Barrie Colts 0 @ Belleville Bulls 3
When the two division leaders in the Eastern Conference hook up, you can usually expect a low-scoring game, not because of any lack of offense, but simply because both teams are just so good at protecting their own net. Monday afternoon would be no different, and both goaltenders were very good as well. The hometown Bulls got on the board five minutes into the game, as Tyler Graovac struck for his 31st goal of the year, burying the rebound of a Jordan Subban shot past Niederberger.
Belleville would add to the lead halfway through period two, when Joseph Cramarossa converted a penalty shot for his 15th of the season. A Brendan Gaunce goal into the empty net late in the third would round out the scoring, as Bulls netminder Malcolm Subban stopped 29 shots for his third shutout of the season. Cramarossa was named first star with a goal and an assist, and Subban picked up star number two. Barrie’s Zach Hall was acknowledged for a solid game with the third star selection.
Kitchener Rangers 3 @ Guelph Storm 5
The Kitchener Rangers took on their Guelph Storm rivals on Family Day Monday, as they looked to extend a six-game point-streak. The Storm were trying to put a stop to a streak of their own, coming into the game having lost two in a row. Guelph got on the board early when Hunter Garlent converted on a powerplay, but Ryan Murphy’s eighth of the season, just 33 seconds later, brought Kitchener even quickly. The Storm retook the lead near the mid-point of the period on Brock McGinn’s 21st goal, but less than two minutes later, the Rangers got even once again, as Dominic Alberga got a piece of a Derek Schoenmakers shot, deflecting it past Garret Sparks.
In the second, Zack Mitchell’s 20th of the season put Guelph ahead for a third time, and Andrey Pedan made it a 4-2 game with a powerplay marker a few minutes later. The Rangers refused to go away, as Justin Bailey retaliated quickly to bring Kitchener back within one. That would be as close as the Rangers got, as the team’s played scoreless over the second half of the game, with the exception of Scott Kosmachuk’s 30th of the year sliding into an empty net in the final minute.
Pedan was named the top star in the game, with a goal and two assists, while Kitchener’s Bailey was second star, registering two points. Guelph’s Garlent, also with a goal and an assist, would be star number three.
Erie Otters 1 @ London Knights 8
Fresh off of a surprising loss in Erie on Friday night, the London Knights made sure it didn’t happen twice in the same weekend, as they dominated the second meeting Monday afternoon. Scoring came fast and furious, beginning in the opening minute of the game, when Bo Horvat gave the Knight’s the lead. London’s Josh Anderson and Erie’s J.P. Labardo would exchange goals before the five-minute mark of the game, both scoring their 20th goals of the season for their respective clubs. Late in the first, Max Domi added to the Knights lead with a powerplay goal, sending them to the locker rooms up two after twenty.
While there would be no scoring in the second, the physical play amped up considerably, and eight minor penalties were assessed in the frame, in addition to a fight. The ugliness carried over into the third, where Otters defender Adam Pelech would be ejected after cross-checking Knights rookie Remi Elie across the neck. London would make Erie pay for the cheapshot, scoring three times on the five-minute powerplay, putting the game away. Domi’s second of the game made it a 4-1 game, and the Knights added goals from Matt Rupert and Nikita Zadorov before the end of the penalty. Not satisfied with six, London kept coming, as Max Domi completed his hat-trick midway through the period. Alex Broadhurst would also score in the third, the final goal in an 8-1 romp for the Knights. Domi was the star of the game, adding an assist to his three goals, while Horvat and Zadorov filled out the selections, each with a goal and an assist.
Kingston Frontenacs 7 @ Mississauga Steelheads 4
An important battle in the Eastern Conference saw the seventh-place Mississauga Steelheads playing host to the eighth-place Kingston Frontenacs, who came into action just two points ahead of Peterborough for the final playoff spot. The Steelheads would get on the board first, midway through the opening frame, when Dylan Smoskowitz got his 30th of the season on a powerplay. Little more than a minute later the Fronts would tie the game off of the stick of Sam Bennett, but Mississauga’s Andrew Goldberg restored the lead for the Steelheads shortly after. Mike Moffat pulled Kingston even in the final minute of the period, and the Frontenacs took the lead early in period two, on a goal by Spencer Watson.
