February 19, 2016

Fluke goal drops Lazarev on Mrazek night

Most nights, the saves that Leo Lazarev made would've been enough to keep his team in it, but against the conference-leader Frontenacs, a couple of fluke goals did him in.

With Petr Mrazek watching Lazarev, now the only European goalie in the OHL, a knuckleball shot from Chad Duchesne tied the game in the second and a dribbler, credited to Spencer Watson, proved to be the game winner.

"A little bit upset, there was a bit of a push, scramble in front and it's in the net," said Lazarev, who appeared to have the winning tally under him before Kingston added two more to take a 5-2 lead.

Added Jeff Brown: "sometimes we get those goals, and we win a 3-2 or 4-2 game."

"If we can hang with the best in the (Eastern Conference), it's good for us."

With Kingston being the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the Easts, a lot's changed since Mrazek, honoured by the Barberpoles tonight, played in the OHL.

Mrazek won four games against the Frontenacs in 2011-12, solidifying one of Kingston's worst seasons ever and helping them land Roland McKeown, still a linchpin on their blueline today.

But despite the lack of connection between the modern OHL and the Detroit Red Wings starting goalie, he went out of his way to make sure the 67's new starter was enjoying being his successor.

"He asked how I'm doing here, how I like the OHL, and he said good luck," noted Lazarev, who watches the Red Wings predominantly for fellow countryman Pavel Datsyuk but also to watch Mrazek.

"He's an amazing goalie, he's good to have here."

Tonight's game was a measuring stick for the best in the conference, while tomorrow is a test against Niagara, a very likely first-round opponent.

And the team Mrazek played his last OHL game against.

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