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First OHL start spoiled in OT

Rookie goalie stops everything for three periods byt beate in overtime

Oshawa Generals

Logan Gautier reaches for the puck during second period action on Oct. 18.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

It was a tough loss for the Oshawa Generals on Sunday night, losing 1-0 in overtime to the visiting Kingston Frontenacs, and for rookie goaltender Logan Gautier, the OT goal off the stick of Front’s Spencer Watson, robbed him of a shutout in his first OHL start.

Despite the outcome, Gautier said he was happy with his performance.

““It was fun, I started off, I felt pretty calm so I just wanted to stay that way and the team really played well in front of me,” he said.

Gautier faced 23 shots through the first three periods, and after making a spectacular save early in OT to rob Kingston star Lawson Crouse, Watson was there to hit the back of the net only 26 seconds later.

“I thought our goaltending was strong, I thought our defence was strong, I thought our overall game was strong and didn’t get the results we needed to get at home, a point is great, but not the results we’re looking for at home,” said head coach Bob Jones.

The loss was a hard one to swallow for fans as well after watching Joe Manchurek beat Kingston goaltender Lucas Perssini in the first period. However, the play would be reviewed and was ruled offside, shunting the Gens’ go-ahead marker.

Speaking after the game, Jones says he hasn’t been happy with the offside calls at the General Motor Centre this season.

“I think theres been an excessive amount,” he said. “I’m not saying they’re doing a poor job…I know the league reviews every goal so they’re certainly protected by the rule now and obviously they missed one tonight.”

Despite peppering Peressini with 35 shots in the game, the Generals are missing the offence from some of their key players, including captain Michael Dal Colle.

Dal Colle led the team with 42 goals during the regular season last year, but he has been held scoreless through eight games and has four assists.

“I’d by lying to you if I’m not concerned about his offensive numbers,” Jone said. “I think we have a couple guys in that room that we rely on for offense and he’s one of the guys and he certainly has to pick his game up and show these young guys the way.

“He’s out there working and he’s doing his all, I think he has to play a little harder in the offensive zone and take more pucks to the net and just doing the little things offensively that good players have to do to score goals in this league. He’ll come around, I’ve got all the faith in our captain.”

The game also included a scary moment for Oshawa fans when rookie Riley Stillman, dropping the gloves with Kingston’s Cody Caron, fell and appeared to hit head head on the ice, knocking him unconcious.

Jones was quite animated on the bench following the fight, and later explained he felt Stillman’s helmet had been pulled off, which is against the rules.

“We’ve got to make sure that when there’s altercations we have the right call and that’s something our league really looks into,” Jone said. “I thought Coran pulled his helmet off, but they had it as he did it, it happened in a fight, so it was just my opinion against his and obviously they’re making the calls on the ice.”

Coming into Sunday’s game, the Generals were looking to bounce back after a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Erie Otters on Oct. 16.

Rookie goaltender Liam Devine had the start against Erie, but was replaced with Gautier in the third period after allowing five goals.

Gautier, signed as a free agent, was brought up to replace injured starter Jeremy Brodeur, out with an ankle injury.

However, Jones says Brodeur has been practising with the club since last week and is slated to return soon.

Jones would not comment on whether Devine or Gautier would remain with the club in the backup role.

“It’s early in a decision making process…and we’re not going to make a rash decision here, we’re going to be logical in our thought process and take our time,” he said.

Oshawa travels to Peterborough on Oct. 22 for a matchup against the Petes. The team hits the road for Ottawa on Oct. 23 for a game against the 67s before returning home on Sunday, Oct. 25 for the annual Pink in the Rink night. The Generals will face off against the Barrie Colts with puck drop set for 6:05 p.m.