Sunday Highlights: Frontenacs lock up home ice
KINGSTON 5 – NORTH BAY 4
It was a must-win scenario for the North Bay Battalion, but the Kingston Frontenacs managed to overcome a 3-1 deficit on the road as Jason Robertson (42) and Sergey Popov (4) each had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 victory. Jakob Brahaney (1), Brett Neumann (13) and Ryan Cranford (8) also lit the lamp as the Frontenacs secured home ice advantage in their first round series against Hamilton, wrapping up their season with their third straight win and a record of 33-26-5-4. Ted Nichol and Cody Caron each recorded a pair of assists and goaltender Jeremy Helvig made 26 saves in the win. The Battalion see their season come to an end as the Niagara IceDogs secured the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference despite a 6-1 loss in Mississauga. Kyle Potts (12), Justin Brazeau (22), Zach Poirier (15) and Zach Shankar (4) all had goals while Brent Moran made 22 saves in his final OHL contest. The Battalion franchise misses out on the post-season for the first time since 2002.
HAMILTON 3 – OTTAWA 1
The Hamilton Bulldogs came through when they needed to, but a Kingston road win over North Bay secured home ice advantage for the Frontenacs as the Dogs will begin their first round series on the road. Hamilton outshot the Ottawa 67’s 30-13, getting goals from Cole Candella (3), Michael Cramarossa (21) and Matt Luff (25) in a 3-1 road victory. The Bulldogs wrap up their second OHL season with a record of 33-27-4-4 for fifth in the Eastern Conference. Austen Keating (22) provided the lone goal for the 67’s who will await Tuesday’s results to see where they fall in the Eastern Conference. They end their 2016-17 season with a record of 26-34-7-1.
SAULT STE. MARIE 6 – LONDON 4
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk (34, 35) scored twice and added an assist while Zach Senyshyn (42) scored and pitched in with two helpers as the Soo Greyhounds skated to a 6-4 win over visiting London. The Hounds overcame a 4-2 deficit with four unanswered goals as Blake Speers (15) netted the winner 4:09 into the third frame. David Miller (22) and Morgan Frost (20) also had Sault Ste. Marie goals as the Greyhounds outshot the Knights 43-22 and finish as West Division Champions with a 48-16-3-1 record, registering the third 100-point season in franchise history. Knights defenceman Evan Bouchard (11) had a goal and an assist while Olli Juolevi (10), JJ Piccinich (26) and Max Jones (17) also found the back of the net. The loss means the Knights won’t be able to catch third place Owen Sound in the Western Conference and sets up a first round date with the Windsor Spitfires. London played to a 46-15-3-4 record in their title defence season.
MISSISSAUGA 6 – NIAGARA 1
Trent Fox (13) had a goal and two assists while Stefan LeBlanc (7) and Spencer Watson (28) had a goal and a helper each as the Mississauga Steelheads trounced visiting Niagara 6-1. Watson reached the 300-point milestone on his OHL career in the victory while Matthew Titus (3), Michael McLeod (26) and Nathan Bastian (14) also found the scoresheet. The Trout held the IceDogs to 0-for-9 on the power play while going 2-for-2 on their own man advantage. Mississauga’s third straight victory sees them improve to 34-20-6-7 headed into their final game of the season on Tuesday against Sudbury. Pavel Demin (4) provided the lone goal for Niagara as the IceDogs, despite a lopsided loss, clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference following North Bay’s home loss to Kingston. Niagara will face the first place Peterborough Petes in the first round of the OHL Playoffs.
OSHAWA 4 – PETERBOROUGH 2
Florida Panthers prospect Riley Stillman (9, 10, 11) became the fifth OHL defenceman to record a hat-trick this season, helping the Oshawa Generals double up the Peterborough Petes on home ice. Joe Manchurek (15) added an empty netter as the Generals close out the regular season with their 40th win, four points behind the first place Petes in the East Division. Pavel Gogolev (5) and Zach Gallant (21) had goals for Peterborough while Scott Smith made 25 saves in the loss. The Petes wrap up the campaign with a 42-21-2-3 record and will face the Niagara IceDogs in the first round of the OHL Playoffs.
OWEN SOUND 8 – GUELPH 5
Zachary Roberts (8, 9, 10) buried his first OHL hat-trick as the Owen Sound Attack won a shooting match in Guelph by a score of 8-5. Ethan Szypula (11), Santino Centorame (7), Jonah Gadjovich (45), Petrus Palmu (41) and Maksim Sushko (18) also had goals for Owen Sound as the Attack stay ahead of the London Knights to clinch third in the Western Conference with a franchise best 49-15-2-2 record. Szypula finished the night with a goal and three assists as the Attack outshot the Storm 35-21, going 3-for-4 on the power play. James McEwan (19), Ryan Merkley (12), Matt Hotchkiss (14), Isaac Ratcliffe (28) and Liam Hawel (9) responded with goals for the Storm while Liam Herbst made 27 saves in his final OHL contest. The Storm end their season with a 21-40-5-2 record, missing the postseason for a second straight year. The Attack will face off with the division rival Kitchener Rangers in the first round of the OHL Playoffs.