Generals Topple Battalion to earn Playoff spot
The Battalion dropped a tough one at home on Sunday as the Oshawa Generals visited the Powerade Centre for their second and last regular season contest of the year.
The Troops hadn’t played since their 3-2 victory in Peterborough on Thursday night and immediately looked to be flat-footed. With the Generals giving up a 2-man advantage in the first two minutes of the game, Brampton had the opportunity to get an early lead.
A big penalty kill by the Generals gave them immediate momentum, and on the first faceoff after the penalties in the Battalion end, Phoenix Coyote property Lucas Lessio put Oshawa up 1-0. A faceoff win by Columbus Blue Jacket prospect Boone Jenner went right to Lessio and his shot beat Machovsky.
The contest was certainly a physical one and did not go without casualties. General’s forward Sebastian Uvira received a hit along the boards from Derek Froats and needed help to the dressing room. He would not return. It wasn’t long after the hit that Mitchell Porowski and Josh Graves dropped the mitts. Based on size and reach advantage Porowski gets the decision, otherwise it was a pretty even tilt. The period would end with the score 1-0 and shots 9-8 in favour of the Battalion.
Daniel Maggio would put the General’s up 2-0 just less than five minutes into the second period. The unassisted marker took the wind out of the Battalion sails as their play exponentially improved to start the period.
The two-goal lead wouldn’t last long. Some hard work in the corners and along the boards by Ian Watters, Mitchell Porowski and Phil Lane ended when the puck went past General goaltender Kevin Bailie. Watters would cash in on the goal, while Lane and Porowski would pick up the assists. With the Battalion back in the game, their pressure mounted. But with less than a minute remaining in the second period, Vancouver Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen delivered the backbreaker. Left alone in front, he cashed in on a loose puck to make it 3-1 for the Generals heading into the second intermission.
With Jamie Lewis already serving a too many men on the ice penalty, Derek Froats joined him as Stan Butler’s barking at the official cost him a bench minor.
Oshawa’s power play has some heavy hitters and with nearly two full minutes to work with, New York Rangers prospect Christian Thomas blasted a laser from the top left point. His 31st goal of the year gave the Generals a 4-1 lead with only 15 minutes of play in the game.
The nicest goal of the afternoon made it 5-1 Oshawa as draft eligible forward Scott Laughton proved he could dangle, and then put the finishing touch on a shot that Machovsky had no chance at saving. Porowski would score in the final minute of the game to make it a 5-2 final score.
“We had pretty solid game I think, kept it simple, got our chances and capitalized” said forward Christian Thomas. The two points from the win assured the Generals of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. “It feels awesome” said Thomas in regards to solidifying their place in the playoffs. “A month back, we were fighting for a playoff spot, now we know we have one.”
The remaining games with the Generals are all against teams that they will be jockeying for position with in respect to the playoffs. “It couldn’t be more perfect right now, it’s in our hands” said Jensen. His goal late in the second period proved to be the winner. “It’s fun hockey right now.”