Ontario Hockey League – Game Report – Round #2 Game #2 #1 Niagara vs.#4 Brampton
** pictured is Vancouver Canucks draft pick Alex Freisen who was the #1 star of the game with 1 goal, 1 assist and solid work in the faceoff circle **
Patience young man – patience. That was the theme of last night’s match at the ‘Bunker’ in Brampton between the visiting #1 Niagara Icedogs and the #4 Battalion squad. The Battalion started their defensive stance in this game with a 'no-panic' dump and chase mindset and were content to meet the Icedogs near the red line to disrupt their offensive plans – hoping for a break of their own. It was working well - in fact the shots on goal for both teams were very low throughout the game (24 vs 23 for the Icedogs). The Visitors would open the scoring near the end of the first period. Alex Freisen would collect a loose puck on a turnover near centre ice and skirt around the Battalion defender to fire a low shot past the Battalion's Machovsky. (Freisen would add an assiston the last goal of the game to push his playoff total to second best in the OHL -- 5 goals and 10 assists).
The second period would be a territorial challenge for both teams as neither would be able to garnish more than a handful of scoring chances. Near the halfway mark of the second period a scrum would breakout behind the Niagara net - when all was said and done Captain Agozzino would be dumped onto the ice - Freisen, Goodrow and Mackie would all spend time in the penalty box for their misdeeds. The Dogs would run an efficient setup on the ensuing powerplay, but tender Machovsky would stand tall and keep the Dogs off the scoreboard.
Miles Doan would give the visitors a huge lead (as this series has gone so far) with a goal from the slot off a nifty backhand pass from Dougie Hamilton. Rookie Carter Verhaghe would collect his third point of the post-season on the play. Seven and half minutes later the Battalion would take control of the puck in their offensive zone, and with some patient stickhandling, timely passing and soft defensive coverage, they managed to setup Captain Carrick in the slot for a quick snap shot to put the Battalion behind 2-1. The Icedogs would continueto control the puck and thwart Brampton’s attempt to tie things up. In the dying minutes of the game Dougie Hamilton would fire another shot to the net which Pacan was able to direct past the Brampton tender for the insurance marker. Niagara would take home a 2-0 series lead and patiently wait for the next match on Tuesday night at 7 pm .
Tom Kuhnhackl took a shot off the forearm early in the third period and required some consult with the team trainer. He missed a few shifts but did not leave the bench area. The line of Strome / Hamilton and Kuhnhacklwere kept off the scoreboard in this game with very little open ice for them to operate on. Sam Carrick is the only Battalion player in the top 50 for playoff scoring so far this season – Niagara has 8 players in the top 50. 3 Stars were Visentin, Freisen and Carrick. Both teams rolled all 4 forward lines during this game.