WINDSOR, Ont. – The Kingston Frontenacs have secured the first overall pick at the 2019 Ontario Hockey League draft, and the chance to select 15-year-old Shane Wright after the Flint Firebirds earned a 4-3 shootout win against the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday.
The Frontenacs sit last in the league with 30 points and entered Thursday four behind second-last Flint. The Firebirds, who now have 36 points, have gone 3-0-1 in their last four games to put themselves out of contention for the top pick with each squad only having a pair of games to go in the regular season.
Cody Morgan scored once in regulation and again in the shootout for the Firebirds (15-45-6). Evan Vierling, Dennis Busby had the others and Emanuel Vella made 40 saves.
Curtis Douglas had a pair of goals and Luke Boka also scored for the Spitfires (25-33-9), who hold the seventh seed in the West. Kari Piiroinen combined with Colton Incze for 29 saves in a losing cause.
The 15-year-old Wright became just the sixth player in history to be granted early entry into the Canadian Hockey League on March 8 under the exceptional-player rule and is considered the top prospect entering the 2019-20 season.
BATTALION 3 BULLDOGS 1
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Justin Brazeau scored twice to reach the 60-goal mark as the Battalion downed Hamilton to jump the Bulldogs for the No. 7 seed in the East.
Christian Propp made 33 saves and Patrick Brown also scored for North Bay (29-32-5), which is tied with eighth-seeded Hamilton with 63 points but currently has a game in hand.
Tim Fleischer kept the Bulldogs (29-33-5) from being shut out. Nick Donofrio turned away 25-of-28 shots in a losing cause.
GREYHOUNDS 2 SPIRIT 1 (OT)
SAGINAW, Mich. — Barrett Hayton scored at 2:22 of overtime to lift Sault Ste. Marie over the Spirit.
Hayton also picked up an assist on Jaromir Pytlik’s first-period goal while Matthew Villalta stopped 33 shots for the Greyhounds (42-16-8), No. 3 in the West.
Damien Giroux scored and Ivan Prosvetov made 25 saves for Saginaw (45-15-6), which is 9-0-2 in its last 11 to sit one point back of the London Knights for first in the West.
67’S 3 PETES 2 (OT)
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — Marco Rossi scored the winner at 4:14 of the extra period as Ottawa slipped past the Petes.
Nikita Okhotyuk and Kevin Bahl also scored for the 67’s (49-12-5), the No. 1 team in the OHL and top seed in the East. Cedrick Andree made 18 saves for the win and Tye Felhaber tacked on two helpers.
Ryan Merkley and Christopher Paquette found the back of the net for Peterborough (32-30-4), which had its three-game win streak halted. Hunter Jones made 40 saves for the No. 6 seed in the East.
ICEDOGS 4 STEELHEADS 2
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — Jason Robertson had two goals and two assists to take over the league lead in points with 110, and Niagara doubled up Mississauga for its fourth straight victory.
Akil Thomas also struck twice and Stephen Dhillon turned aside 31 shots for the IceDogs (42-17-7), who are No. 2 in the East.
James Hardie and Richard Whittaker replied for the Steelheads (31-28-7), No. 5 in the East. Jacob Ingham made 21 saves in defeat.