PETERBOROUGH 5 – NIAGARA 2 – PBO leads series 1-0
The Niagara IceDogs came out firing as Kirill Maksimov (1) scored on their first shot of the game, but the Peterborough Petes charged back to victory as Adam Timleck (1, 2) scored twice in a 5-2 Game 1 win. Timleck scored late in the first before Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (1), Josh Coyle (1) and Kyle Jenkins (1) netted second period goals. Timleck and Niagara’s Danial Singer (1) exchanged third period markers as the Petes outshot Niagara 43-34. Dylan Wells made 32 saves in the Peterborough crease while captain Brandon Prophet recorded a career-high three assists. Peterborough controlled the faceoff circle as Zach Gallant, former IceDog Chris Paquette and Steven Lorentz all had strong nights at the dot. Game 2 of the series goes Saturday in Peterborough.
SAULT STE. MARIE 5 – FLINT 2 – SSM leads series 1-0
Fleet-footed forward Hayden Verbeek (1, 2) scored twice as the Soo Greyhounds sprinted out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back, defeating the visiting Flint Firebirds in Game 1 of their first round series. Jack Kopacka, (1), Boris Katchouk (1) and Blake Speers (1) also found the back of the net past Connor Hicks as the Hounds outshot the Firebirds 37-21. Both Flint goals came from defencemen as Mathieu Henderson (1) and Alex Peters (1) lit the lamp. The loss marks the eighth straight for Flint dating back to March 4th. Matthew Villalta got the start in goal for Sault Ste. Marie, making 19 saves in his OHL playoff debut. Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie.
ERIE 6 – SARNIA 3 – ER leads series 1-0
The Erie Otters sent 51 shots the way of Justin Fazio in the Sarnia crease, scoring six times in a 6-3 Game 1 win to start the postseason. Kyle Maksimovich (1, 2) led the way with two goals and an assist while Alex DeBrincat (1) recorded a point in his 28th straight game with a goal and an assist. Warren Foegele (1), Taylor Raddysh (1) and Anthony Cirelli (1) also found the scoresheet as the Otters doubled up Sarnia. Drake Rymsha (1), Jordan Ernst (1) and Jordan Kyrou (1) connected for Sting goals while Fazio put in an admirable effort with 45 saves in the loss. The two teams are back at it in Game 2 in Sarnia on Saturday.