In just his second game of his young Ontario Hockey League career, Liam Kirk registered his first goal in a big win for the Peterborough Petes, making it two points in two games for the former Sheffield Steelers forward.
After starting the game on the Petes second line in their 4 – 0 win over the Kingston Frontenacs, where Kirk made his OHL debut and capped it off with an assist, Kirk was on the teams third line alongside Cameron Butler and Brady Hinz to start Sunday’s game.
Kirk clearly was growing in confidence as the game went on, after starting a bit more defensively in the opening frame, he wasn’t shy to skate through centre ice and mix it up on offense, grabbing his first goal of his OHL career in the second period, and almost adding another in the same period only to see his effort sail just wide of the net, with the young Brit impressing early on in his career with the Peterborough Petes.
It was a big win for Rob Wilson’s side against the Ottawa 67s, despite looking under siege to open the game, the Petes managed to grab the first of the game as Chris Paquette broke the deadlock with a shorthanded goal midway through the opening period, and after that the floodgates seemed to open.
Less than a minute later and on the same penalty kill, Peterborough managed another shorthanded goal, this time as Nick Isaacson made his man fall at the blue line, and made no mistake on the breakaway to give them a 2 – 0 advantage, and a rare even strength goal for Paquette’s second of the game which Ottawa cut into as Austen Keating tucked one past Hunter Jones for a 3 – 1 score line at the end of the first period.
Then in the second frame, it was more of the same from Peterborough. Paquette completed his hat-trick with yet another shorthanded goal, and then just under two minutes later it was the goal British hockey fans have been waiting for.
Forcing a turnover at the blueline, Liam Kirk was under pressure entering the zone, but ripped his shot upstairs on Cendrick Andree for the Petes fifth goal of the game, and Kirk’s first of his OHL career which spelled the end of Andree’s night as he was pulled after saving just seven from 12 shots.
Then yet another shorthanded goal came later in the period as Kirk’s linemate Brady Hinz scored his second of the season, tucking in a rebound off his own shot past rookie netminder Will Cranely in the Ottawa 67s net, making it a dominant 6 – 1 lead heading into the final period.
With the 67s being blown out in their home barn, the atmosphere dropped in the final period but they did their best to get the crowd back into it, Sam Bitten made a great move to open up the passing lane across the crease, and the puck was tipped up over the shoulder of Hunter Jones by rookie Matthew Maggio for his first OHL goal, making it 6 – 2 with just over 15 minutes to play.
Ottawa continued to press after the goal, but it was another rookie on the other end of the ice as Kirk’s line mate Cameron Butler responded with his first career goal, sniping it off the post and in to re-open the five goal lead.
Peterborough killed off a lengthy four minute penalty later in the third period, but finally the 67’s managed to put the puck in the net on the powerplay after giving up four shorthanded goals earlier in the contest as Graeme Clarke buried his opportunity with just minutes left to play, but that was all they could get in a one sided contest that ended with the Petes wining 7 – 3 to advance to two wins in two games early in the 2018/19 OHL season.
Feature image credit: AZCentral