Mississauga leads series 3-1
Mississauga went into Niagara's barn in St Catherines and dominated from start to finish leaving them just one victory shy of the bobby Orr Trophy as the Eastern Conference champs and a birth in the final and a chance to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup before hosting the Memorial Cup.
Niagara must find a way to not just create some chances but bury them against the OHL's stingiest defence. That will begin tonight in Mississauga.
Joseph Cramarossa got it started with his first goal of the playoffs at at 5:53 of the opening period from from Maxim Kitsyn and Jordan Mayer. That lead would hold up until 15:09 of the period when Johnson Andrews scored his second from Dougie Hamilton and David Pacan. That would be Hamilton's first point of the Conference Finals.
The period would end up tied at one with Mississauga out shooting Niagara 12-7. Niagara would go 0/1 on the power play as would Mississauga.
Mississauga would explode with four unanswered goals in the second period. Devante Smith-Pelley would score his sixth of the playoffs from Justin Shugg and Marc Cantin at the 5:38 mark. Just 1:02 later, on a bad give away at the Mississauga blue line Cramarossa would come in alone on Mark Visentin to score his second of the game, this one a short handed marker to give Mississauga a 3-1 lead.
Riley Brace would extend the lead to 4-1 from Derek Schoenmakers at 15:51 of the period. It was Brace's fourth goal of the playoffs. Smith-Pelley would score his second of the game just 23 seconds later from Shugg to close out the second period scoring and give the Majors a 5-1 lead.
Mississauga would send 15 shots at Visentin in the period and end his night while Niagara fired 11 shots at a perfect J P Anderson. Mississauga would go 1/2 on the power play while Niagara was 0/1 while giving up the short handed marker.
Jamie Wise scored the lone goal of the third period on the power play from Schoenmakers. It was Wise's second goal of the post season.
Mississauga was 1/2 on the power play while Niagara was 0/3. Niagara had 14 shots in the period while Mississauga fired 6 at Dalton McGrath.
It was a penalty filled third period. Andrew Agozzino, who Niagara needs to score and is goalless in the series took a 5 minute major for a hit to the head and also received a game misconduct. The league will certainly review this one and the Ice Dogs can ill afford to lose Agozzino if they have any intention of coming back in this series.
Then during a scuffle in which roughing penalties were handed out, Niagara's Andrews, their lone goal scorer on the evening, took a game misconduct for abuse of officials. That to will get a look by the league. It's not known whether suspensions could be handed down before Tuesday's game back in Mississauga.
Niagara needed their power play to be what it was in the regular season; the Leagues best. But it's disappeared in this round. They needed their stars, Agozzino, Ryan Strome and Freddie and Dougie Hamilton to produce. Agozzino has yet to score, Strome has but one assist, Dougie Hamilton got his first point in this game but Freddie Hamilton leads them all with 2 goals and 1 assist.
For Mississauga, defenseman Stuart Percy was once again solid and dominant in ways that don't show up on the stat sheet. His stock is sure to rise.