IceDogs come up short versus Frontenacs
The Niagara IceDogs followed up one of their worst efforts of the season with one of their better games, but it still wasn’t enough to get the job done.
The IceDogs dropped a 5-2 decision to the Frontenacs Saturday night in Ontario Hockey League action at the Meridian Centre, just 24 hours after an embarrassing 9-1 defeat in Mississauga.
The IceDogs hung tough for two periods against the Frontenacs, winners of seven in a row and nine of their last 11, before giving up three in the final period.
“We would much rather have the two points, but it’s definitely a better effort and something that we like to see,” Niagara assistant coach Sean Teakle said. “We kind of have to build off of that.
“Ya, sure, it’s a moral victory, but we need those two points.”
Teakle fielded questions from the media in place of IceDogs head coach Billy Burke.
The IceDogs have now dropped three straight and bring up the rear of the OHL overall standings with a 6-16-0-1 mark.
“Everyone was on the same page, we had compete level, everyone was working, everyone was pulling on the same rope,” Teakle said, when asked for the difference in the effort Saturday compared to Friday. “We got a couple of good bounces. We could have used a couple more but the effort level was high, the compete level was high.
“It was just a good all-around effort.”
The IceDogs did a good job — particularly in the first half of the game — of keeping things simple against an explosive Frontenacs squad even without high-scoring forward Shane Wright, who is at the Team Canada training camp in Calgary for the World Junior Championships.
“When things are tough you want to simplify instead of letting things snowball and letting things get higher on you, that was definitely part of the game plan tonight,” Teakle said.
Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the teams exchanged two goals each in the middle frame, which also saw Niagara winger Cameron Peters and Kingston’s Braeden Hache dropped the gloves for a short, but spirited tilt.
“Our big identity is to be a pesky team to play against, we want to be hard to play against,” Teakle added. “Cam is a big piece of that identity.”
Captain Cam Butler also had a strong game with a goal and an assist.
“We lean on those older guys in situations like this and I thought Butts had his best game of the year tonight,” Teakle said.
The Frontenacs took a 3-2 lead just over six minutes into the third on a power-play goal by Jordan Frasca, who later completed the hat trick with a goal into the empty net at 19:37.
IceDogs forward Anthony Agostinelli was reported to have just a bruise after being slammed into the open door on the bench in the first period. The injury appeared serious as Agostinelli was tended to in the hallway beside the IceDogs bench for several minutes before finally making his way to the dressing room.
Ice cubes: Juan Copeland and Sami Douglas-Najem did not dress for the IceDogs . . . Wright Mason Vaccari, Chase Costantino, Mitchell Brooks, Duncan Schneider and Zayde Wisdom did not dress for the Frontenacs . . . The Frontenacs are coached by former IceDog Luca Caputi. Caputi was a member of the IceDogs in their first season in St. Catharines (2007/08) and remains the only IceDog ever to score 50 of more goals (51) in a season. Caputi also played briefly in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Frontenacs 5 IceDogs 2
Niagara’s Danil Gushchin and Kingston’s Jordan Frasca.
For the Niagara IceDogs: Gushchin (16); Cam Butler (6).
For the Kingston Frontenacs: Frasca 3 (14, 15, 16); Lucas Edmonds (16); Francesco Accuri (12).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By Niagara on Josh Rosenzweig (36), by Kingston on Aidan Spooner (33); Power plays: Niagara 1-for-6, Kingston 2-for-6; Penalty minutes: Niagara 17, Kingston 17.
Up next: The IceDogs are in North Bay Thursday, Sudbury Friday and home to North Bay next Saturday for their final three games before the Christmas break.
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