Saginaw 6 Guelph 5 - Saginaw wins series 4-2 - (Prediction: Saginaw in 7)
Josh Shalla led the way offensively notching 4 assists for the Spirit while Vincent Trocheck led the way in goal scoring with two goals and an assist. Jordan Szwarz, Ivan Telegin, Brandon Saad and Dalton Prout had single tallies in leading the Spirit to the second round for only the second time in the history of the team.
Guelph’s Michael Latta scored a power play goal at the 4:35 mark from winger Daniel Erlich to make it 1-0. Vincent Trocheck evened up the score at the 14:37 on a set up from Brandon Saad. Latta would tally his second of the night at 17:26 in the first with an unassisted goal making it 2-1, but Saad would tie it 2:28 later with assists going to Josh Shalla and Trocheck.
The Spirit took the lead in the second period with three unanswered goals. Jordan Szwarz tallied of the post a power play goal assisted by Shalla and Ryan O’Connor, to make it 3-2 at the 7:20 mark. Dalton Prout would make it 4-2 with a goal at the 11:28 mark from Shalla and Saad, and Ivan Telegin gave the Spirit a three goal lead with on a set up from Mathew Sisca at 15:11.
Saginaw built on their lead early in the third when Trocheck scored his second of the night at 3:46 from Shalla and O’Connor. The Storm cut the lead to 6-3 with a goal from Sam Lofquist with the lone assist going to Andrey Pedan (who seems to have found his offense at the right time) at the 7:57 mark. Guelph then cut it to 6-4 with Peter Holland scoring a power play goal at 13:25 from Latta and Taylor Beck.
So would a come back happen tonight? Latta scored the hat-trick with 1:56 left on the clock to make it a one goal game, his fifth goal of the series coming on the power play from Beck and Holland.
But that's all the offense Guelph had in them and Saginaw held on to win the game and the series.
As the second seed coming into the playoffs, the Spirit will have home ice advantage at least through the next round. Their next opponent will depend on the outcome of tonights game 7 between Kitchener and Guelph. If Plymouth whould win the series then Saginaw would face the winner of the Windsor/Erie series. If Kitchener should win then Saginaw would face those same Rangers.
Erie 6 Windsor 5 OT - Series tied 3-3
You have to wonder what's going through the minds of the Windsor Spitfire players and their coaching staff. The Spits had a 3-1 series lead and led 3-0 in the first period only to see both leads disappear.
The Spitfires know all to well what it's like to be in Erie's position. Last season they trailed the Kitchener Rangers 3-0 and came back to force a game 7 and win that series and eventually, the OHL Championship and the Memorial Cup. That's not to say Erie will accomplish that this year, but yours truly did predict Erie in 7 games for this series.
So what's happening to Windsor? They are getting offense. but they are also getting goaltending. Erie fired 30, yes that's thirty, shots in the first period alone on Jack Campbell. That's what most goalies face in a game. And they had a 3-0 lead after the first.
Windsor gave Erie just too many opportunities, giving up 67 shots including 8 in overtime. They also managed 53 of their own including just 4 in OT.
Owen Sound 1 - London 0 - Owen Sound wins series 4-2 (Prediction: Owen Sound in 6)
Two words: Michael Houser.
There's no way i could leave it at just that. But i made a fair judgement in saying that the Knights would go as far as Houser would carry them. And not only did he carry them on his back, he hoisted them.
A brilliant performance was wasted yesterday when he stopped 38 of 39 shots and a play that left Robby Mignardi all alone in front with 1:41 left to play was the only blemish on his game. Not that any goalie could have made that stop.
After a shaky performance in game 5, Houser did more than his share in game 6. People soon forget that outing with his last performance. And if in scouts minds the last game is the performance they remember most, then they soon won't forget his name.
Six games, 332 minutes played. 250 shots, 235 saves, a 2.71 GAA and a .940 SV%
The other thing the Knights would have needed was Jared Knight to score some goals, and he did just that leading all players in the series with 4 goals. He also added 2 assists for 6 points while getting duty on a checking line at times.
Seth Griffith led the team with 7 points - 3 goals and 4 assists, and Vladislav Namestnikov had 1 goal and 4 assists.
For the Attack, Joey Hishon was limited to just 1 goal in the series to go along with 4 assists.
** Note: I'll have a preview of the second round matchups by Wednesday morning after the other two series are completed.