Kingston Frontenacs and Soo Greyhounds met up on Friday night for the first time in the 2019-20 season with the Greyhounds winning their third game in a row on the strength of a three-point night from Rory Kerins in a 5-2 win in Kingston. Ethan Ritchie would score his first career OHL goal in the loss for Kingston.
Where: Leon’s Centre in Kingston
Time: 7 p.m.
Soo Greyhounds: 47 GP: 22-23-2-0(46 pts – 4th Central Div / 9th West Conf)
Kingston Frontenacs: 44 GP: 14-26-2-2 (32 pts – 5th East Div / 9th East Conf)
After five losses in a row, the Greyhounds came into Kingston having won two-straight on the road vs North Bay and Peterborough. Goaltender Bailey Brkin traded by Kingston to Soo for Christian Propp made the start. Kingston native Tye Kartye is having a good season in Soo with 19 goals and 40 points in 47 games and played on the top line with Jaromir Pytlik and Zach Trott.
Former Frontenacs defenceman Billy Constantinou, traded to the Soo on Oct 15, did not dress for the Greyhounds.
Kingston came in off a 2-0 win in their last game over Niagara seeing Ryan Dugas record his first shutout of the year and second of his career. The Frontenacs remain on the outside of a playoff spot in the East Conference sitting seven points back of Niagara heading into the game but do have two games in hand on the IceDogs.
Rookie Defenceman Braden Hache misssed his third game with a foot injury he sustained blocking a shot in the Jan 25 Frontenacs game vs Saginaw.
The teams will play one more time in Soo on Mar 7 in what will be Kingston’s sixth game of a seven-game road trip seeing the team away from Leons Centre from Febr 25 to March 8 while the Tim Hortons Brier is on.
Game-Night Stat Check:
- Jakob Brahaney is fifth in OHL for shots by a defenceman (143)
- Shane Wright leads OHL rookie scoring (42) and rookie powerplay goals (6)
- Frontenacs have three players on the latest NHL Central Scouting list (Martin Chromiak, Zayde Wisdom, and Jake Murray)
- Francesco Arcuri leads OHL shootout scorers (4) and is the only player with a 100 percent efficiency
The Frontenacs got off to a slow start not registering a shot on goal for the opening seven minutes killing two penalties within the opening 10 minutes. Soo came out with some energy, including a stiff check on Jake Murray by Kingston native Tye Kartye on the opening shift, and continued putting pressure in the Kingston offensive zone while making it tough on Kingston to gain any time in their defensive zone.
Kingston killed their first penalty just 45 seconds into the game. Ryan Dugas was called on early making an excellent save off a Soo give-and-go five minutes in and later made a nice save off a one-timer in the slot by Kartye taking the shot up high but not allowing a rebound. The line of Dawson Baker, Justin Pringle and Maddox Callens continues to provide a strong forecheck as the trio was hard on the Soo defence all period long with Baker putting his body in front of shots.
Kingston had its first powerplay opportunity at 10:42 when Nick King was hit by Kalvyn Watson who was given a boarding penalty on the play. The powerplay couldn’t connect with two shots on Greyhound starter Bailey Brkin. Soo almost had an excellent opportunity to score while shorthanded, but Zayde Wisdom made a great play and was able to come back and help out his defences breaking up the odd-man rush.
The shots finished up even with six for each team, but it was Soo with the better scoring chances including a hit post to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes.
Kingston came out with some energy in the second including a Nick Wong bodycheck causing a turnover leading to a chance that was thwarted by Brkin. Baker would make another nice shot block after a good setup by Soo leading to a slapshot by Jacob Holmes. After the block, Baker and Callens would team up to negate the Soo pressure.
Dustin Hutton had a great chance to open the scoring after Lucas Rowe and Francesco Arcuri made a good passing play ending up with Arcuri setting up Hutton in the slot. However, shortly after, the Frontenacs would take the 1-0 lead as rookie defenceman Ethan Ritchie scored his first career OHL goal at 10:37.
Chromiak angled off a Soo forward in the neutral zone causing a turnover that Ritchie picked up and after dishing off to Wisdom he drove for the net. The energetic rearguard had shown off his accurate wrist shot in previous games and tonight he made it count. After Wisdom returned a backhand pass to him made no mistake burying a shot that beat Brkin through the blocker side.
Coach Foster was thrilled for the rookie saying: “It was good, I thought he made a great play and read to step up and scored a big goal.”
