Thursday Highlights: Close contests decided by a goal
GUELPH 6, NIAGARA 5 – OT
Nate Schnarr (23) tied the score with seven seconds left in the third period, setting the stage for a thrilling Nick Suzuki (23) overtime winner in his Guelph Storm debut, powering a 6-5 road win in Niagara. The back-and-forth affair saw the Storm prevail despite being outshot 44-33 as newcomer Sean Durzi had three assists on the back end while Schnarr finished with a goal and two assists. MacKenzie Entwistle (16) scored his first in a Storm uniform while Dmitri Samorukov (3), Liam Hawel (20) and captain Isaac Ratcliffe (26) also found the scoresheet for the Storm. Captain Ben Jones (21, 22) scored twice and had an assist for the IceDogs who earned a point in the overtime loss. Kyen Sopa (12), Kirill Maksimov (27) and Oliver Castleman (12) also brought the fans to their feet while Akil Thomas and Jacob Paquette both had two assists. Anthony Popovich made 39 saves in goal for Guelph as the Storm won its seventh in the past 10 games, improving to 21-12-3-4. Niagara leads the Central Division by six points and falls to 23-9-7-0.
OSHAWA 6, PETERBOROUGH 5 – OT
The Peterborough Petes rallied from down 5-3 but the visiting Oshawa Generals would take the extra point on Serron Noel’s (24) third overtime winner of the campaign. The Generals took a 6-5 road win in Peterborough as Montreal Canadiens prospect Allan McShane (18, 19) had two goals and two assists while Brandon Saigeon (26) scored in his Oshawa Generals debut. Anthony Salinitri (29) and William Ennis (3) also found the back of the net for Oshawa while Nicolas Mattinen and Giovanni Vallati had two assists. Nick Robertson (15), Max Grondin (8), Ryan Merkley (6), Erik Cermak (6) and Adam Timleck (14) all scored for Peterborough, with Timleck tying the score at five with 1:14 remaining in the third period. Oshawa outshot Peterborough 36-27, improving to 24-15-2-0 in the East Division. The Petes now trail the second place Generals by four points, owning a 22-16-1-1 record.
NORTH BAY 4, MISSISSAUGA 3 – OT
Christian Propp made a big save at one end before Matthew Struthers sent Justin Brazeau (38, 39) in alone at the other to score the game winner in a North Bay Battalion victory. The Troops earn their ninth win in the past 10 games as Brazeau scored twice and added an assist to reclaim the OHL scoring lead. Defencemen Nick King (7) and Theo Calvas (1) also scored for North Bay while Struthers picked up two assists. Propp earned first star honours with a 36-save performance, powering the Battalion to victory despite being outshot 39-27. Aidan Prueter (7), Cole Schwindt (10) and Keean Washkurak (9) were Mississauga goal-scorers while rookie Joe Ranger made 23 saves in the loss. Zack Malik made his Battalion debut as the Troops improve to 20-18-1-2, two points ahead of fourth place Mississauga in the Central Division. The Steelheads have lost three straight, falling to 18-17-4-1.
WINDSOR 4, FLINT 3
Curtis Douglas set up Will Cuylle (18) for the game winner with 6:49 left in the third period as the Windsor Spitfires overcame the visiting Flint Firebirds by a score of 4-3. The Spits jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Luke Boka (6), Jean-Luc Foudy (3) on a penalty shot and Nathan Staios (3). Flint clawed back with three in the second as Jacob Winterton (8), Ethan Keppen (13) and newcomer Emmet Pierce (1) responded. Rookie netminder Kari Piiroinen stopped 30 of 33 for the win as Windsor was outshot 33-25. Foudy earned first star honours with a goal and an assist while Flint’s Dennis Busby took second star recognition with a pair of assists in his first game of the season. The Spitfires have now won four straight, improving to 19-19-2-1 while Flint falls to 7-33-2-0.
SUDBURY 4, BARRIE 3
The Sudbury Wolves ended a seven-game slide as Shane Bulitka (8, 9) scored twice in a 4-3 road win over the Barrie Colts. Drake Pilon (6) and Macauley Carson (9) joined Bulitka with goals while newcomers Anthony DeMeo and Adam Ruzicka both had assists in their Wolves debuts. Rookie netminder Mitchell Weeks picked up his first OHL win with 24 saves. Jack York (3, 4) scored twice for Barrie while Dalton Duhart (7) added a late goal in the loss and Kai Edmonds turned aside 35 shots. Sudbury sits six points back of first place Niagara in the Central with a 22-14-2-1 record. Barrie drops its seventh loss in the past 10 games, falling to 18-21-1-0.