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Kingston Frontenacs and Peterborough Petes Playoff Match is a Slump Buster

For the first time in 16 years, the Kingston Frontenacs are about to win a playoff series as they hold a commanding three games to none lead over the Peterborough Petes.

The series opened in Kingston in what was a convincing win for the Fronts. The Petes played a very chippy and physical style of game right out of the gate, taking liberties on the Fronts star players Sam Bennett and Roland McKeown.

Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Despite the physically aggressive style of the Petes, the Fronts badly out shot them in the first period and carried the play for the majority of the game. The Fronts won by a final score of four to one.

Peterborough got off to a much better start in game two, scoring on the first shift of the game and owning the lead for most of the game. Peterborough again played a hard physical game, but as a result found themselves killing several penalties which arguably cost them the game. The Fronts scored to tie it with the net empty, and went on to win in overtime by an exciting goal from McKeown.

The series then shifted to Peterborough and continued to be a physical affair. After Sam Bennett scored into the empty net to seal the third win in the series things got a little nasty. Peterborough forward Michael Clarke received a match penalty for cross checking and there were two line brawls in the final seconds of the game.

A suspension will be issued to Clarke as a result and he will miss game four for sure, and possibly more should the Pete’s extend the series.

Both teams are in a playoff drought so one team is assured to break a slump. Peterborough has not seen playoff action since 2010, while the Fronts have failed to win a playoff series in 16 years.

This series also features several prominent 2014 NHL draft eligible prospects lead by Kingston’s Sam Bennett. Bennett has been a factor in this series.  In three games he has two goals, and three assists for five points and 14 minutes in penalties. In the McKeen's Hockey March draft rankings, Bennett topped the list at #1. Teammate Roland McKeown is ranked 24th overall and Peterborough’s Nick Ritchie is ranked 8th.

There are several players who have been standouts in this series. Sam Schutt of Kingston has three goals and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Henri Ikonen has a goal and three assists for the Fronts. The Petes offense has been mainly supplied by Greg Betzold who has two goals and an assist to pace the Pete’s with three points in three games.

Perhaps the biggest factor has been the solid goaltending from Kingston’s overage Matt Mahalak who has a 3-0 record with a GAA of 2.23 and a save % of 0.932. Mahalak came into the OHL as a highly ranked goalie prospect but has had struggles with consistency this season in Kingston. This is the final season for the Carolina Hurricanes draft pick.

The fourth and possibly final game of the series will be on Thursday March 27th in Peterborough. If the Petes avoid the sweep, Game 5 comes back to Kingston on Friday March 28th at the K-Rock centre