The Niagara Ice Dogs re-claimed the top spot in the Eastern Conference Sunday with a 9-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs. The Ice Dogs now officially have an “x” beside their name indicating they have nailed down a play-off position. They continue the fight in the remaining games of the regular schedule to ensure themselves home game advantage.
Sunday’s game kept time keepers busy as the Ice Dogs came out strong, scoring six goals in the first nine minutes of the game. The second period added another three goals to the Niagara side of the score sheet.
Fans were waiting anxiously a hat trick as Dougie Hamilton, Alex Friesen and Joel Wigle each had two goals heading into the third period. Most were hoping for Wigle as he has become a crowd favourite with his tenacious play and increasing prominence on the team. Wigle is also on everyone’s radar since it was announced last month his name is on the Central Scouting 2012 NHL Draft Midterm Rankings. Wigle had numerous chances for the third goal in the third period but alas, the period was scoreless for all.
Alex Friesen lost out on his hat trick opportunity as he didn’t play the third period at all. After the game Friesen was seen limping slightly but insisted the leg injury was very minor due to falling awkwardly at the end of the second. He assures he will be back in the line up when the Ice Dogs play their next game Thursday at home against the Saginaw Spirit.
Final shots in the game were 54-27, with Christopher Festarini getting the win in net for Niagara.
1. NIAG A. Friesen, (21) (A. Agozzino, B. Ritchie), 1:26
1. KGN J. Smith, (1) (C. Stokes, J. Nevins), 1:59
1. NIAG A. Friesen, (22) (A. Agozzino, D. Hamilton), 3:49
1. NIAG D. Hamilton, (16) (A. Friesen, A. Agozzino), 4:16
1. NIAG J. Wigle, (7) (J. Oleksiak), 5:45
1. NIAG R. Strome, (23) (F. Hamilton, J. Graham), 8:15
1. NIAG D. Hamilton, (17) (D. Pacan, T. Kuhnhackl), 8:49
1. KGN R. Kujawinski, (14) (M. Moffat, K. Nixon), 18:54 (PP)
2. NIAG F. Hamilton, (28) (A. Agozzino, D. Hamilton), 5:02 (PP)
2. NIAG J. Wigle, (8) , 11:27
2. KGN P. Beranek, (12) (J. Smith, R. Kujawinski), 17:40
2. NIAG B. Ritchie, (20) , 19:51 (SH)
- Sunday’s game opened with a presentation to Garry “Bucky” Buxton to honour his 500th game as equipment manager with Ice Dogs. Owners Bill and Denise Burke awarded Bucky with a framed print signifying his hard work and commitment to the team.
- The Frontenacs had strong ex-Toronto Maple Leaf presence at the Jack as Todd Gill was behind the Kingston bench and GM Doug Gilmour and Goalie Coach Curtis “Cujo” Joseph were also in attendance.