The back-and-forth play would continue through the second, as Mississauga tied the game with their second powerplay goal of the game, scored by Kristoff Kontos. Roland McKeown would put Kingston back in front on a powerplay of their own a few minutes later, giving the Fronts a 4-3 lead heading to the third. Early in the third, Mississauga native Dylan DiPerna scored his first OHL goal, giving Kingston a two-goal lead, but Sam Babintsev pulled the Steelheads back within one with twelve minutes remaining. Thomas Welsh then took a major penalty for interference, allowing the Frontenacs to score a pair of powerplay goals to put the game away. Sam Povorozniouk and Moffat, with his second of the night, were the goalscorers, giving Kingston all the insurance they would need.
Kingston’s Henri Ikonen would be named the game’s first star, after racking up four assists throughout the contest, while Mississauga’s Stuart Percy was second star, with a pair of assists himself. With a goal and two assists, Bennett of the Frontenacs was star number three, as Moffat doubling his goal total for the season didn’t earn recognition in the three stars.
Brampton Battalion 5 @ Ottawa 67s 3
The Ottawa 67s looked to avoid their fourth straight loss Monday afternoon when they played host to the Brampton Battalion, who entered action tied with Sudbury for fourth-place in the Eastern Conference. The Battalion would open the scoring on a powerplay with seven minutes left in the first, as Barclay Goodrow scored his 30th of the season, just the thirteenth player in franchise history to hit the 30-goal mark. Sergey Kuptsov replied for the 67s with his 10th of the year before the end of the first, and Ottawa took the lead early in the middle frame when Joseph Blandisi scored on an awarded penalty shot. Late in the period, Brandon Robinson scored another powerplay marker for Brampton, sending the teams to the third tied at two apiece.
The Battalion erupted for three goals early in period three, as Zach Bell, Matt MacLeod, and Goodrow’s second of the game all came in a span of 2:09, effectively ending any hope for a 67s victory. Ottawa did get one goal back before the end of the game, when Ryan Van Stralen struck on a powerplay with eleven minutes left.
Goodrow’s two goals were enough to earn first-star honours, while teammate Zach Bell picked up the second star with a goal and an assist. Ottawa’s Blandisi was star number three.
Sudbury Wolves 2 @ Oshawa Generals 6
The Sudbury Wolves came to Oshawa on Family Day, looking to put an end to a two-game slide and keep pace with Brampton in the race for home-advantage in the playoffs, while the Generals looked to hold on to their fading hopes of catching Belleville for the East Division crown. It would be all Oshawa early on, as they outshot the Wolves 21-7 in the opening twenty, and were rewarded with the only two goals of the first, both from defencemen. Matt Petgrave opened the scoring, while Geoffrey Schemitsch added another while short-handed. There were four fights in the first period, including a scary moment when Oshawa enforcer Johnny McGuire needed to be helped from the ice after being knocked out by Wolves defender Cory Genovese.
In the second, the Wolves got right back into the game, as Danny Desrochers put Sudbury on the board with a goal that needed video review to confirm it crossed the line. Nathan Pancel scored his 24th of the season on a Wolves powerplay late in the period, sending the teams to period three all tied up.
In the third, Oshawa got the start to the period they needed when Michael Dal Colle scored in the opening minute, giving the Generals a lead they would never relinquish. Franky Palazzese kept the Wolves close for 55 minutes, but in the final five, Oshawa got to him three times, as Lucas Lessio, Scott Sabourin, and Schemitsch’s second of the game made the final score of 6-2 look much more lopsided than the game actually was.
With four assists in the game, Boone Jenner was chosen as the game’s top star, while Schemitsch picked up star number two, with two goals and an assist. Sudbury’s Pancel was named the third star.
Owen Sound Attack 3 @ Peterborough Petes 2
The Owen Sound Attack traveled to Peterborough looking to control their own destiny, as a win would clinch a playoff position in the West, while the Petes are desperate for points as they look to catch the final playoff spot in the East. After a scoreless opening period, the Attack would get on the board midway through period two, as Cody Ceci scored a pair of goals four minutes apart. Ceci’s 14th and 15th goals of the season put Owen Sound ahead 2-0, and another defender, Kyle Hope, made it a three-goal game under a minute after the second Ceci goal. In the final five minutes of the middle stanza, Nick Ritchie and Stephen Pierog scored for Peterborough, cutting the deficit to just one heading to the third.
