Sunday Highlights: First round finale sees three teams advance
KITCHENER 5 – GUELPH 2
(KIT wins series 4-2)
Logan Brown (1, 2) and Givani Smith (4) teamed up to lead the Kitchener Rangers to a 5-2 road win on Sportsnet, defeating the Guelph Storm in Game 6 to punch their ticket to the second round of the OHL Playoffs. Tied 1-1 entering the second period, three straight Kitchener goals from Smith, Brown and Riley Damiani (3) put the Rangers in the driver’s seat and they never looked back as Joseph Garreffa (5) tacked on a late goal. Ryan Merkley (1) and Isaac Ratcliffe (5) responded with Guelph goals as Mario Culina made 29 saves in the Kitchener crease. The Storm sees their season come to an end as overage veterans Garrett McFadden, James McEwan and Mark Shoemaker played their final OHL contest. The Rangers advance to face the Sarnia Sting in the second round.
SARNIA 5 – WINDSOR 2
(SAR wins series 4-2)
The defending Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires put up a good fight, but in the end it wasn’t enough as the Sarnia Sting skated to a 5-2 win in Game 6 to advance to the second round. Ryan McGregor (2), Franco Sproviero (1) and Jonathan Ang (1) put the Sting up 3-0 midway through the second period before William Sirman (2) and Zach Shankar (2) scored to pull Windsor within one. Jordan Ernst (2) and Hugo Leufvenius (5) put things away in the latter half of the third period as the Sting won their first playoff series since 2008. Sarnia outshot Windsor 29-12 in the opening two periods of action before the Spits outshot Sarnia 8-4 in the final frame. Michael DiPietro stopped 28 saves in the loss, returning to action after leaving Game 5 of the series due to injury. The Spits see their season come to an end as overagers Zach Shankar and Jake Smith played their final OHL contest. Sarnia advances to take on the Kitchener Rangers in the second round.
BARRIE 8 – MISSISSAUGA 2
(BAR wins series 4-2)
After leading 2-0 midway through the hockey game, the wheels came off for the Mississauga Steelheads as the Barrie Colts scored three times in under three minutes to take a 3-2 lead and proceeded to tack on five more in the third period. The 8-2 Colts road win puts them into a second round series against the Kingston Frontenacs as top NHL Draft prospect Andrei Svechnikov (1, 2) led the way with two goals and three assists. Fellow Russian Dmitry Sokolov (4, 5) and veteran forward Zach Magwood (4, 5) also scored twice for the Colts while Aaron Luchuk (3) and Luke Bignell (1) added singles. Luchuk finished with a goal and three assists. Colts netminder Leo Lazarev stopped 40 of the 42 shots he faced as Michael McLeod (6) and Cole Carter (3) scored for the Trout. The loss draws an end to Mississauga’s season as overagers Trent Fox, Mathieu Foget and Stephen Gibson played their final OHL game.