The Kingston Frontenacs are entering uncharted territory. For the first time in 25 years, the black and gold have advanced to the third round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.
Last Friday, the Frontenacs defeated the Barrie Colts 2-1 in front of more than 5,000 fans at the Rogers K-Rock Centre. They won the Eastern Conference semi-final four games to two. They now advance to play the Hamilton Bulldogs who disposed of the Niagara Ice Dogs in five games.
“The boys are feeling great right now,” said goaltender Jeremy Helvig who stopped 29 shots and was named the game’s first star.
“It was great to finally come through for the fans,” added the overage netminder from Markham. “It’s been 25 years, so now they have a chance to cheer us on in the next round. We have a great team this year and were looking forward to the conference finals against Hamilton.”
READ MORE: 2018 OHL playoff preview
Making his presence felt on the ice was 19-year-old Max Jones. He was picked up at the trade deadline from the London Knights but missed more than two months with a fractured finger.
“I wasn’t playing for a long time so it’s great to be back,” said the veteran sniper from Orion, Mich. “It was tough, but I’m back now, and ready to help the boys win a championship.”
It’s been a long time for the suffering, but faithful fans of Kingston. The last time they qualified for the third round was back in 1993. Dave Allison was coaching and the team’s leading scorers were Chris Gratton, Keli Corpse and Greg Clancey. Goaltenders Tyler Moss and Marc Lamothe were the last lines of defense.
The OHL Eastern final begins on Wednesday, April 18, at the First Ontario Centre in Hamilton. Game 2 is April 20 and then it’s back to Kingston for games three and four on April 22 and 24.
The Kitchener Rangers are waiting for an opponent in the Western Conference final. The Owen Sound Attack will play the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in game seven of their playoff series on Tuesday April 17.
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