As the snow melts and the temperature starts to rise, the winter season in Canada gives way to a new season—the hockey season. And for the fans of the Kingston Frontenacs, a major junior ice hockey team based in Kingston, Ontario, it’s a time of hope, excitement, and anticipation for what’s to come.
But as the saying goes, the hockey season is a tale of two seasons: the regular season and the playoffs. And for the Frontenacs, this past season has been a tale of two very different stories.
The regular season for the Frontenacs was one of disappointment and frustration. With a record of 19 wins, 40 losses, and 3 overtime losses, the team finished last in the Eastern Conference and second to last in the league. The team struggled to find consistency and lacked the firepower to break through the strong competition in the conference.
But as the regular season came to a close, hope was reignited when the team announced that their star player, Shane Wright, would be making his return from an injury just in time for the playoffs. Wright, who was granted exceptional status and became the youngest player to ever be drafted into the Ontario Hockey League, had been sidelined for several months due to a shoulder injury.
And as the playoffs began, the Kingston Frontenacs seemed like a completely different team. With Wright back in the lineup, the team rallied together and started to play some of their best hockey of the season. They upset the top-seeded Peterborough Petes in the first round and went on to sweep the Oshawa Generals in the second round.
Their unexpected success in the playoffs led the Frontenacs to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they faced off against the Ottawa 67’s, the reigning champions and one of the strongest teams in the league. Despite putting up a good fight, the Frontenacs ultimately fell to the 67’s in five games.
So what happened? How did a team that struggled so much during the regular season suddenly become a powerhouse in the playoffs?
One factor that cannot be overlooked is the return of Shane Wright. The 2022 NHL Draft-eligible prospect wasted no time in making an impact and finished the playoffs with 10 points in 10 games. His presence on the ice was a major factor in the Frontenacs’ success, and his leadership and skill were a major inspiration for the team.
But it wasn’t just one player who led the team to success. It was a collective effort from the entire team, from the goaltending of Ryan Dugas to the playmaking of Zayde Wisdom and the defensive efforts of Braden Hache. The team found their chemistry in the playoffs and came together as a united front.
In the end, the Frontenacs may not have achieved their ultimate goal of winning the OHL Championship, but their playoff performance was a testament to their resilience and determination. They showed that no matter how tough the regular season may be, anything is possible once the playoffs begin.
Looking ahead, the Frontenacs have a bright future. With Shane Wright leading the charge, the team will look to build on their playoff success and make a push for the title in the upcoming 2021–2022 season. And with a talented roster and strong coaching, the team is poised to make some noise in the league.
In the world of hockey, anything can happen, and nothing is ever certain. The tale of two seasons for the Kingston Frontenacs serves as a reminder that a team’s performance can change in an instant and that perseverance and teamwork are key to success on the ice. So as we wait for the new season to begin, one thing is for sure: the Frontenacs will always be a team to watch, no matter what the season may bring.