EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – GAME 4:
KINGSTON 5 – HAMILTON 2
(HAM leads series 3-1)
With their backs against the wall, the Kingston Frontenacs turned in their best performance of the series to date, defeating the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 5-2 in Game 4 to stay alive and play another day.
A four-goal first period saw the two clubs come out knotted at two before Sam Field (1) scored the go-ahead goal, crashing the net with 4:57 left in the second period. The Frontenacs would add a pair of third period power play markers from Jason Robertson (9) and Sean Day (4) to secure the victory.
“Going down 3-0 we knew we needed an answer,” said Day, a New York Rangers prospect who earned first star honours with a goal and two assists. “Our key guys stepped up in a big way today and showed why we’re here. None of us wanted to go home tonight.”
Cliff Pu (4) and Max Jones (3) scored first period goals for the Frontenacs while veteran forwards Matt Hotchkiss and Gabriel Vilardi each picked up two assists on the night.
Jones was ejected late in the first period, forcing the Fronts to make some adjustments. They had a strong performance from a line consisting of Hotchkiss, Sam Field and Brett Neumann the rest of the way.
“I think the overall theme of tonight was possession and checking,” said Frontenacs head coach Jay Varady. “We checked, we got the puck back and we were able to possess it longer.
“I liked our compete tonight. We were missing some of that throughout the first three games.”
Jeremy Helvig turned aside 30 shots for Kingston as the Fronts were outshot 32-29. Kingston went 2-for-6 on the power play while holding the Bulldogs to 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
“We didn’t have one of our better games,” said Bulldogs head coach John Gruden. “We’ve always been about our style of play, our focus and discipline, but it’s not the end of the world, we’re up 3-1.
“Us as a staff, we’re not worried,” he continued. “We have 100 percent confidence in this group that we’ll be better on Thursday.”
Kaden Fulcher made 24 saves in the loss as the Bulldogs look to regroup ahead of Game 5 back at FirstOntario Centre Thursday night. The puck drops at 7:00pm.
POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE: