Marcus Boutilier

Fronts Front: Kingston squares off in a back-to-back at home – Ritchie Debut vs Sting and Dugas solid vs Rangers

 

The Sarnia Sting and the Kingston Frontenacs met again for the second time in 5 days on Friday night at the Leon’s Centre after the clubs faced off last Sunday in Sarnia where the Sting took a 4-2 victory. Sarnia came into the game on a 4-game winning streak after a 4-2 win in Peterborough the night before.

Coach Foster wanted to see his team get out to a fast start and Dennis Golovatchev almost gave his coach his wish as he hit the post just under a minute into the game. Unfortunately for Kingston, Sarnia’s Anthony Tabak would score shortly after to put the Sting up 1-0.

Kingston would again put the pressure on Sarnia as they had sustained offensive zone time with 5 consecutive shots and Sarnia was unable to get into Kingston’s end for almost four minutes. However, the Sting would again strike back to make it 2-0 on a Jamieson Rees goal at 8:33 into the period. It was a beautiful goal by the Carolina Hurricanes prospect (2019 NHL 2nd round) as he deked around a Kingston defender before making quick moves to get the puck past Bonello. It was a world-class play by the offensively gifted player.

Rees would put the Sting up 3-0 early into the 2nd period, scoring his second of the night assisted by Sean Josling and Tabak. The assist extended Josling’s point streak to 7 games.

Kingston would get its first power play with Sarnia’s Kelton Hatcher in the box and with some good pressure, they were able to get some quality chances on rookie goalie Ben Gaudreau. Seconds after the penalty ended, Zayde Wisdom would tip in a Lucas Peric shot for his team-leading 6th goal on the season to cut the Sting lead to two goals. Nick Wong would add an assist on the score.

Just under 4 minutes later, on another power play, Kingston’s Jordan Frasca cut the Sting lead to one with his 3rd of the season. The goal extended the versatile forward’s point streak to 7 games. Jake Murray would fire a wrist shot towards the goal and Frasca was able to tip it past Gaudreau with Jakob Brahaney also being credited with a helper on the goal. 

The Sting would get back up by two as Sarnia’s Sean Josling extended his goal-streak to 5 games with a goal to put the Sting back up by two 4-2. He entered the game on a 6-game point streak as well and with his 4 assists on the night, it marked his second 5-point game of the season.

Early in the 3rd period, Kingston would go on the power play with Sarnia’s Braden Guy in the box, but it was the Sting who added to their 2-goal lead when Tabak would score his second of the night for a 5-2 lead. It was a dagger in the hearts of Kingston as they had been pushing the game looking to get back in it. Tabak’s pair of goals gave him 7 points in his last 3 games.

The teams then traded goals back and forth with Kingston’s Lucas Rowe scoring twice for his 3rd and 4th tallies on the year. Shane Wright and defenceman Ethan Ritchie would be credited with an assist on Rowe’s first goal. It marked Ritchie’s first Ontario Hockey League point. He fired the puck towards a heavily trafficked net and Rowe tipped in the shot.

Sarnia’s Jamieson Rees would add his 3rd of the game on the power play. An assist by Josling put him into a tie at the time with OHL league-leading scorer with Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield at 27 points.  Ryan McGregor potted his 3rd on the season in the games’ last minute to finish the scoring 7-4 Sarnia.

Kingston’s Dawson Baker spoke after the game saying: “We need to keep getting pucks to the net, shoot early and have bodies in the crease.” As a veteran Baker is trying to stay positive during the team’s struggles early in the year and added, “I know it sucks, I’m just trying to keep every positive and if we keep playing the way we can, we’ll come out with some wins.”

Though the feisty forward is more involved in the Kingston offence this season he isn’t worried about that. ” I am not worried about goals or points, I just want to start winning here, so if the pucks going in that’s great but, I just want to win,” said the former Sudbury draft pick. Blocking 3 shots in a row within seconds is a testament to his commitment to winning. 

Forward Dawson Baker – Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images

Game Night Spotlight:

Ethan Ritchie

Kingston defenceman Ethan Ritchie made his Frontenacs debut in the game after being acquired in a waiver transaction from the Erie Otters. He had been playing with Georgetown Raiders in the OJHL appearing in 13 games this season until arriving in Kingston earlier this week. Ritchie registered a point on Lucas Rowe’s goal in the third period to register his first career OHL point in his first OHL game.

Speaking to OHLNetwork after the game, the Oakville, ON native was excited to be able to suit up in the OHL but was disappointed in the loss obviously. He said, “It was super exciting obviously, this has been a lifelong dream of mine, and to finally have it happen is such an amazing experience and it felt like a dream the whole time.”  

He knows however, it’s about the 2-points in the standings and was disappointed with the loss and looks forward to helping the team get some wins.  On recording his first point in the OHL, he said: “That was crazy. At first, I thought I scored and was like, there’s no way, but it’s fantastic and such a crazy feeling.”

 

Game Notes:

Jordan Frasca extended his point streak to 7 games (3G, 6A)

Ethan Ritchie first game/point in OHL (assist)

Jake Murray was honoured with the SandsLand Academic Player of the month before the game.

