It's probably a bit premature to label an early-October hockey game as a "heavyweight showdown," but Friday night's matchup between Oshawa and Kingston had all the makings of a must-see.
On one hand, there were the surprising Frontenacs, picked by many to occupy the lower regions of the Ontario Hockey League standings and struggle to win on a consistent basis. Then you have the Generals, a talent-laden club that is looking to finally steer the ship in the right direction and compete for a championship.
Two different paths and two unique situations, but they had a thread of commonality on Friday: both teams wanted to win the game and continue their torrid October paces in the OHL.
General Motors Centre in Oshawa was the place to be: a couple of hockey clubs playing very well on a big holiday weekend in Canada with plenty of emotion in the building.
And it was quite the hockey game to marry with the atmosphere.
The Generals opened the scoring late in the first period thanks to Scott Sabourin's ice-breaker, but Spencer Watson answered for Kingston with a power-play goal as time wound down in the opening 20.
Both teams traded goals in the second period and were dead-locked at 2-2 entering the third period. The Frontenacs got an early tally off the stick of Darcy Greenaway, vaulting Kingston into the lead for the first time.
But that's when Oshawa and captain Boone Jenner went to work.
With the Generals operating on a power play, Jenner and Cole Cassels helped set up Scott Laughton's game-tying goal at 4:15 of the third period -- less than three minutes after Kingston had gone ahead.
Jenner earned the secondary assist on Brian Hughes' go-ahead goal at 7:31 of the third, part of a wild sequence featuring four total goals scored in less than eight minutes.
Kingston could get no closer than 5-4 at 12:09 of the final period, and Tyler Biggs capped it off with an empty-netter at 19:55.
STRUGGLES CONTINUE FOR SILVERTIPS
Ryan Murray's third season in Everett has not been off to a good start, despite the fact that the Silvertips have played better hockey in recent games.
They entered last week's games with a 1-3-0 record and fighting to stay out of the cellar in U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League, and had an opportunity to get back on track by beating a pair of in-state rivals.
The Tri-Cty Americans have given the Silvertips trouble so far this year and the latest chapter was no different. Everett dropped two games this week (Wednesday, Sunday) to the Americans and is now 0-3-0 against Tri-City on the season.
At the root of Everett's problems has been inconsistent goaltending. The Silvertips have given up the third-most goals in the WHL (31) and have the league's second-worst goal differential (-14) through seven games.
They made a trade on the weekend, picking up Daniel Cotton from Seattle in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2014. With Austin Lotz on the shelf, the Silvertips needed another goalie for insurance and Cotton could help shoulder some of the burden between the pipes.
Change or no change in goal, the fact of the matter remains: the Silvertips have to keep more pucks out of their net if their fortunes are to reverse in the immediate future.