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KINGSTON WEATHERS OTTERS SHOOTING STORM, WIN 3-1

Kingston, Ontario – Earning a point in their 2022-23 Ontario Hockey League opener, the Erie Otters would hit the road to the Leon’s Centre in Kingston to take on the Frontenacs in their home and season opener. Missing a number of big pieces and names from their East Division championship season in 2021-22, the young Frontenacs would look to have the hometown crowd behind them. On the Otters side, it would be about finishing on Friday night. Erie twice held a two-goal lead in Thursday night’s season opener, but fell in the shootout to the Peterborough Petes. With Marshall Nicholls back in net, the second-year goaltender would look to put Erie in the win column.
Erie’s offense would continue to fire as heavily and continuously to start the Friday night contest as they had on Thursday evening. What would occur during the opening 20 minutes of the game would be a physical contest between two unfamiliar foes. 7:47 into the game, Kingston’s Jackson Stewart (1) would strike for the first goal of the game to make it 1-0 for the Fronts. As the teams would swamp penalties in the remaining 12 minutes, tempers would flare between Braeden Hache and Cameron Morton, and the two would drop the gloves in the final two minutes. After an electrifying fight, the Otters would respond as Brett Bressette would hit Sam Alfano (1) off the wide boards for Alfano to score his first goal as an Otters with :47 remaining in the period. The Otters would hold a 1-1 tie with Kingston after 20, holding 13-3 shots advantage.
After an action-packed first period, things would normalize a bit more in the second frame. An early penalty from the Frontenacs would give the Otters a five-on-three power play, but they would be unable to convert to keep the score tied up. This would be the only demerit for either teams during the second, as the slower, more defensive-paced action would favor the Frontenacs. With 40 minutes in the book, the score would remain 1-1, with Kingston outshooting Erie 10-5 in the period.
In the third period, much of the same would transpire initially. With both teams trying to be aggressive enough to strike the killing blow, but tentative enough to not want to give it up, we would remain tied halfway in. 10:50 into the final period, Paul Hughes (1) would put Kingston back on top for the first time since late first period. The Otters would continue to shoot, ballooning third period shots up to a 14-5 advantage, but would be stonewalled by goaltender Ivan Zhigalov. With the net empty in the final minute, Linus Hemstrom (1) would fire on the empty-net from center ice to put the game away with a 3-1 Kingston win.
Despite outshooting the Frontenacs 32-18, the Otters would fall in Kingston, and drop to 0-1-0-1 in the young season. Erie travels to the easternmost point of the OHL for a Sunday matinee against the Ottawa 67’s, with puck drop scheduled for 2 P.M.
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