 

3 Stars:

1.Rees – SAR

2. Gaudreau – SAR

3. Ritchie – KGN

 

Attendance :

2, 710

 

 

Back-End of the Back-To-Back

Saturday:

 

The Frontenacs again had to come back from behind against the Kitchener Rangers as the Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead. It has been a tough task for the Frontenacs to get the first-goal lead so far this season. In fact, Kingston has scored the games opening goal in just 3 of 14 games played this season. They opened the first 5 games of the season getting scored on first before scoring first at home vs Niagara on Oct 11th in the 3-2 OT win. 

The Rangers would make it 3 games in a row where the Fronts have gone down 1-0 before the game is 10 minutes in. They have also trailed 2-0 in those games in what has to be tough hockey to play as teams can play more defensive against the Frontenacs. This forces them out of their game plan and into the opponents. 

However, the Frontenacs would not give in and once again battle back in the game and if not for some key saves by Rangers goalie Jacob Ingham, they may have been able to come back and pull this one out. Kingston starter Ryan Dugas was solid in the pipes keeping his team within reach making big saves throughout the contest stopping 24 of 27 shots.

The Rangers would go up 1-0 just under 5 minutes in the opening period on a Declan McDonnell goal while on a power play with Kingston’s Evan Brand in the box for delay of game. Rookie Francesco Pinelli scored to put the Rangers up 2-0 not long after at 6:19. Pinelli’s goal places him second in rookie OHL scoring with 7 on the season.

In the 2nd period, Shane Wright would add to his rookie league-leading shot total (43) with his 5th goal of the season while the Frontenacs enjoyed a power play cutting the Ranger lead in half at just over the midway point of the game.  Wright would get a bit lucky on the play as it deflected in off a Rangers defenders skate. But it’s never a bad thing to fire it towards the net and his one-timer ultimately found its way in making it 2-1.

After going pointless in 3 games for the first time this season, Wright has a goal and an assist in the last two games and was 14/27 on the draw over the 2 home games. He, along with coach Kurtis Foster, leaves for the U-17 Hockey Challenge tomorrow returning after the conclusion of the tournament on November 9th.

Jakob Brahaney and Nick Wong assisted on the play after some nice zone time. Team Captain Brahaney had 8 shots on the night to lead all Kingston shooters and it was Wong’s third game in a row he has been credited with an assist. 

Forward Nick Wong – Photo by Billy Kimmerly./Kingston Frontenacs

The Rangers would reply just over four minutes later to regain the two-goal advantage 3-1 on a Reid Valade power-play strike at 15:44.

Kingston had begun to control the game in the 2nd despite the power-play goal against and continued to press and was rewarded with a Zayde Wisdom goal with just under four minutes left in the frame. Wisdom’s 7th goal was a nice shot as he cruised in on Ingham and fired a snapshot far-side high over the Rangers goalies’ shoulder top shelf. 

Wisdom, while continuing to be a physical menace, continues to show his offensive side of the game and now leads the team in goals and tied with Wright with 11 points to pace the Frontenacs scoring attack. Eligible for the 2020 NHL draft, he’s off to a great start. Jake Murray drew an assist on the play for the third-straight game, with rookie Vitali Pinchuk adding a helper for his 4th assist.

Forward Nick Wong said after the game “we’ve had some really close games and our record doesn’t really reflect how we’ve played so far.” He continued: ”Definitely, we had a bit of a slow start, but then we picked it up and we were battling back in the 3rd and we came close but wasn’t enough.” 

 

Game Night Spotlight:

Ryan Dugas

Ryan Dugas – Kingston Frontenacs / Photo by Marcus Boutilier OHLNetwork

It takes a mental focus unlike many other positions in sports to play goalie in hockey and Ryan Dugas is gaining more confidence in every game after playing in just his 27th appearance (including exhibition) in a Kingston uniform tonight vs Kitchener. In his 7th appearance of the 2019-20 season, the Hamilton, ON native again showed why he is continuing to gain confidence from his teammates and coaches keeping his team within striking distance after getting down two goals early. Making some key saves particularly early in the 3rd, Dugas feels his comfort level grows with every start.

Kingston’s 4th round selection in the 2017 OHL draft says he’s learning a lot playing behind a veteran like Brendan Bonello who’s seen over 95 regular-season games over his OHL career. He doesn’t feel added pressure when goes in as a back-up, or gets a start, but feels there could be a difference at times than of his veteran counterpart. “I’m probably more nervous than Bonezy is, just as I’ve played I think about 20 games in the league and he’s played almost 100, but when I get in a game I’m just excited and want to get a win.”

He enjoys working with goaltending coach Dave Franco reviewing tape in an effort to get better at his craft every day.

 

Game Notes:

Nick Wong assisted for 3rd straight game

Jake Murray assisted for 3rd straight game

Zayde Wisdom scored for 2nd straight game

Kingston native Donovan Sebrango (1G,7A 10 GP) did not dress for Kitchener

 

3 Stars:

1.Valade – KIT

2. Wright – KGN

3. Dugas – KGN

 

Attendance : 

2,578

 

Next up:

At Home vs Oshawa Generals on Friday, November 1 at Leon’s Centre 7 PM