By Mike Koreen/The Whig-Standard
Posted 21 hours ago
Charlie Finn made sure the Kingston Kimco Voyageurs got at least one point and then Kyle Wilhelm secured the deuce.
A big save by Finn and a big goal by Wilhelm gave the Vees a big 2-1 overtime win over the host Toronto Junior Canadiens on Sunday night at Chesswood Arena.
With less than 10 seconds left, Finn robbed Canadiens star David Friedmann on a clear breakaway, snatching a snot headed for the top corner with his glove.
Twenty seconds into the extra frame, Wilhelm potted his second of the game from in front, pushing the Vees (20-19) back over the .500 mark.
When Finn made that save, if any school was here, they would have committed to him right then, said Vees coach Colin Birkas, whose club has won two of three after opening 2012 with four straight losses.
After he made that save, I knew we were going to win it in overtime. We had a second chance and we weren't going to (throw) it away.
Finn made 36 saves, erasing a personal four-game losing streak. Birkas said his young defence has struggled in front of Finn.
They've got away (with mistakes) because of excellent goaltending, Birkas said. But Charlie told me if they battle like they did (on Sunday) night, he's going to make 30 or 40 saves. He's a very confident kid.
Toronto's Matt Carey opened the scoring early in the second period. The Canadiens led 1-0 after two as the Vees couldn't score on five power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 43 seconds.
But Kingston finally cashed in on the man-advantage early in the third when Wilhelm potted his 15th goal of the season to tie it at 1-1. Then, the veteran provided the overtime heroics.
He's such a great leader and such a great character kid, Birkas said. He's been a great leader on the bench (during a recent rut for the team). He's always positive and always helping the kids learn. He's a kid we really need to push to the schools in these last few weeks.
The Vees, who outshot Toronto 49-37, were missing several regulars and played with just five defencemen. Defenceman Patrick Harrison and forward Michael Schug are sidelined with injuries, defenceman Brett Du Puy has strep throat and forward Pat George served the first game of a two-game suspension.
Meanwhile, the Vees announced Sunday that they have re-scheduled a postponed game against the Wellington Dukes for next Wednesday night (Feb. 1) at 7:30 at the Invista Centre. The game was called off last week because of inclement weather.
The Greater Kingston Junior Frontenacs and Kingston Area Minor Hockey Association adjusted their schedules to help the Vees fit the game in.
The Vees return to action on Thursday night at 7 when they open a home-and-home series against the last-place Peterborough Stars at the Invista Centre.