Frontenacs drop last game of regular season 6-3 to Peterborough

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The Kingston Frontenacs held a pair of one-goal leads early in their Ontario Hockey League encounter Sunday afternoon but it was far from enough to hold off the Peterborough Petes in the season-ending game for both teams.

With Kingston leading 2-1 halfway through the first period, Peterborough responded with four consecutive goals over a span of 36 minutes and four seconds on its way to a 6-3 home-ice win.

Despite the loss, Kingston still finished the season second in the East Division and third in the Eastern Conference with a 41-22-4-1 record for 87 points, setting up the No. 3 Frontenacs for a best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final against the No. 6 Oshawa Generals. Game 1 of the series is scheduled for Friday at the Leon’s Center at 7 pm

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Kingston’s Paul Ludwinski opened the scoring just 37 seconds into the game. It was the Frontenacs’ 2020 OHL Priority Selection first-round pick’s 16th goal of the season. After JR Avon tied the score for Peterborough about six minutes later, Fronts rookie Gage Heyes scored his second goal of the season at 8:47 of the first period, making it 2-1 at the time.

Peterborough began its assault 1:35 later, when Tucker Robertson scored his first of two goals in the game. Emmett Sproule, also with his first of two goals in the game, and Joe Carroll scored unanswered goals in the second period and Robertson tallied 6:26 into the third to lift the Petes into a 5-2 lead.

Kingston’s Paul Hughes made it a 5-3 game at 9:49 of the third period with his fifth goal of the season before Sproule completed the game’s scoring with an empty-net marker with two seconds left.

It was a nothing game between the teams as the Petes or Frontenacs could not move up or down in the standings, but it appeared the hometown Petes wanted the win more, spending extended periods of time in the offensive zone and outshooting them 50-31.

Kingston captain Shane Wright was given the day off along with defenseman Jake Murray and overage forward Jordan Frasca.

Wright, the projected first overall selection in the National Hockey League Entry Draft this summer, ended his third and perhaps final year (but second season) in Kingston with 32 goals, 62 assists for 94 points in 63 games. Added to his 2019-20 rookie statistics, Wright has scored 71 goals and 160 points in 121 OHL games.

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The Frontenacs finished with a record of 41-22-4-1 for 87 points, second in the East Division and third in the Eastern Conference.

Kingston fell one triumph shy of its 1989-90 42-win season (accumulated in 66 games), which is the second-highest single-season total in franchise history. The 2015-16 team had the most wins in a season with 46.

This season’s Frontenacs, in 68 games, tied for the second-most points in a season (87) with the 1989-90 and 1994-95 teams, who played 66-game seasons. The franchise record is 97, but the 2015-16 team. This season’s points percentage of .640 was fourth highest in Kingston history, behind on 2015-16 (.713) and 1989-90 and 1994-95 (.659).

Peterborough (29-33-5-1-64) finished eighth in the Eastern Conference and will play the first-place Hamilton Bulldogs in the first round of the playoffs.

Kingston Frontenacs overage forward Lucas Edmonds drew an assist on Ludwinski’s goal, giving him 113 points (34 goals, 79 assists) on the season, leaving him third overall in the OHL scoring race. Wyatt Johnston of the Windsor Spitfires won the race with 124 points, followed by Rory Kerins of the Soo Greyhounds, with 118.

Edmonds passed both Ken Linseman and Brad Rhiness, who both collected 112 points in the 1975-76 season with the Kingston Canadians, on the Kingston franchise single-season points list and sits 13th overall. Edmonds was one point shy of Mike Crombeen (1974-75) and Mike Siltala (1982-83), who are tied for 11th with 114 points. The all-time leader in the category is Bernie Nicholls, who chalked up 152 points with the 1980-81 Canadians.

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