After being outshot 42-20 through the opening forty minutes, the Petes began to press hard in the third, looking for the tying goal. Brandon Hope would be large in the period for the Attack, stopping all 16 shots to preserve a 3-2 win for his club. Ceci’s two goals earned him the first star of the game, while Pierog picked up the second star selection, with a goal and an assist. Petes netminder Andrew D’Agostini was star number three, making 44 saves in a losing cause.
Plymouth Whalers 10 @ Sarnia Sting 2
In a key West Division matchup, the Sarnia Sting put up a stinker on home ice, allowing the division-leading Plymouth Whalers to put up a ten-spot in an easy victory. Feeling comfortable after being returned from the NHL, Whalers center Rickard Rakell opened the scoring, firing a wrist shot from the top of the circle seven minutes in. In the final minute of the period, Alex Basso would pull Sarnia even with a short-handed goal, but Stefan Noesen restored the Whalers lead 29 seconds later, converting on the same man-advantage. In period two, the wheels completely fell off for the Sting, allowing Plymouth to put up a converted touchdown in the frame. Austin Levi, Ryan Hartman, Noesen (his second of the game), and Connor Carrick would all score for the Whalers in a span of just 1:39, giving them a cozy five goal lead, and Cody Payne added another a few minutes later, making it 7-1. Basso would add another for Sarnia before Plymouth added two more goals via the powerplay, Matt Mistele getting his 30th of the season before Noesen scored his third of the game. Tom Wilson would score the only goal in the third, putting the Whalers into double-digits before the end of the game.
Plymouth swept the three star selections, as Noesen’s hat-trick earned top honours, followed by Gianluca Curcuruto, who registered three assists, and Vincent Trocheck, who added two helpers.
Saginaw Spirit 4 @ Windsor Spitfires 2
With their playoff hopes fading, the Windsor Spitfires played host to the Saginaw Spirit in a game that had huge playoff implications. Windsor came into the game nine points behind eighth-place Saginaw with just twelve games remaining, and this game was an absolute must-win for the Spits to keep their slim hopes alive. If Windsor needed the win badly, you certainly couldn’t tell early on, as they were scored on in the game’s opening minute by Garret Ross. Six minutes into the second, the Spirit got a large goal from Eric Locke to give them a two-goal lead, which they would protect going into the third.
Saginaw extended the lead to 3-0 early in the third, when Ross scored his second of the game, on the powerplay, to really put Windsor in a bad spot.
Less than a minute later, Kerby Rychel put the Spitfires on the board, giving his team some life with plenty of time still remaining. Despite their best efforts, Windsor couldn’t get any closer, and Ross would complete his hat-trick by hitting an empty net with a minute left. One bright note for the Spits was Mitch Graham, who scored his first OHL goal with seven seconds left in the game, making the final score a little closer.
Ross was an easy choice as the game’s first star, scoring three of his team’s four goals, and adding an assist on the other. Spirit goaltender Jake Paterson was star number two, stopping 31 of 33 shots sent his way by Windsor, while his counterpart in the Spitfires goal, Jordan DeKort, was star number three, also making 31 saves.
There are no games scheduled for Tuesday in the Ontario Hockey League, and just one being played Wednesday, as the Ottawa 67s travel to Belleville to deal with the Bulls. While you can check back Wednesday for a full recap of that game, don’t forget to return to OHLWriters.com on Tuesday for a new edition of the OHL Power Rankings and Players of the Week. In the meantime, you can find all of my ramblings concerning the OHL, as well as coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs, via Twitter, @N24Nicholson.
Anthony Nicholson is the Sports Editor for Toronto News 24 covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and regular contributor to OHLWriters.com. Contact Anthony anytime for a conversation by joining him on Twitter, or send mail to email@example.com.
Photo: Garret Ross played a factor in all four of the goals for his club on Monday, scoring three and adding an assist on the fourth, as the Saginaw Spirit defeated the Windsor Spitfires 4-2. (Photo Courtesy: Terry Wilson/OHLImages)