Terry Wilson

FrontsFront: Ryan Dugas and Francesco Arcuri Help Kingston Frontenacs Thwart an Attack

2019-20 Season

Where: Leon’s Centre in Kingston

Time: 7 PM

Owen Sound Attack:  38 GP: 18-15-3-2 (41 pts – 4th Midwest Div / 7th West Conf)

Kingston Frontenacs:  37 GP: 10-23-2-2 (24 pts – 5th East Div / 9th East Conf)

Attendance: 2890

Preview:

Kingston beat the Attack 3-1 in Owen Sound back on Nov 16 to break a 12-game winless streak and came into Friday night looking for their first win in three games. After going three without a victory, the Attack came in having not lost in three including a 5-2 win over Peterborough on Thursday night.

While every win is important for Kingston for the remainder of the season, Owen Sound comes into the game in a dogfight for a playoff spot with Erie in their division and conference. Team Canada World Junior Aidan Dudas returned the Attack lineup after winning a gold medal last week and chipped in a pair of assists in the win over Peterborough on Thursday, and was honoured before the game with a plaque from the Kingston organization.

Ryan Dugas got the goaltending start for Kingston and has been solid in recent starts and continued that tonight making 35 saves on 37 shots. Owen Sound countered with OHL save-leader Mack Guzda.

Both teams feature a high-shooting defenceman with Jakob Brahaney (114) and Lyle Brady (148) leading their teams in shots on goal. Brady’s 148 lead the OHL for defenceman. Former Frontenac forward Sergey Popov leads Attack scoring with 41 points while former Attack defenceman Nick King was recently named Assistant Captain in Kingston. Lucas Peric returned to action after a hit last weekend saw him leave the game.

Kingston will play the second of a back-to-back tomorrow night at home vs the Guelph Storm at 7 p.m. and another Team Canada member goaltender Nico Daws.

Game-Day Spotlight:

Jakob Brahaney

One of the more underrated defensemen in the OHL, Brahaney has proven invaluable for Coach Kurtis Foster and his young team with both his on-ice performance and off-ice leadership. The captain plays in all situations providing offence from the blueline (currently second in team assists)  and has shown he can help run a powerplay sitting second in team scoring while on the man-advantage.

Jakob Brahaney

Success has come with a renewed focus on getting shots on net for the 192-pound physical defenceman. It is a skill that few defencemen have with the likes of a Nicklas Lidstrom coming to mind as the best at it. Brahaney leads all Kingston shooters with 124 shots on goal placing him 25th overall in the league and 5th amongst defenceman.

Coach Kurtis Foster has been impressed with Brahaney’s approach to his game and leadership style. “With him, enough good things can’t be said about what he does. He’s a branch of what we want and what we’re trying to do.

“Taking advantage of open lanes more often, he’s really improved his game at getting pucks through,” said Foster after asking about his team-leading shot total.

Game-Night Stat Checks:

  • Shane Wright 2nd OHL rookie points (32) and goals (19), leads rookie shots (118), tied rookie game-winning goals (3), PPG’s (6), and tied with teammate Arcuri for rookie shootout goals (3). Only rookie with a shorthanded goal.
  • Frontenacs Jordan Frasca has five goals and six points in his last six games
  • Attack Defenceman Brady Lyle is three out of four in shootouts
  • Zayde Wisdom scored first career 20-goal season leading Kingston in goals/points (34)and tied for 19th in OHL.
  • Owen Sound traded winger Daylon Groulx to Ottawa on Jan 9 for three draft selections

The Game:

The two teams scored all four goals in the first period as Kingston skated away with a 3-2 shootout win on Friday night halting a three-game slide and breaking Owen Sounds three-game winning streak.  After getting scored against 30 seconds into the game, the Kingston Frontenacs were able to come right back to tie the game before going down a second time late in the period only to respond quickly again squaring the game up and ultimately setting up the extra-time where Francesco Arcuri and Dugas teamed up to help the Frontenacs get the ever-important two points in the shootout.

Arcuri remained perfect in shootouts this season and Dugas was also perfect tonight in the shootout showing off his mental focus battling at points throughout the game. “You are trying to stay focused and keep your head in the game.” On his shootout performance, he was excited to get the win for the team, “You are just waiting for them to make the first move and counteract them and just make sure I stay with them.”

1st Period

It wasn’t the start Kingston was looking for at home when the Attack got out a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds in after Joshua Samanski banged in a rebound after a shot hit Dugas’s blocker and fell on the Attack forwards stick in front of the net.

The Frontenacs regrouped and tied the game less than a minute later on Martin Chromiak‘s second goal of the season. After Wisdom made a nice play to fight off an Attack defender and taking the puck to the net on a two-one with Chromiak. After a subtle shot-fake to freeze the goaltender, the team-leading point scorer fed a pass on a tee for Chromiak to one-time past Owen Sound’s Guzda for a 1-1 score.