Speaking on the play that he scored on, Ritchie said after the game: “Their winger went to shoot it up and I read the play and beat one guy and passed it over to Wiz. He’s great with that stuff (passing) he saw the play the full way through and gave the puck to me and I just shot. Kinda blacked out, one of those moments that just happen.”
Jaromir Pytlick almost squared the game up with five minutes left letting a one-timer go from the slot but Dugas made a left-pad kick save to keep the Fronts in the lead. Soo kept up the pressure and forced a turnover allowing Jacob Leguerrier to fire a slap shot past a screened Dugas to tie the game 1-1 at 16:25 to set up what would be the turning point in the game as just over a minute later it was 2-1 Greyhounds. Zack Trott found himself in on a breakaway after a nice outlet pass by Kartye beating Dugas at 17:50 to give Soo its first lead scoring his 19th of the year and 52nd point to lead the Greyhounds. Kartye described what he saw as he took the puck at centre: “I just saw Trotter busting down the wing and was able to get it to him and he made a good play.”
Kingston would kill off a late penalty keeping it 2-1 as the teams headed to the second intermission with the shots 19-12 in favour of Soo.
It was 3-1 for the Greyhounds at 1:09 Cole MacKay in what would be the eventual game-winner. He tipped a shot for his 21st of the year in yet another goal that Dugas couldn’t be faulted on.
After the third strike by Soo, the Frontenacs had a powerplay opportunity to get back within a goal but couldn’t get any quality chances on the Soo net despite some decent zone time. The Greyhounds made it 4-1 at 5:01 when they took advantage of a fortunate bounce. Nick King tried to make a pass but it deflected off MacKay’s skate and went to Rory Kerins who popped it past a surprised Dugas.
After Joe Carroll scored his 15th making it 5-1 just before the midway point of the frame, Kingston had a lengthy five-on-three to try and get back in the game but again couldn’t convert on the man-advantage. The game also got more physical in the latter stages as Baker and Ryan O’Rourke would be sent off for coincidental roughing minors and Lucas Peric and Marc Boudreau dropped the gloves after a hit by Peric.
Nick Wong did add his 10th at 17:37 to finalize the score at 5-2. The assist by Wisdom tied him with Wright for the team lead with 42 points and Jakob Brahaney’s assist keeps him in the team lead with 23 helpers.
Former Greater Kingston minor hockey representative Tye Kartye has had an impressive sophomore season with the Greyhounds registering 19 goals and 21 assists while sitting second on the team in plus/minus with a +21 rating coming into tonight’s game.
His 22nd assist tonight gives him 41 points in just 48 games coming off a four-goal and 24 point rookie campaign last season.
The 6 foot, 185 pound forward is a pivotal part of the Greyhound offence sitting third in team goals with one shorthanded strike. Kartye has shown a propensity to score early as six of his goals have been the first of the game for the Greyhounds. A dependable face-off player he sits at 54.7 percent and is averaging just over two shots per game.
He was five for nine in faceoffs and finished with an assist on two shots and was a +1 in front of family and friends.
“To get back in a playoff spot we got to keep battling every game cause they all are big,” said Kartye after the game. “It’s always great to come back home, spend the night at home and play in front of my family and friends so it was awesome.
Kurtis Foster “We have to be the harder working team each night. It was disappointing tonight because we worked hard all week in practice after a big win last Sunday. I don’t think we were terrible today, I just think they wanted it more than we did. I don’t think we gave them a tonne, It just seemed like we weren’t generating anything.”
On his goaltender, the coach was happy with Dugas and his battle to keep the game close early. “He earned the right to play again after the shutout the last game. I thought he kept us in early.”
Ethan Ritchie added: “It was definitely tough, it’s a big weekend for us and obviously not the result we wanted. I thought we did some good things, but really it was our battling at the net that really let us down tonight. Hopefully, we can rebound tomorrow against North Bay.”
Soo goalie Bailey Brkin is happy to be in Soo after his mid-season move. saying: “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be in the league.” On tonight’s game, he says: “I’d like to have the first goal back but I think we bounced back really well with two goals.” Now, winners of three in a row, Soo is just one point back of a playoff spot in the West Conference. Moving forward the former WHL goaltender says: “We just have to take it game-by-game, period by period and play Greyhound hockey and we’ll be fine.”
- Rory Kerins – SOO
- Joe Carroll – SOO
- Ethan Ritchie – KGN
CHL Hardest Working Player (Voted by Fans):
- Dawson Baker
Kingston Frontenacs play their next game on Saturday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Barrie vs the Colts and then play on Super Bowl Sunday in North Bay at 2 p.m. vs the Battalion.