Kingston Frontenacs will play as many games over a two and half-day stretch this week as they have played in the first two weeks of the season as they hit the road beginning Friday night for games in Niagara, Erie, and Hamilton. It should be a welcome stretch of hockey and team-bonding for a squad that has only played 3 games so far.
With a 0-2-1 record in the first three games, the Frontenacs have played with some more spark to their game than that of last season. Kingston played two of the best teams in the OHL in Oshawa and Ottawa in those games (lost to Ottawa in OT). While there were times the more experienced and deeper opponents made their strengths apparent vs the young Fronts, there is much more structure in Head Coach Kurtis Foster’s team this year and improvement is well noticed.
That being said the Frontenacs would like to see the scoresheet more often, especially after a 2018-19 season where only 144 team goals were scored. With only 4 goals in the three games played, Kingston will need to generate a more consistent offensive zone presence and try and get more shots on opposing goaltenders. They have yet to outshoot an opposing team during any period yet this season and have been outshot 104-63 in those games.
The power-play is 1/9 and penalty killing is 7/9 in special teams play. One focus point for coach Foster is to try and mitigate the penalties taken. So far the team has responded well as they sit with the 3rd least amount of PIM’s in the OHL (29) with only Guelph and Peterborough having taken less heading into Thursday nights’ action. This will be key moving forward in the season.
With the stretch of hockey over the weekend, we can expect to see Ryan Dugas make his first start of the season for Kingston. Brenden Bonello has seen a lot of rubber so far and has played excellent saving 93 of the 104 shots he’s faced, including many high-quality scoring chances. But, playing 3 games in 3 nights is too much for any goaltender and Dugas needs to get in some action. Especially with so few games already being played. It will be interesting to see if the Hamilton, Ont native gets his first start of the year in his hometown on Sunday vs the Bulldogs.
There may also be an appearance by 2019 4th round selection Braden Hache as the rookie defenseman looks to get in his first OHL game. Frontenacs fans have been looking forward to seeing the robust rearguard who plays a similar game to team Captain Jakob Brahaney. This is a player that has earned his way on this team. His hard-work is noticeable and the 16-year old Newmarket, Ont native is already 6″2″ and over 180 pounds.
Every team the Frontenacs play this weekend will have played the night before on home ice including Niagara, who played vs Saginaw on Thursday. This is a good break for a team that is playing on consecutive nights.
The Frontenacs will be back at Leons Centre in Kingston on October 11th vs the Niagara Ice Dogs.
On the Fronts Front:
-2019 1st round selection (1st overall) Shane Wright scored first career OHL goal vs Oshawa on Sept 29
-2019 2nd round selection (27 overall) Francesco Arcuri registered first career OHL assist vs Ottawa on Sept. 27
@BoutHockey player to watch : (Week 3)
Jake Murray – Seems to have taken another step in his skating and his shot is harder. Joining the rush and making smart reads. The 6’2” 195-pound defenseman is in his NHL draft-eligible year.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Frasca – has been a catalyst and set-up Zayde Wisdom with a great outlet pass. Tied for the team lead in shots with 7.