67's on the battle Front

AEDAN HELMER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

There was no love lost between the Ottawa 67's and division rival Kingston Frontenacs in a chippy, penalty-filled Valentine's Day contest at the Urbandale Centre.

The 67's won 3-2 to even the season series at three wins apiece with two games remaining, including a return match in Kingston Monday.

"It's Kingston, it's a rivalry," said Tyler Toffoli, who scored one goal and assisted on Cody Lindsay's winner just before the six-minute mark of the third period. "We're only two hours away from each other and we play each other eight times, so I think we both get under each other's skin."

The teams combined for 58 PIMs Sunday, although only two power-play goals were scored (Ottawa went 1-for-7; Kingston 1-5).

Ottawa took a 2-0 lead into the third period, but goaltender Chris Perugini saw his shutout bid evaporate with two quick goals. He also saw his fair share of Kingston forwards crashing his net.

BRAWL

Frontenacs centre Nathan Moon's second-period goaltender interference call touched off a brawl -- with Anthony Nigro taking on Cameron Odam and Dalton Smith dropping the gloves with Orleans native Erik Gudbranson.

"It's always a battle because we don't like them and they don't like us," said Perugini. "I'm sure it'll be more of the same (Monday)."

Shane Prince, with his 12th of the season, opened the scoring in the first, capping a pretty passing play on a 4-on-2 rush.

Frontenacs goaltender Tyler Beskorowany, named first star for his 39-save performance, made the initial save off Thomas Nesbitt before Prince -- fighting off a check -- whacked in the rebound.

The 67's added to the lead 43 seconds into the middle frame on the power play, when Toffoli corralled the rebound of a Julien Demers shot and swept it behind Beskorowany.

Kingston cut the lead 47 seconds into the third period, also on the power play, on a Mitch Lebar blast that eluded Perugini.

Lindsay then reclaimed the club's outright goal-scoring lead from Toffoli with his 31st on a nice setup from his linemate. Derek Froats scored 11 seconds later for the Frontenacs before Perugini, who made 28 saves, shut the door.

"We both want to put up the big numbers, and (Lindsay's) doing well and so am I, so we're both happy," said Toffoli.

Dalton Smith added muscle to the top unit, earning the praises of his new linemates.

"He's not shy to drop the gloves and be one of those guys to protect me and (Lindsay)," said Toffoli.

Coach Chris Byrne said moving Smith to the top line has paid off, giving the team "a little bit of size on each line, some bang on each line and some skill on each line."

"It makes us a bit tougher to play against," said Byrne, who expects more physical play from a bitter Kingston team.

"It was a playoff atmosphere (Sunday), so we're looking for another game like that (Monday)."

AEDAN.HELMER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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