The Official GameDay Magazine of the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. Game 4 of the 2018 OHL Eastern Conference Semifinals, Barrie Colts vs. Kingston Frontenacs.
The combination of a big save by Jeremy Helvig and a big goal by Gabe Vilardi added up to a crucial win for the Kingston Frontenacs on Sunday night. Vilardi broke a 2-2 tie at 11:47 of the third period and added an empty-net goal as the Frontenacs beat the Barrie Colts 4-2 before a crowd of 3,391 at the Rogers K-Rock Centre. The victory cuts Barrie’s lead to 2-1 in the Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference best-of-seven semifinal. HOME ICE ADVANTAGE BRINGS FRONTENACS BACK TO WITHIN ONE by Doug Graham, Kingston Whig-Standard The Frontenacs went on the power play with 1:25 left. Barrie pressed the issue, but the Frontenacs got the puck back out and Vilardi scored his eighth of the po, hitting the empty net dead centre. Barrie had tied the game on a Dmitry Sokolov goal at 6:27 of the third period. “I thought we played really hard, a lot of energy, and fed off the crowd,” Vilardi said. “Played hard, played physical, put pucks in deep and grind them out.” Kingston Frontenacs goaltender Helvig made a big stop on Ryan Suzuki leading up to the Vilardi goal. Vilardi went up the right side and, with Barrie goalie Leo Lazarev dropping down, rifled a shot over Lazarev’s shoulder and into the net. “Jeremy made a big save one way, then I saw [Linus Nyman] driving the net hard there, so I thought I’d throw one on net. Luckily enough, it went in,” Vilardi said. “Jeremy made a lot of big stops tonight,” Frontenacs head coach Jay Varady said. “That’s what Jeremy does for us. He’s the kind of anchor back there.” After the Vilardi go-ahead goal, the Frontenacs played their best shutdown hockey the rest of the way. Barrie went with an extra attacker with 2:36 left and, after some anxious moments, Barrie’s Zach Magwood was penalized for interference when he took out Ted Nichol along the boards. Varady said the game was the closest the Frontenacs have come to their identity hockey in the series. “It was a working game for us. I thought we were competitive in most of the situations. That’s the kind of mindset we have to have,” Varady said. “It makes it a series again.” Nyman and Jakob Brahaney scored in the first period for the Frontenacs. Russian import rookie Andrei Svechnikov, on an electrifying rush, scored for the Colts. The Colts, after Kingston scored two power-play goals in the first period, did a good job of containing the Frontenacs on three secondperiod power plays. Helvig was the busier of the goalies in the second period, turning back 10 shots. The Frontenacs only had three shots hit the net, although Lazarev was scrambling around at times. “He is an athletic guy. You never 14 KINGSTON FRONTENACS GAMEDAY MAGAZINE
know what he is going to do. He’s got a weird style,” Vilardi said. The Frontenacs got a huge boost with the return of Max Jones to the lineup. The firstround pick of the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League had been out since Jan. 21 with a broken finger. “It’s so huge to get him back. He plays with a lot of energy. It’s his style of game. It’s huge for our team,” Vilardi said. ”He adds another layer of depth to our lineup. We had three lines creating offence almost every shift.” The 20-year-old Jones started on a line with Cliff Pu and Brett Neumann. He also played with Jason Robertson and Pu. “He skates, he works, he shoots, he hits. He talks to the other team. He stares at them. He’s a presence,” Varady said. Jones had three shots on goal and delivered several checks. He also took three minor penalties as he announced his return to the Colts with an elbow, a slash and also an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he took Colts captain Justin Murray off with him. For the first time in the series, the Frontenacs worked into a two-goal lead, with power-play goals 62 seconds apart in the first period. Luke Bignell received a double minor for a high-stick on Vilardi, and with 37 seconds left in the first minor, Brahaney’s shot from the left side went past a screened Lazarev. Vilardi, who wasn’t allowed on the power play until the bleeding from a cut on his face was contained, came back on for the second power play. He ended up taking Robertson’s pass down low and dishing out to Nyman, who buried his fifth of the playoffs. The Colts actually put the puck behind Helvig in the opening minute of play. However referee Scott Oakman nullified the scoring play, sending Svechnikov off for interference on Helvig. The Frontenacs, after being outshot 6-2 in the early going, had 11 straight shots on Lazarev. Svechnikov made an exciting rush late on the Colts power play, got around defenceman Liam Murray and beat Helvig over the blocker for a goal at 18:38. - KF BILLY KIMMERLY OFFICIAL GAMEDAY PROGRAM, VOLUME 45, 2018 15