Ottawa 3, Kingston 2
The Ottawa 67’s have bounced back from a loss last weekend with an overtime win against the Kingston Frontenacs in the Limestone City on the team’s annual School Day Game.
Centre Brad Gardiner secured his sixth goal of the season and the win with seconds to spare.
With the 3-2 win Wednesday, the team is third in their conference, but not by much. They’re tied for points to the second-place Mississauga Steelheads and only a point behind first place Peterborough Petes.
Securing a point alone would have been a step up from their last game, but the team’s been on a roll. They’ve won four of their last five games, much of which needs to be credited to solid goaltending.
It was Max Donoso’s seventh win of the season. He’s now started in seven straight games. On Wednesday, he showed off a 32-save performance.
Donso isn’t the only 67’s player on a heater.
Henry Mews picked up a pair of assists, and is now sitting on 14 points in his last 13 games. Gardiner has scored in back-to-back games. He’s got five multi-point efforts on the year.
The game didn’t get off to Ottawa’s best. Even before puck drop, the 67’s only had nine forwards available. Chris Barlas, Charlie Hilton, and Kaleb Lawrence were all out of the lineup.
The team would also go down 1-0 early in the first period, credited to Kingston’s Ethan Miedema on a power play.
But on a subsequent 67’s powerplay, Gardiner slid a pass to Cooper Foster, for his ninth. He is a sixth round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
One apiece for either team. But not for long.
A handful of minutes later, 67’s Brady Stonehouse gave his team the lead with his ninth of the season.
The game had become Ottawa’s to lose, and they just about did.
The Frontenacs outshot the 67’s 34-27. But Donoso stood tall. It would only be when Ottawa was down a man would Kingston capitalize, with Luke McNamara throwing a wrench into Ottawa’s hopes.
Tied at two, 60 minutes of play wouldn’t be enough.
With 13 seconds left in overtime, Ottawa captain Luca Pinelli stepped up to feed a pass to Gardiner. Alone in front of Frontenacs’ netminder, Mason Vaccari, Gardiner scored his first career overtime winner in front of about 4,500 schoolchildren in the stands.
The 67’s return home for back-to-back games this weekend against Flint Firebirds on Saturday and the North Bay Battalion on Sunday.