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Thursday, April 14, 2011

OHL Playoffs - Day 20

Mississauga 4 Sudbury 3 OT - Mississauga wins series 4-0 (Prediction: Mississauga in 5)

The red hot Mississauga St. Mikes Majors are on one heck of a run that is an 18 game win streak. It started back at the end of the regular season when they won their remaining 10 games. That was followed up by a 4 game sweep of the Belleville Bulls and now a 4 game sweep of the Wolves.

And now, they will be playing for the Bobby Orr Trophy, awarded to the Eastern Conference Playoff Champions. All they have to do is await the winner of the Oshawa - Niagara series. The conference finals begin next week.

What is truly amazing is how they won this game. Alain Valiquette had to be amazing in goal again for the Wolves, and that he was, stopping all 15 shots he faced in the first period. His opponent at the other end, JP Anderson had to face but 3 shots. But the teams would head to the dressing room tied at zero.

In the second period it was the Wolves who opened the scoring with Eric O'Dell scoring his 7th of the playoffs at 7:38 with the assist going to Marcus Foligno. At 16:43 Sudbury upped the score when Foligno scoring from O'Dell and Josh McFadden. That's how the second would end with the Wolves out shooting the Majors 9-6.

Frank Corrado gave Sudbury a 3-0 lead at 8:41 of the third period. And with less than 10 minutes left in regulation, you figure it was game over right? Wrong!

At the 10:47 mark of the period Rob Flick scored to pull the Majors within two. Assists on Flick's goal went to Chris DeSousa and Maxim Kitsyn. Casey Cizikas would then pull Mississauga to within one goal when he scored at 14:45.

Sudbury would go down two men late in the period but the Majors were unable to capitalize on the 5 on 3. But with less than 2 minutes remaining and on another poer play, Marc Cantin and Cizikas would set up Devante Smith-Pelly with 1:51 remaining to even the score at 3 apiece. That's how regulation would end with the Majors out shooting the Wolves 18-8 in the third.

In overtime Riley Brace threw the puck at the net and it bounced off of Valiquette and right to Derek Schoenmakers who banged in for the overtime. Those were 2 of only 4 shots in the overtime. The Wolves had all 4.


Owen Sound 4 Plymouth 1 - Owen Sound wins series 4-0 (Prediction: Plymouth in 6)

Well, I've never worried about eating crow and being totally wrong, and in this case was I ever wrong. I really expected Plymouth to put up a bigger fight, especially after how they Handled  Kitchener. But give Owen Sound credit. They deserved to win this in 4 games.

Owen Sound now awaits the winner of the Windsor Saginaw series for a chance to win the Eastern Conference Championship and the Wayne gretzky Trophy.

Owen Sound opened the scoring when my hometown boy Brendan Childerly scored his third of the playoffs 9:40 into the opening period. Liam Heelis  and Jarrod Maidens drew the assists on the goal. Cameron Brace made it 2-0 when he notched his first of the post season with the assists going to Andrew Shaw and Mike Halmo.

The period would end with the Attack out shooting the Whalers 17-14.

It was a back and forth second perios until Roman Berdnikov scored very late in the period. There were just 23 seconds left when Garrett Wilson and Jay Gilbert set him up for his thrid goal. Shots in the period were 14-13 in favor of the Whalers.

Jesse Blacker opened the scoring very quickly into the thirs when at the 53 second mark he scored an unassisted power play marker, his fourth of the playoffs to put the Attack up 4-0.

All that remained to be determined late in the game was whether Scott Stajcer, the games first star, would get the shutout. But with just 1:05 remaining in regulation James Livingston would spoil that when he notched his 4th goal. Robbie Czarnick would draw the only assist.

Stajcer would make 36 saves in the game. Not bad for a guy who missed most of the regular season and saw 2 games in relief only in the series against London.


Niagara 6 Oshawa 1 - Niagara leads series 3-1

Not to take anything away from the Ice Dogs as they deserved this victory from the opening puck drop, but the Generals shot themselves in the foot in this one. The Generals took 7 of the first 8 penalites of the contest with 3 of the 7 going to Andy Andreoff, who had a total of 4 minor penalties in the game.

Jason Wilson would open the scoring at 5:52 when he notched his third goal. Simon Gronvaldt and Freddie Hamilton, who finished with 4 on the night, would add the assists. At 9:28 Wilson would get his second of the game on the powerplay to put Niagara up 2-0. David Pacan and Steven Shipley would get the assists on Wilson's fourth of the playoffs.

Dougie Hamilton would score his second of the playoffs on the powerplay to up the score to 3-0. Freddie Hamilton and Ryan Strome would assist on the goal. Christian Thomas would get Oshawa on the board with his 8th goal set up by Luca Lessio and Tony DeHart. But that's as close as they would come.

Darren Archibald notched his 8th as well when he scored unassisted at 4:47 of the third period to make it 4-1. Strome then scored his fifth from Wilson and Freddie Hamilton and Dougie Hamilton closed out the scoring with another powerplay goal at 18:40 from Strome and Freddie Hamilton.

Mark Visentin was spectacular in goal when he had to be for Niagara stopping 30 of 31 shots.

With the game out of reach it got chippy with hits from behind, hits to the head and fighting majors given out. Oshawa even took a run at Visentin late in the contest - maybe a message for the next game - which goes Friday back in the Cozy confines in St Catherines.


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