FrontsFront 2019-20 Season Highlights
Moment Two – Frontenacs First Home Win at Leons Centre
As we in the FrontsFront await news from the Ontario Hockey League as to what, if any, remains of the 2019-20 season, I thought I’d look back at some great moments in the Kingston Frontenacs season. Moment one was off ice, but now we get back on it.
Icing the Dogs
After beginning the season 0-4-1-0, including a tough loss in overtime to powerhouse Ottawa 67’s, the Frontenacs found themselves again in extra time vs Hamilton on Oct 6. Looking for the ever-elusive two-points, Kingston again left the game on the wrong side of the win-loss column losing in heartbreaking fashion in a shootout. Hamilton’s Tag Bertuzzi had tied the game with just over four minutes left in regulation before scoring himself to win the game in the shootout.
The next game on Oct 11, Kingston found themselves in another game requiring extra-time against the Eastern Conference rival Niagara IceDogs. After Dennis Golovatchev opened the scoring for Kingston early, the teams traded three more goals and played a scoreless 2-2 third period.
The game was rough at times and featured a line-brawl in the third period that saw both rookie Maddox Callens and veteran Lucas Peric involved in fights on the same play vs Niagara opponents.
With Vitali Pinchuk (1 G, 1A) and Zayde Wisdom (2A) each registering multi-point games in regulation, it was the Frontenacs recent number-one pick at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection who joined them with his second point on a very memorable play to end the game.
The Frontenacs would win 3-2 as Shane Wright scored at 3:21 of overtime giving Kingston their first win on the 2019-20 season at Leons Centre. After taking a pass from Jakob Brahaney, the former Don Mills Flyers star played give-and-go with Jordan Frasca before wiring a quick wrist shot past IceDogs goalie Tucker Tynan for his second of the game and fourth of the season. The water-bottle twinging shot not only gave Kingston fans their first chance to see a victory at home but also sent waves throughout the league on what was to come with the accurate shooting forward daring the goaltender to stop the shot.
The game saw Kingston fire 59 shots on Tynan as the coach Kurtis Foster had been stressing shot volume to his team heading into the game. We don’t have high end stars of other teams so we have to find ways as a collective group to get as many shots towards the net as possible. We can’t afford to be missing the net trying to do too much” said Foster.
Words of Wisdom
The players returning from the 2018-19 season knew the significance of the early home win. “We didn’t have as much success last year as anyone would want. It’s quite a feeling, everyone knows we need to win more this year. It always feels good to get a win and we need to learn from it,” said Wisdom after the game.
The burly 2020 NHL draft eligible player had been meshing with Wright since training camp. “He’s a young talent, he’s going to be really good. Well….he’s already really good, so I think there is no limit to his success.” I’d say Wisdom certainly had a good scouting forecast as the two would go on to have excellent regular seasons playing together a majority of time.
Coach Foster said at the time: “Guys were hungry today, from moment the puck dropped. They forechecked well, skated well. It was nice to see a lot of things we’ve been trying to do came out today.
On Wright he described him as getting comfortable in the OHL. “With Shane of course, he’s getting more comfortable every game. I love his compete, his tenacity and he’s not afraid to go first in the corners, wins a lot of puck battles and of course scored the big goal tonight.”
Stay tuned for Moment three on Sunday.