Bulldogs' third-period surge sinks Frontenacs
Kingston starts weekend with win over Spitfires
Scoring the first goal of a game has almost been a guarantee of victory for the Kingston Frontenacs this Ontario Hockey League season.
Prior to Sunday's game in Brantford against the Bulldogs, the Frontenacs had accumulated seven wins in the eight occasions when they had opened the scoring.
Unfortunately for the Frontenacs, despite scoring first on Sunday, they dropped to 7-2 in such situations after the Bulldogs unleashed an even more powerful force — the three-goal surge — to lead them to a 5-2 win in front of a crowd of 3,038.
The loss left Kingston with a split in its two weekend games, having beaten the Windsor Spitfires 6-4 on Friday night at the Leon's Centre. The Frontenacs are now seventh in the Eastern Conference with an 11-12-0-0 record and 22 points. Fifth-place Brantford is 11-8-3-1 for 26 points.
Frontenacs forward Linus Hemstrom snapped a scoreless tie at 7:41 of the second period with his ninth goal of the season, leaving the team in good shape statistics-wise with a 1-0 lead. However, that advantage, which lasted 16:29, ended up being the only lead of the game for Kingston.
The Bulldogs stormed back with three goals in a 2:47 span that ended at the seven-minute mark of the third period, sparking the home team to victory. Patrick Thomas, at 4:13, Nick Lardis, at 6:20, and Tomas Hamara, with what proved to be the game-winning goal at 7:00, tallied for Brantford.
A pair of empty-net goals from Brantford's Ben Bujold, at 18:30 and 19:36, sandwiched an 18:51 tally from Frontenacs forward Matthew Soto, his 10th of the season, to complete the scoring.
The Frontenacs return to action Tuesday in their annual School Day game. They host the Ottawa 67's at 10:30 a.m.
■ In the Kingston Frontenacs' only other loss after scoring the first goal of a game, a threegoal outburst by the Oshawa Generals in just 7:14 in the middle part of the second frame gave the Generals a 3-1 lead and sent them on their way to a 5-4 win on Oct. 1.
■ It got into nail-biting time, but Frontenacs veteran forward Paul Ludwinski's assist on Matthew Soto's goal with only 69 seconds left in the third period extended the 19-year-old Pickering native's consecutivegame point streak to 14.
■ Brantford outshot Kingston 34-20 in the game, including 13-3 in the first period. Kingston goaltender Mason Vaccari surrendered three goals in 32 shots while Brantford's Matteo Drobac gained the win with an 18-save performance.
■ The game marked the Frontenacs' second straight against a Kingston-area coach. Amherstview's Jay Mckee is Brantford's bench boss while Casey Torres is interim head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, who were beaten by the Frontenacs, 6-4, on Friday.
FRONTENACS ATTACK EARLY TO BEAT SPITFIRES
The Kingston Frontenacs weren't huge on sentimentality in their Ontario Hockey League game against the Windsor Spitfires on Friday night at the Leon's Centre.
With Kingston native Casey Torres running the Windsor bench for just the second time since being named interim head coach earlier in the week, and with the visitors making their only stop of the season in Kingston, the Frontenacs showed little warmth for the Spitfires, establishing a pair of threegoal leads in the first half of the game en route to a 6-4 win.
In Torres' debut on Thursday night in Peterborough, the league's last-place Spitfires beat the Eastern Conference-leading Petes, 5-2.
Playing in front of a crowd of 3,046 on Friday, the teams split a pair of goals in the opening 11 minutes, with Gage Heyes giving the Frontenacs a 1-0 lead at 3:13 with his fifth goal of the season and AJ Spellacy beating Kingston goaltender Mason Vaccari through the legs on a penalty shot to knot the score at 10:53.
The Frontenacs, however, found the mark frequently in a span of 2:15 starting at 13:37. Forwards Paul Ludwinski, with his ninth goal of the season and first of two in the game, and Linus Hemstrom, with his eighth, put Kingston up 3-1 before defenceman Thomas Budnick netted his first goal of the season to end the flurry at 15:52 and lift the score to 4-1. Twenty-seven seconds later, Windsor's Oliver Peer scored his first of two games to send the game into the second period at 4-2.
A short-handed goal by Ludwinski, scored 9:38 into the middle frame to make the score 5-2, proved to be the game winner. Liam Greentree, at 15:41 of the second, and Peer, 2:58 into the third, scored for Windsor to narrow the score to 5-4 before Jacob Holmes, with his seven goal of the campaign, cemented the victory at 7:21.
Kingston outshot Windsor 4034 in the game.
■ Frontenacs captain Paul Ludwinski's two goals allowed him to reach the 100-point plateau (35 goals, 65 assists) in his three seasons and 133 regular-season games with the Frontenacs. After Friday action, he led the team in goals (10), assists (13, tied with Chris Thibodeau) and points (23) in 19 games.
■ Frontenacs winger Jacob Battaglia, who drew two assists, stretched his consecutivegame point streak to seven (three goals, five assists).
■ The last time the Frontenacs met the Spitfires, on Oct. 12 in Windsor, the Frontenacs also won 6-4, with the game-winning goal also being a short-handed marker from Ludwinski. Also in that game, Kingston winger Linus Hemstrom scored a goal and added two assists, just like he did Friday night. The six goals Kingston scored in each of the two games marked their highest single-game goal output of the season.
■ The goal by Kingston defenceman Jacob Holmes was his seventh of the season, eighth-most in the league among defencemen.