The teams traded some big hits in the period with Mark Wooley getting a good piece of Wright in the neutral-zone after taking a pass and Brahaney also added a nice open-ice hit. Owen Sound took their second lead at 14:35 after a scramble in front of the net saw Kaleb Pearson grab a loose puck, he was able to wrap it around the post coming out from behind the net beating a diving Dugas making it 2-1.

Once again, Kingston tied the game at 16:17 when Vitali Pinchuk made a great play to get a good shot on net and Jordan Frasca was able to beat the Attack defender to the loose puck in the crease after banging off the Attack goaltender and put it into the open cage for his 11th goal.

Shane Wright was called for high-sticking at 18:42 for the first penalty of the game. However, the Kingston penalty-killers did a good job limiting the Attack powerplay with Dawson Baker making a key block. He also went without a stick for moments and after grabbing one on the fly from the bench, he was able to clear the puck out in a very hardworking shift.

2nd Period

The start of the second didn’t see the same quick scoring the first period did as Kingston killed off the remaining time in the late Wright penalty. There were only two shots on goal by the Attack in the first five minutes of play as both teams looked to play a better defensive game. Owen Sound had another wraparound opportunity midway through the frame but, Dugas was able to thwart the chance this time stretching out his pad.

The teams played back and forth for a span of 5:07 during the middle portion of the period without a whistle as both teams had offensive-zone opportunities with the shots being even. Kingston would kill off their second penalty after Wisdom was called for a crosscheck but again the penalty-killers did an excellent job limiting the Attack powerplay to just two shots. Baker made another big block and Braden Hache was physical along the boards to help mitigate the scoring chances by Owen Sound.

Kingston’s first powerplay came at 16:52 after Maddox Callens drew a tripping call but Kingston could not get any sustained offensive-zone time to get any high-quality chances. Owen Sound finished the period with a good chance to go back up by one but just missed the net on a great chance with 10 seconds left.

3rd Period

The Attack held the majority of the play for the opening 10 minutes of the last period outshooting the Frontenacs 7-3 but Dugas was able to keep the game tied giving his team a chance to win. After Kingston killed their second penalty of the game they had a powerplay chance of their own when Wooley was called for charging on Justin Pringle. Kingston had some zone time during the second half of the man-advantage but could not get any quality scoring chances on Guzda. Owen Sound would get the last four shots in regulation before the teams went to extra-time as Dugas stood tall in the net.

Extra Time: 

Overtime solved nothing though Kingston had a powerplay as former Frontenac Sergey Popov was sent off 20 seconds into the extra frame. The Frontenacs couldn’t get the winner while on the 4-on-3 powerplay and the game went to a shootout where a familiar face lit the lamp again.

Rookie Francesco Arcuri – Kingston Frontenacs (Terry Wilson/OHLImages)

With Dugas holding strong in net, the shootout scoring was once again settled by Arcuri. The former Don Mills star was the only shooter to light the lamp giving Kingston the 3-2 win. The deceptive-shooting forward is making a name for himself as now the only shooter in the OHL with four shootout goals. Arcuri won’t tell his secret as to his success on the one-on-one moves he makes, though history has shown he’s a great breakaway shooter scoring his first OHL goal on a breakaway. “It just comes naturally,” the 2019 second round selection said after the game. “I just want to see the goalie and I have an instinct to score I feel.”

Foster said, “He’s got ice in his veins. Kudos to him. He only played a couple of shifts in the third and then stepped out and scored a big goal for us.”

3 Stars:

  1. Ryan Dugas – KGN
  2. Jordan Frasca – KGN
  3. Joshua Samanski – OS

 

CHL Hardest Working Player (Voted by Fans):

  • Braden Hache
Rookie Braden Hache of Kingston Frontenacs Signing Hardest Worker Award Stick for a Fan

The rookie defenceman was solid again playing a physical game making life uncomfortable for opposition forwards in Kingston’s zone including some great work on the penalty-kill. With confidence booming, it is getting easier for the head coach to trust his young defender at pivotal times in games. Foster spoke of his player after the game: “He’s been great, he’s had a couple of strong games in a row with some increased ice-time. You love that physicality back there, a guy who plays on the edge and makes sure the opposition knows it not going to be easy. He’s grown every game, as well as his teammate Ethan Ritchie.”

Said fellow rookie Arcuri: “He’s (Hache) been really good for us this year and keeps improving every game.”

The multiple-winner of the fan-voted award spoke after the game: “That win was huge for us, with them (Owen Sound) coming off a big win last night we were able to get that win at home to end a streak we didn’t want have going.”

While there is plenty to learn from his veteran teammates and coaches, he’s showing more confidence in every game he has been in while utilizing his tough-to-play-against approach. “I’ve always been a physical player and I try to play guys hard and make it hard for guys to play against me. For us to be a team that’s hard to play against is something we really have to do to be successful.”

 

Next Up:

Jan 11 – Guelph Storm and Team Canada World Junior goalie Nico Daws visit Kingston Saturday night at 7 p.m.

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