The Official GameDay Magazine of the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. Game 6 of the 2018 OHL Eastern Conference Semifinals, Barrie Colts vs. Kingston Frontenacs.
ONE STEP CLOSER TO ROUND 3 by Doug Graham, Kingston Whig-Standard A dominant Game 5 performance by the Kingston Frontenacs has positioned the team to win a second-round playoff series for the first time in 25 years. The Frontenacs blew up the pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series, scoring five times in the first period to set up a 7-1 victory before a crowd of 3,258 at the Barrie Molson Centre on Thursday. “The job isn’t done until we get the fourth win,” said Sean Day in a post-game cablecast interview. “We have to continue doing what we have been doing in the last three games. Playing the way we need to do to win.” Head coach Jay Varady echoed those thoughts. “It’s a series and the first team to four (wins), not first to three,” Varady said. “From our standpoint, we were able to win the third game. Now it is about what is important next,” he said. “Get home as quick as we can. East, sleep and get ready to do it all over again.” None of the other games in the series had been decided until the third period or overtime. Thursday’s game was essentially over after the first period. “We found a little ice throughout the first period, which hasn’t been there most of the series,” Varady said. Three of the Frontenacs goals came on odd-man rushes. “We were just able to capitalize on our chances. We got some pretty good looks at the net (with the puck) on key guys’ sticks.” Gabe Vilardi scored twice in the first period. Max Jones, Jason Robertson and Brett Neumann had the others. Day and Matt Hotchkiss scored two more in the second. Jones scored his first of the playoffs 75 seconds into the game. Vilardi, off the first of several odd-man rushes, made it 2-0 at 5:13. Day’s breakaway goal in the second period upped the Frontenacs’ lead to 6-1. Hotchkiss, who made a nice pass to Vilardi for his first goal in the first, scored with his first of the playoffs. Both the Day and Hotchkiss goals were scored against backup goaltender Kai Edmonds. Barrie coach Dale Hawerchuk lifted starter Leo Lazarev after he gave up the five goals on 16 shots in the first. Jeremy Helvig stopped 29 of 30 shots he faced. Jason Willms scored for Barrie in the first period. The Frontenacs played a simple game once they had a big lead. “One of those situations that was kind of anomaly of the series and playoffs. Just try to 14 KINGSTON FRONTENACS GAMEDAY MAGAZINE
BILLY KIMMERLY manage the puck and play a simple game,” Varady said. “But when you look at the scoreboard it’s just kind of awkward. They are a good hockey team. I’m sure they are going to be ready to go Friday.” The Frontenacs had to stay disciplined in the third period as the Colts started to show their frustration. “That’s playoff hockey,” Day said. “The physical stuff ramped up a lot in the games in Kingston and it continued (Thursday). We had to keep our cool into (Friday).” Barrie’s Kyle Heitzner riled the Frontenacs with two earlier hits on Jones and Eemeli Rasanen.Defenceman Liam Murray levelled Heitzner with a clean body check with about three minutes left. The game ended with Barrie down two men and Kingston’s power play was Conor Ali, Eemeli Rasanen, Liam Murray, Brett Neumann, and Ryan Cranford. OFFICIAL GAMEDAY PROGRAM, VOLUME 45, 2018 In the first period, after Willms had scored to cut the Frontenacs lead to 2-1, Ryan Cranford tipped the puck in but it was waived off by referee Sean Reid, who indicated Cranford’s stick was too high. It was reviewed but the no-goal call stood. Less than a minute later, however, the Frontenacs had their third goal. Jakob Brahaney took Linus Nyman’s pass and Lazarev made the stop on the close-in play. The rebound was there for Neumann to tap in. On another odd-man rush Robertson came down the right side and beat Lazarev with a low shot. Helvig picked up the assist on Robertson’s seventh of the playoffs. Vilardi added his second with 39 seconds left. He took Nyman’s pass and beat Lazarev high on the glove side. - KF 15