Wright (58), Vitali Pinchuk (25), Martin Chromiak (24), and Francesco Arcuri (18) are all in top-20 OHL scoring for rookies
- Kingston captain Jakob Brahaney is fifth in shots-on-goal from defencemen (165) and 19th in scoring from the blueline (32)
- Oshawa forward Phil Tomasino has 38 points (16G, 22A) in 18 games since the trade from Niagara
The game started out with a bang as Evan Brand would make a big hit stapling Cole Resnick to the boards before Mitchell Brewer engaged the Kingston defenceman and the two had a spirited scrap. Said Brand after the game: “I don’t mind it myself. I like to be physical and sometimes I know if I lay a big hit I may have to stick up after.” The division rivals continued the physical play all game as Tye McSorley also got into the action early making a hit on Nick King in the Frontenacs zone.
The teams combined for five shots in the first three minutes of play as each was looking to get the jump but both Christian Propp in the Kingston goal and Oshawa’s Jordan Kooy came ready as well making some key saves early.
Kingston’s Justin Pringle was called on the games first penalty and Oshawa’s &&ranked powerplay had a couple good chances including a tipped shot by Giovanni Vallati and a one-timed shot by Brett Neumann in the slot that Propp turned away. Shortly after Jakob Brahaney laid a nice hit on Ty Tullio, the Oshawa forward had a great chance on a rebound in the crease, but again, Propp held his ground.
As the game was growing more physical, Dawson Baker and Kyle MacLean would drop the gloves in the periods’ second fight as the two have had some history since including an engagement in the last game in Oshawa. MacLean would get the extra two-minutes and Kingston would take advantage making it 1-0 at 13:30 on a Nick Wong powerplay strike. After picking up a loose puck just off the the right-circle, the former General whistled a shot past Kooy for his 13th goal with Frasca and Vitali Pinchuk drawing assists.
Kingston would have a couple of more good opportunities to get up two, but at 15:43 it was Oshawa who tied the game 1-1 after Vallati was allowed to skate into the top of the circle before toe-dragging a nice shot past a partially screened Propp. It was his first of the season and came on his birthday with rookie Brett Harrison and David Jesus earning helpers.
Phil Tomasino had three good chances in succession at the end of the period to get the Generals up a goal, but Propp was solid and preserved the 1-1 game heading to the first intermission.
Propp was forced to make some key saves again to start the middle frame before Kingston would go ahead for the second time. Shortly after a nice hit by Justin Pringle, a hard working shift was ended after Frasca made it 2-1 at 5:48 banging home a rebound after a shot from Brahaney came in from the point with Wisdom also drawing an assist. Just under two minutes later it was 3-1 at 7:25 when Nick Wong made a beauty pass to set up Dustin Hutton on a mini-break and he made no mistake beating Kooy for his sixth goal with Lucas Peric also getting a assist.
Oshawa had a few good scoring chances and had 29 shots on goal already at the midway point of the game as Propp continued to hold his team in the lead. After Kingston killed another penalty to Wong another big hit in the Oshawa zone occurred with Wisdom and Frasca teaming up to hammer Neumann on the boards.
With Oshawa having a potent powerplay, it may have been inevitable to keep testing it. On the third powerplay of the game for the Generals, they made them pay making it 3-2 at 17:46 while Frasca was off for hooking. Harrison, having a great rookie season, banged home a rebound for his 20th with Lleyton Moore and Nico Gross getting assists.
Propp made another huge save on Nuemann after he was set up for a one-timer by McLean on a two-on-one just before the second intermission.
Kingston couldn’t connect on an early powerplay in the period with a penalty to rookie Cooper Way, playing in his first OHL game for Oshawa. Kooy made three saves in what would become big as Oshawa would tie the game 3-3 at 9:45 on a Ryan Winterton tip that just made its way through Propp.
Kingston almost took the late lead as Wisdom would wire a shot off the post with under four minutes to go but the scoring was finished in regulation and the teams headed to overtime. Propp had made an incredible 46 saves to this point helping his team earn at least one point in a tough game.
Just 34 seconds into the extra session, Nuemann was called for highsticking and it would pave the way for the Frontenacs to send their home fans home happy. The OHL rookie goal-leader would win it 4-3 for Kingston on the powerplay at 1:25, as Wright would fire a wrist shot for his 35th of the year.
Wright said after the game:” I mean, I just tried to get a puck to the net, get around the D’s stick. Just try to put it in a spot where it has a chance to go in and it did, it was exciting. We played solid, had a lead there but kind of gave it up in the third period but I feel overall we played strong and deserved to win.” Martin Chromiak and Wisdom assisted on the play extending personal point-streaks to four games.
While Wright may have had a tough game early he is always poised to make something happen. Said Foster: “He’s not going to be great every night, but great players find ways to impact the game even if they are not at their best and that’s what he did.”
The goal gave Kingston the extra point vaulting them over Niagara into the eighth and final playoff position in the east and extended Wright’s point streak to 10 games. It was also his rookie-leading 61st point and puts him one shy of Kingston’s single-season rookie-goal record.
Kingston held Generals leading scorer Phil Tomasino from the scoresheet as the forwards’ seven game point-streak came to an end.
Foster said after the game: “I thought our guys did a good job holding the fort. Guys battled through and we were lucky enough to get the call in OT an take advantage.” On Propp he added: ” He put up a wall for us played very strong and he gave us confidence.”
Frascas line and Brats (Brahaney)and Murr (Murray) did a fairly good job on Tomasino. Those guys are going to get opportunities when your that elite, but to keep them a little quiet it helps our team. Was I really happy with the whole game..no, but I thought our guys battled and compete and its good for us as a group to find a way to win a game.
After a much needed win and a seeding in the playoffs, Foster knows it will only get tougher. “Now its going to be in us as coaches to make sure we don’t get comfortable and realize we have a tough stretch coming, we got to be playing at our best.”
Oshawa goalie Zachary Paputsakis made a local fans night posing for the ever popular selfie after tossing a puck to a Kingston fan. Hockey players are the best, period!
- Christian Propp – KGN
- Jordan Frasca – KGN
- Brett Harrison – OSH
CHL Hardest Working Player (Voted by Fans)
After the game Brand said: “The fans were great, it was a packed rink tonight. I think they helped us out too. The last five or so games have been real tough, especially in the third for us, but this win was huge to get back in the playoff spot. On his role with the team he comments: “I definitely bring a physical game, a simple defensive game for the team, that I know every team likes to have. I am a big PK guy and shut-down guy and help brings out the other side of offensive guys and I am a guy that helps complement them.”
Coach Foster complemented his veteran rearguard:” Its been a couple months he’s been getting better. When he plays a good game is when it’s a quiet game. Keeps the puck safe and plays simple, plays hard in our zone and he’s been doing that. He’s gained some confidence and showing he can be the D we think he can be.”
Kingston Frontenacs play their next game on the road Tuesday, February 25 at 10:30 a.m. vs Ottawa 67’s