Round 2 of the Memorial eCup presented by Kia kicked off on a positive note for five of six OHL clubs who were able to emerge in the win column. The Sarnia Sting, Saginaw Spirit, Hamilton Bulldogs, North Bay Battalion and Mississauga Steelheads all came out on top and will advance to the tournament’s third round in what was an exciting eight-game Sunday lineup.
OHL commentators Reed Duthie (Hamilton Bulldogs) and Branden Scott (Sudbury Wolves) provided the call on Saturday on broadcasts that aired live on League and member team Twitch and Facebook accounts.
The 64-team bracket has been narrowed down to just 24 squads. Here’s what went down in Sunday’s OHL action:
SARNIA 7, TRI-CITY 3
Justin O’Donnell and the Sarnia Sting kicked things off on Sunday afternoon with a solid 7-3 victory over Booker Daniel and the Tri-City Americans, becoming the first club to advance to Round 3. Sasha Mutala put the Americans up nice and early for the 1-0 lead 2:39 in but O’Donnell quickly gained an early edge with first period markers from Marko Jakovljevic, Jamieson Rees and Sam Bitten to make it 3-1. Ryan Roth tucked it home for a 4-1 lead at the 9:10 mark of the middle frame and Landon Roberts responded soon after to cut Sarnia’s lead to 4-2. With 1.6 seconds left on the second period clock, Blake Stevenson got Tri-City within one, but Sarnia’s Brayden Guy was able to restore Sarnia’s two-goal lead 3:18 into the final period before Theo Hill added one to make it 6-3 at the 16:20 mark. In the final minute, O’Donnell put the cherry on top of a 7-3 win with a goal from his own player, stamping his mark in the tournament’s third round where we’ll face off with a familiar foe in the Saginaw Spirit.
SAGINAW 5, SOO 4
Sunday’s first of two OHL showdowns ended in favour of Danny Katic and the Saginaw Spirit who edged Rory Kerins and the Soo Greyhounds 5-4 in a thrilling back-and-forth West Division contest. Cole Coskey gave the Spirit a 1-0 jump before Tye Kartye came up alone in the slot with a one-timer to make it 1-1. Following a close first period, Coskey capped the puck in once again to open the second with a 2-1 score but Zack Trott would bury the puck in shorthanded to bring make it 2-2. Alex Johnston wasted little time establishing the Greyhounds’ first lead with a hard shot on net but with less than three minutes left in the middle frame, Ryan Suzuki evened things up once again. Saginaw rang in the third period with a goal from Cole Perfetti to bring the score to 4-3 until a back-door feed from Kalvyn Watson brought the Greyhounds up to speed once again. In the final minute, Katic came through on his own to secure his spot in the third round where he’ll square off with O’Donnell and the division rival Sting.
HAMILTON 8, BRANDON 2
Zachary Roy and the Hamilton Bulldogs proved he’s here to win with an 8-2 toppling of the Brandon Wheat Kings and player Luka Burzan. Goals from Arthur Kaliyev and Jan Mysak brought the ‘Dogs up 2-0 before Cole Reinhardt got his Wheat Kings up on the board. Mysak found the back of the net once more to wrap up the opening twenty minutes but Brandon’s Ridley Greig got one upstairs on a 2-on-1 to make it 3-2. A quick release over the blocker from Payton Vescio brought Hamilton up to 4-2 before goals from Liam Van Loon and Avery Hayes expanded that lead to 6-2 heading into the third, where Logan Morrison and Tag Bertuzzi would tack goals of their own for a final 8-2 to send their team to the next round.
VANCOUVER 4, OSHAWA 2
Allan McShane’s eCup journey with the Oshawa Generals came to an end with a 4-2 loss to Trevor Longo and the Vancouver Giants. Justin Sourdif opened the scoring for the Giants just 1:16 in with the lone goal of the opening frame before Michal Kvasnica widened the Giants’ goal cushion to 2-0 early in the second period; a lead they’d carry into the final twenty minutes. Oshawa’s Daniel Michaud cut Vancouver’s lead in half 15:32 into the third with a one-timer to the back of the net and Ryan Stepian followed suit to tie things up with just 57 seconds remaining. Zack Ostapchuk put Vancouver back in the lead with 11.2 seconds left before Cole Shepard hit the open net to seal the deal for Sourdif and the Giants in the battle toward Round 3.
NORTH BAY 2, SHERBROOKE 1
Captain Comeback came through once again as Luke Moncada and the North Bay Battalion struck twice in the game’s final minutes to edge Colin Ratt and the Sherbrooke Phoenix 2-1, earning a spot in Round 3 of the Memorial eCup. The match got off to a remarkably quiet start with scoreless first and second periods. Alex-Olivier Voyer brought the Phoenix to life 4:28 into the final frame, giving Sherbrooke a lead they’d hold on to until Josh Currie evened things up at the 15:36 mark. Moncada and the Troops were never out of doubt, following up with the go-ahead goal from none other than Moncada himself with just 31.6 seconds left on the clock to defeat the Phoenix and move on up to the third round.
MISSISSAUGA 6, BARRIE 1
Sunday evening’s Central Division showdown between the Mississauga Steelheads and the Barrie Colts resulted in a lopsided 6-1 defeat for Ty Collins and the Trout, eliminating Luke Bignell from eCup contention. Nicholas Canade opened the scoring for Mississauga late in the opening frame and second period goals from Keean Washkurak, James Hardie and William Portokalis widened their team’s lead to 4-0. Victor Hadfield struck at the 16:45 point of the middle period for Barrie’s lone goal of the matchup and Aiden Prueter earned the Steelheads’ fifth goal shortly after as the seconds counted down to the end of the period. Collins topped off his winning performance with a marker from himself in the final frame, effectively stamping his ticket to the next round.