Marcus Boutilier

Fronts Front: Kingston Frontenacs host Oshawa Generals number two team in the CHL – Nick King debuts and freshly acquired Dustin Hutton offers his thoughts

Kingston Frontenacs (1-11-2-1) 5 pts – 5th east  vs. Oshawa Generals (12-2-0-1) 23 points 1st east

The Kingston Frontenacs had some new faces in the lineup versus the Oshawa Generals on Friday night at the Leon’s Centre as newly acquired acquisitions Nick King and Dustin Hutton made their debuts for the hometown Frontenacs. It was the third meeting of the year for the Eastern Division rivals with the Generals taking the first two games both by a 4-1 score.

Coming into the night, Oshawa was ranked the second-best team in the Canadian Hockey League rankings and the top team in the Ontario Hockey League standings with 23 points and had yet to lose a regulation game on the road coming in with a 7-0-0-1 record away from the Tribute Communities Centre. They held a three-point advantage on Peterborough for the division lead.

The Frontenacs were without the services of rookie forward Shane Wright and head coach Kurtis Foster as the pair are off to Western Canada to represent Team Canada at the U-17 Hockey Challenge. With Foster away, Luca Caputi took over the role of bench boss as he gets his first action running the Kingston bench. While it’s never ideal to lose your head coach and leading scorer (tied), representing your country is something everyone understands and Caputi wishes the pair well.

Ryan Dugas made his 8th appearance starting for Kingston and earned his second consecutive start after a solid performance in last Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Sarnia. Dugas again would look strong making 41 of 46 saves on the night. He was particularly good in the first period keeping the Frontenacs close.

With Kingston looking to get out to a lead for only the fourth time this season, it was Oshawa that took advantage of an early power play when Nico Gross scored his 6th from Leyton Moore and Noel Serron making it 1-0. It was a sign of things to come as the number nine ranked power-play (sixth after the game) in the OHL was the difference in the game. 

The Generals would make it 2-0 on their second power-play opportunity later in the first with Lucas Rowe off for unsportsmanlike. Former Frontenac Brett Neumann registered his team-leading 12th goal and 23rd point with just over five minutes remaining in the first. He now has a goal and four assists in the three games against Kingston this year.

Kingston would fail to score on their only man-advantage of the first and Dugas was forced to make a great save shorthanded on Neumann. Oshawa would fire five shots in a row at the Kingston net before Luke Drewitt’s third goal of the season came off a deflection in the slot off a swift pass by Rowe that just had enough steam getting through Generals goalie Zachary Paputsakis cutting the Generals leads in half 2-1.

Forward Luke Drewitt -Kingston Frontenacs

With only two goals in 59 career OHL games, Drewitt already has more this season(3) in his 13 appearances than he had coming into 2019/20. After being outshot 19-7 it was a big goal for Kingston coming with only 43 seconds left in the period.

With some momentum gained, Kingston would come out strong in the second. They played the Generals well at full-strength and were gaining chances on Paputsakis. They forced the Generals to take a second penalty when their goaltender was called for delay of game. For the second time in the game, Dugas would be forced to stop Neumann on a short-handed chance within seconds of the power-play starting. The Frontenacs power-play could not connect but they continued to press during the middle portion of the game. They would get another mab-advantage just over 12 minutes in but were relegated to four-on-four play when Zayde Wisdom was called for holding 34 seconds later. 

The two teams would trade chances for the remaining of the second period with things getting testy between the 401 rivals with five seconds left. Dawson Baker and Generals captain Kyle MacLean received roughing minors after a gathering in front of Dugas. Baker would get an additional minor for high-sticking setting up an Oshawa power-play to start the third.

In the last period, Jacob Winterton would give the visitors a 3-1 lead early when he struck just before Baker’s penalty had ended with his third assisted by Neumann and Ty Tullio. When the Frontenacs went down a man again shortly after, Oshawa made it 4-1 on Tullio’s ninth of the year from Neumann and Giovanni Vallati at the 6:27 mark of the frame. 

That goal likely put the game out of reach for Kingston but they did continue to press for a goal including a great rush by Vitali Pinchuk that Paputsakis had to be good on. Pinchuk continually is showing that he is going to be a force coming off the wing. 

After Dugas made a great save on Oshawa’s Ryan Gagnier, Allan McShane would immediately fire the rebound back at the Kingston goalie who again made a save, but McShane would bury the third chance to seal the game 5-1.

Kingston’s penalty killing units would again be busy as they were forced to kill off two more penalties though Maddox Callens’ penalty came with less than two minutes left. Oshawa’s 4/7 night on the power-play was the difference in the game. Interim head coach Luca Caputi will surely address this heading into Peterborough on Tuesday. 

Nick King had a good debut for Kingston playing in his first game since being acquired from North Bay on October 26th. He and Lucas Peric got caught in some miscommunication on a Generals goal, but that can happen with new teammates at times. The steady two-way defenceman had three shots and showed off some good puck-moving with his skating including a couple of end-to-end rushes while being strong defending his own end.

Game Night Spotlight:

Dustin Hutton, also making his Kingston debut, looked like he had some chemistry when skating with Jordan Frasca and Nick Wong. The trio played together in minor hockey and Hutton (who also knows Rowe) credits them with helping him transition from the Peterborough Petes in a quick turnaround as he was claimed off waivers just today. The speedy, skilled puck mover spoke after the game saying, “I’m good buddies with Nick Wong, Rowe, and Frasca, so they really brought me in today and helped me glue with some of the guys.”

Forward Dustin Hutton- Kingston Frontenacs

The 5’9”, 160 lbs winger scored in the first two games of the year for Peterborough and added two assists before making the move to Kingston. The Etobicoke, ON native says: “It was surreal actually, not the best turnout, but I feel like I’m just trying to gel with the boys first and then once we get going we’ll start picking up and win some games.” He feels like he can play a grinding game when he needs to as well.

Game Notes:

Kingston native Doug Gilmour announced he was leaving the club after 11 seasons. He assumed the roles of General Manager, Head Coach, President of Hockey Operations over his tenure with the Frontenacs. He’s leaving to work in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

3 Stars:

  1. Neumann – OSH
  2. McShane – OSH
  3. Tullio – OSH

Hardest Working Player as voted by fans:

Nick Wong

Attendance :

3, 127

Next Up:

The Frontenacs play the Petes in Peterborough at the Memorial Centre on Tuesday, November 5th, 7:05 PM