Oshawa Generals play run-and-gun with Shane Wright and the Kingston Frontenacs; lose 5-4

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Published March 21, 2022 at 9:57 am

File photo by Ian Goodall

For 43 minutes the Oshawa Generals figured out how to stop the Kingston Frontenacs, who have had their number of late, winning six of the last seven matchups.

For 43 minutes the Generals figured out how to stop Kingston captain Shane Wright, who has absolutely torched Oshawa this year, scoring 20 points in nine games this season, including 14 points in the last four games:

Slow the game down to a crawl and hope Wright gets lulled to sleep.

And for two periods and change it worked, with Oshawa and Kingston tied at one with neither Wright nor the 4,520 Oshawa fans in attendance showing much enthusiasm for the product on display.

At the 3:31 mark of the third period Lucas Edmonds of Kingston scored a power play goal to give the Frontenacs a 2-1 lead and everybody woke up and the so-far successful scheme of keeping Wright and the powerful Frontenacs in check got tossed out the window.

Run-and-gun became the strategy for both clubs as seven goals were scored in the period, with each team taking turns and the only question became ‘who would score last?’

Less than two minutes after Edmond’s goal Oshawa rookie Calum Ritchie found himself in front of the Kingston net and when Aidan Spooner couldn’t quite handle a shot from the point Ritchie was there to tap in his 18th of the year.

But just 15 seconds later Kingston responded, with Zayde Wisdom depositing the puck over a sprawling Patrick Leaver to get the lead right back. Wright picked up his first point of the night on the play.

Shane Wright

Thirty-nine seconds later it was Oshawa’s turn when Oskar Olausson – who also set up Ryan Stepien for the game’s first goal and enjoyed a three-point night – sprung Ty Tullio on a breakaway with a long stretch pass and the Oshawa captain made no mistake to square things up again.

A couple of minutes later Wright spotted Martin Chromiak all by himself at centre and delivered a perfect pass onto his stick for another breakaway. Chromiak scored over Leaver’s shoulder and Kingston once again had regained the lead.

The Generals, despite playing right into Kingston’s preferred style, didn’t fold up and with 8:31 to play Olausson carried the puck into the zone and with the crowd imploring him to shoot did just that, beating Spooner stick side.

But the last word went to Kingston (after an Oshawa goal was called back because of a high stick) when Chromiak finished off a neat two-on-one with Wright with 3:50 to play.

Make that 23 points in ten games against the Generals for Wright.

The loss is another blow to what was once a very promising year for the Generals. The season started to go off the rails last month and when the losing streak hit seven – the final blow being a 7-2 loss to these same Frontenacs, with Wright enjoying a five-point night – Head Coach Todd Miller got the axe.

Since then, under the interim coaching tandem of Kurtis Foster and Mike Hedden, the Gens have gone 2-3, with club losing 2-1 to Peterborough and beating Barrie 5-4 leading up to Sunday’s encounter with Kingston.

They’ve also watched their lead over conference rivals Ottawa and Peterborough – who are on a 7-2-1 run – shrink to three and five points, respectively, so a playoff spot is not clinched or even assured just yet.

And it doesn’t get any easier. Next up for Oshawa is home games against Barrie this Friday followed by a date with the league-leading Hamilton Bulldogs Sunday night.

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