by John Duncan
The Frontenacs played host to Division rivals from the Nation's Capital on Family Day. Several player streaks were on the line. 67's Shane Prince, an Ottawa Senators draft pick, had an impressive 17 game point scoring streak going. This was tied for the longest streak in the OHL this season with Tanner Pearson, of the Barrie Colts, who accomplished this between Oct 29th and Dec.9th. What's most impressive about Prince's season is that he has amassed an impressive total of 7 game winning goals for the 67's.
The Fronts' have battled the 67's hard all season. In the 6 matchups, Kingston has won three times, including their last two games. They have won in Ottawa twice, by scores of 7-4 in November and 4-3 on February 4th. They also beat Ottawa 5-2 on Jan. 1st in Kingston. With a win today, the 67's could move into first place in the Conference with 78 points in 57 games. The Fronts continue to play for pride and for roster spots on next year's team.
Just like last game, Kingston fell behind 2-0 early in the game. Highly rated NHL draft prospect, Cody Ceci scored a powerplay goal at 3:45 on a shot from the point, that Bobkov would probably want back. Tyler Toffoli extended his goal scoring streak to 6 games, at 8:01, with his OHL leading 45th of the season, in what turned out to be the winner.
The first period was a little "chippy", as the Fronts had 15 mins in penalties, and the 67's had 13 mins. 16 year old, Ryan Hutchinson, and big Ryan Van Stralen battled to a draw in their fight. Shots were 11-10 Fronts after the first.
Kingston applied good pressure on their first powerplay attempt of the second. Cody Alcock fired the best Frontenac opportunity of the game over top of the net. At 5:23, Nathan Cull, open in the slot, took a beautiful 40 foot pass from captain Alcock, and made no mistake. Cull is making the most of his opportunity, of late, playing on a line with Alcock, and Darcy Greenaway.
Cody Ceci appeared to score a horrible goal on Bobkov, from outside the blueline, but a 67 was trapped inside the line - off side. Moments later, Bobkov made a huge save on a wide open Sean Monahan. Fronts had the better of the play in the second period, especially 5 on 5, as they outshot Ottawa 16-9 in the period. If not for some big saves by Petr Mrazek, Kingston could have been winning, or at least tied.
The third period started with Ottawa applying pressure, and winning too many puck battles early. They quickly caught up on the shot clock. Igor Bobkov kept the Fronts close in the third, as the 67's seemed determined to take over the Eastern Conference lead with a road victory. Despite some desperate pressure with Bobkov on the bench, in the last minute of the game, Ottawa held on for a 2-1 win. Final shots were 16-7 Ottawa in the third. 67's outshot Kingston 35-34, in what was an evenly played contest.
Mike Cazzola was the consensus first star, as he picked up assists on both Ottawa goals on the afternoon. Igor Bobkov was star number two, and Nathan Cull was the third star. Petr Mzazek could easily have been named a star, as he was solid in Ottawa's goal, stopping 33 of 34 shots against.
Of note, Kingston rookie, Ryan Kujawinski's 5 game goal scoring streak came to an end, as even with only five defensemen dressed, this afternoon, coach Chris Byrne had the 67's playing solid in their own end.
It doesn't get any easier for the Frontenacs, as they play host to the CHL's top rated team for much of the season, the London Knights, this coming Friday night, and then have to board the bus to Erie, Pennsylvania to face a team with revenge on their mind, on Saturday night, the Erie Otters. A busy weekend will wrap up on Sunday afternoon, in St. Catharines with a game against the Niagara Ice Dogs.