Frontenacs rebound in third
KINGSTON, Ont. — Linus Nyman’s goal at 14:52 capped a three-goal outburst in the third period that carried the Kingston Frontenacs to a 3-2 comeback victory over the North Bay Battalion in Ontario Hockey League action Sunday.
Ryan Cranford had one goal and one assist for Kingston, which got its other goal from Jason Robertson, while goaltender Brendan Bonello provided 30 saves.
The win before 3,354 at the Rogers K-Rock Centre moved the Frontenacs’ won-lost-extended record to 29-16-8 for 66 points, second in the East Division and seeded third in the Eastern Conference.
Adam Thilander had one goal and one assist and Justin Brazeau the other goal for North Bay, 24-22-8 for 56 points, third in the Central Division and fifth in the conference.
Goaltender Julian Sime faced 33 shots as the Battalion, which led 2-0 through 40 minutes, completed a two-game road trip after a 4-3 loss via shootout Saturday night to the Peterborough Petes. The Troops are 11-3-2 in their last 16 games.
Kingston pressed throughout the third period, with Robertson sparking the rally at 4:28 with his team-leading 34th goal of the season. Jakob Brahaney fired the puck from the right point, and it glanced off the stick of defender Luke Burghardt to Robertson, who slipped it between Sime’s pads.
Cranford tied it at 13:34, ripping a wrister over Sime’s glove from the far edge of the right-wing circle off a rush, and Nyman struck 1:18 later, banging home the rebound of a left-point shot by Conor Ali. Cranford also assisted on Nyman’s 31st goal.
Burghardt had the Battalion’s best chance the rest of the way when he dashed to the net in the 18th minute but couldn’t get a snap shot past Bonello.
Brazeau capitalized on a Kingston penalty late in the first period, burying a Burghardt feed from behind the net while stationed in the goalmouth at 19:53. Thilander earned the second assist on Brazeau’s team-high 32nd goal.
The Battalion, which outshot Kingston 15-8 in the frame, had several good opportunities, but Bonello foiled Brazeau, Adam McMaster, Brandon Coe and Kyle Potts in close and blocked Potts’s tip of a Braden Henderson point shot. Sime produced good saves against Robertson, Liam Murray and Ted Nicol, and Gabriel Vilardi shot wide on a two-on-one rush with Cliff Pu.
Thilander connected at 9:17 of the second period when he floated a shot from the right point that found its way over Bonello’s outstretched right pad. Coe drew the lone assist on defenceman Thilander’s sixth goal.
Daniel Walker decisioned Kingston’s Eemeli Rasanen and got the takedown in a fight 21 seconds after Thilander’s goal.
Sime’s sharp play continued as he faced 10 shots in the period, coming up big on Matt Hotchkiss in the first minute and denying Pu, Robertson, Cranford and Nyman, who also lofted a backhander over the net after a drive off the left wing. The Troops put 11 shots on Bonello, who foiled Brazeau, Coe, McMaster and Kurtis Evans.
The Battalion plays host to the Oshawa Generals at 7 p.m. Thursday on Grain Farmers of Ontario Night.
BATTALION BULLETS: It was the teams’ second of four meetings, after the host Battalion won 8-2 on Oct. 22. The next game is at North Bay on March 4 … The Battalion has an all-time won-lost-tied record of 34-34-2 against Kingston … Brazeau has 23 power-play goals, tied with Luch Aquino for ninth place in franchise history. In 185 career games, Brazeau has 60 goals and 48 assists for 108 points … Riley Bruce played a 255th game, eclipsing Sam Carrick for sole possession of 10th place on the Battalion’s all-time list … The Troops went 1-for-3 on the power play. Kingston was 0-for-1 … Opening lines featured Matthew Struthers centring left winger Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, Potts centring left winger McMaster and right winger Jake Henderson and Patrick Brown pivoting left winger Brad Chenier and right winger Coe. Luke Moncada centred left winger Walker and Evans on right wing … The Battalion was without Simon Rose, Rhys Forhan and Andy Baker … Henderson turns 21 on Monday … Among the missing for Kingston, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, were Max Jones and Sean Day … The Frontenacs won six straight games before a 4-3 overtime loss Friday night to the visiting Owen Sound Attack … Nyman has a nine-game points streak during which he has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points. He has a five-game scoring streak in which he has seven goals.