Sunday Highlights: Firebirds, Fronts, Troops and Sting victorious on #OHLDay
NORTH BAY 4 – NIAGARA 3 – SO (#OHLDay)
Christian Propp turned aside 41 shots before stopping seven of the eight shooters he faced in a shootout to backstop the North Bay Battalion to a 4-3 win over the visiting Niagara IceDogs to open #OHLDay. Adam Thilander and Brandon Coe scored shootout markers for the Troops as they won their third straight game and ninth in the past 10 outings, improving to 22-20-5-1. Andy Baker (10), Luke Burghardt (22) and Brad Chenier (13) provided North Bay goals while defenceman Nick King had a pair of assists. The IceDogs outshot the Battalion 44-28 and earned a single point in the shootout loss, getting markers from Sam Miletic (24), Kirill Maksimov (27) and Ben Jones (18). Niagara leads the Central Division with a 26-14-4-3 record.
FLINT 4 – WINDSOR 2 (#OHLDay)
The Flint Firebirds snapped a three-game slide, climbing out to a 4-0 lead on the visiting Windsor Spitfires in an eventual 4-2 victory. Jacob Collins (4), C.J. Clarke (9), Jack Wismer (5) and Connor Roberts (13) all found the back of the net while Maurizio Colella had two assists and rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin made 29 saves. Flint outshot Windsor 37-31, handing the Spits their third straight loss. Curtis Douglas (15) and Connor Corcoran (3) scored third period goals for Windsor as the Spitfires remain two points back of sixth place Saginaw in the Western Conference. Flint improves to 14-29-3-1.
KINGSTON 2 – PETERBOROUGH 0 (#OHLDay)
A scoreless game until eight minutes into the third period, the Kingston Frontenacs outlasted the visiting Peterborough Petes as Jason Robertson (31) and Gabriel Vilardi (8) scored in a 2-0 victory. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jeremy Helvig stopped all 28 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the season and 10th of his OHL career. Vilardi finished the game with a goal and an assist as part of a nine-point weekend. Petes netminder Dylan Wells made 33 saves in the loss as Peterborough dropped a sixth straight decision and sits ninth in the Eastern Conference, three points back of Mississauga. The Fronts won all three of their games this weekend, improving to 25-16-4-3.
SARNIA 4 – HAMILTON 2 (#OHLDay)
Calgary Flames prospect Adam Ruzicka (29, 30) scored twice and added an assist to lead the Sarnia Sting past the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2 on the road. Ruzicka scored the game winner with 8:08 left in the third period before firing home his 30th of the season for insurance. OHL scoring leader Jordan Kyrou (26) extended his point streak to 10 games with a goal and an assist, reaching the 80-point plateau in his 38th contest. Jonathan Ang (18) also tallied while Cam Dineen collected two assists. Hamilton outshot Sarnia 41-25 in the loss as Sting netminder Justin Fazio turned aside 39 shots. Brandon Saigeon (27) and Artur Kaliyev (21) provided Hamilton goals as the Bulldogs saw their f0ur-game winning streak snapped. Sarnia improves to 34-12-3-0 with their ninth win in the past 10 games. They are undefeated in regulation since January 3rd. Hamilton continues to lead the East Division, holding an 11-point cushion over second place Kingston.
OSHAWA 4 – OTTAWA 3 – OT
Matt Brassard (12), Serron Noel (18), Kenny Huether (21) and Nick Wong (14) all had a goal and an assist as the Oshawa Generals beat the visiting Ottawa 67’s 4-3 just 13 seconds into overtime. Brassard scored the winner, benefitting from a strong forecheck by Noel who connected with Brassard and Jack Studnicka on a give-and-go to give the Generals two points. Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser provided 33 saves in the win while Ottawa’s Olivier Tremblay made 33 of his own. Goals from Tye Felhaber (16), Austen Keating (21) and Graeme Clarke (12) helped the 67’s earn a point. Oshawa gains a point on Ottawa, climbing three points ahead of them for sixth in the Eastern Conference at 23-22-3-0.
GUELPH 3 – LONDON 2
A pair of highly touted draft eligible defencemen put their skills on display as Ryan Merkley (12) and Evan Bouchard (16) both had goals as Merkley’s Guelph Storm edged Bouchard’s London Knights 3-2 on the road. Liam Hawel (7) and Isaac Ratcliffe (26) added Storm goals as Merkley was in on all three, finishing the afternoon with a goal and two assists. Bouchard recorded a goal and an assist, pitching in on a first period tally by Billy Moskal (2). Guelph’s Anthony Popovich made 25 saves in the win as the Storm outshot the Knights 32-27. The Storm climb to within four points of the fourth place Knights in the Western Conference, improving to 24-19-1-3 as the Knights fall to 26-18-2-2.
SAULT STE. MARIE 5 – SAGINAW 2
The Soo Greyhounds came out firing on the road, scoring four times in the opening five minutes of play to eventually defeat the Saginaw Spirit 5-2. Tim Gettinger (28), Morgan Frost (28), Hayden Verbeek (17), Ryan Roth (11) and Taylor Raddysh (21) all lit the lamp, with Raddysh finishing the afternoon with a goal and two helpers. A 41-save performance from Los Angeles Kings prospect Matthew Villalta helped the Greyhounds win despite being outshot 43-25. Saginaw’s Jake Goldowski (7, 8) recorded his second straight two-goal effort, with one of those coming by way of a penalty shot. Evan Cormier turned aside 18 of the 19 shots he faced in relief as the Spirit fell to 24-19-4-0 and sit in a tie with fifth place Guelph in the Western Conference. The Greyhounds earn their third straight win and eighth in the past 10, improving to 40-5-2-1.
MISSISSAUGA 4 – SUDBURY 1
Overage forward Trent Fox (16, 17) scored twice and had 11 shots on goal to lead the Mississauga Steelheads to a 4-1 win over visiting Sudbury. Mathieu Foget (14) stretched his point streak to 10 games while defenceman Nicolas Hague (25) also found the twine while adding two assists. Mississauga outshot Sudbury 44-27 as goaltender Jacob Ingham turned aside 26 shots. Across the ice, Sudbury’s Marshall Frappier turned in a 40-save performance while Nolan Hutchinson (4) provided Sudbury’s lone goal. Rookie forward Blake Murray extended his point streak to nine games with an assist. The Steelheads have won four in a row and sit three points up on Peterborough for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Sudbury drops a third straight decision.