Friday Highlights: Big Goals Earn Precious Points
HAMILTON 2 – KINGSTON 1 – OT
Brandon Saigeon (32) scored the overtime winner on a fortunate bounce 1:19 into the extra frame as he banked a low shot off a Kingston defender and into the net to give the Hamilton Bulldogs a much needed 2-1 victory in Kingston. With the win, the Dogs pull five points ahead of the Frontenacs for the East Division lead. Matthew Strome (33) had a goal and an assist for Hamilton while goaltender Kaden Fulcher made 18 saves. Hamilton outshot Kingston 32-19 as Jeremy Helvig made 30 saves at the opposite end. Eemeli Rasanen (4) provided Kingston’s lone goal. The Bulldogs wrap up the season series with wins in four of their six encounters against Kingston, with four of those games requiring overtime or a shootout.
OWEN SOUND 7 – GUELPH 6 – OT
Los Angeles Kings prospect Markus Phillips (8) snuck a wrister under the arm of Anthony Popovich with 1:06 left in overtime as the Owen Sound Attack won a comeback thriller by a score of 7-6 in Guelph. 2018 NHL Draft prospect Aidan Dudas (28) tied the score at six with 35 seconds left in regulation to force overtime before Phillips emerged as the hero to give the Bears their fifth straight win. Vancouver Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich (19, 20) had two goals and an assist for the Attack while Kevin Hancock (20) and Nick Suzuki (32) both finished the night with a goal and two assists. Maksim Sushko (28) also scored for Owen Sound as the climb to within one point of fourth place London with a 30-20-2-5 record. The Storm were outshot 38-26 and suffer their fifth straight loss, sitting two points up on eighth place Windsor. Dallas Stars prospect Liam Hawel (10, 11) scored twice for Guelph while other goals came from Alexey Toropchenko (14), Keegan Stevenson (2), Isaac Ratcliffe (32) and Zach Poirier (5).
KITCHENER 3 – SUDBURY 2 – OT
Joseph Garreffa went coast-to-coast to score a sensational game winner 38 seconds into overtime as the Kitchener Rangers edged visiting Sudbury 3-2. Garreffa sped through the neutral zone at top speed before outmaneuvering an opponent to tuck a low deke past Jake McGrath and help the Rangers improve to 38-17-2-0. Kole Sherwood (26) and Connor Bunnaman (22) both had a goal and an assist while Luke Richardson made 22 saves to get the win. McGrath made 30 saves to help the Wolves earn a point while goals came from Shane Bulitka (8) and David Levin (14). Defenceman Zack Malik had a pair of assists for Sudbury as they sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference following their fifth straight loss.
ERIE 4 – SAGINAW 1
The Erie Otters finished strong with a solid third period, defeating the visiting Saginaw Spirit 4-1. Kyle Maksimovich (26) and Chad Yetman (8) scored a pair of goals inside the opening five minutes of the first period before Patrick Fellows (10) and Owen Headrick (11) put things out of reach in the third as the Otters won their third straight game. Daniel Murphy made 25 saves in the Erie crease, surrendering Saginaw’s lone goal off the stick of Blade Jenkins (18) on the power play. The Spirit suffer their third straight loss, falling five points back of fifth place Owen Sound in the Western Conference.
MISSISSAUGA 4 – NIAGARA 0
Emanuel Vella was the answer on Friday, backstopping the Mississauga Steelheads to a 4-0 shutout win over the Niagara IceDogs on home ice. The Dogs outshot the Fish 40-28, but couldn’t solve Vella who improved to 14-9-1-0 on the season with his second shutout. Defenceman Nicolas Hague (29) and forwards Trent Fox (18), Owen Tippett (28) and Cole Carter (17) provided Mississauga goals while rookie Thomas Harley had two assists. Tippett finished the night with a goal and two helpers as the Steelheads won their third straight game and pulled to within two points of seventh place Oshawa in the Eastern Conference. Stephen Dhillon made 24 saves in the Niagara goal as the IceDogs remain tied for fourth with North Bay in the Eastern Conference, sporting a 27-22-6-3 record.
OTTAWA 4 – LONDON 2
Young talent came to play on Friday as the Ottawa 67’s doubled up the London Knights 4-2 on the road. Draft eligible blueliner Merrick Rippon (3) had a goal and two assists while Mitchell Hoelscher (8) had a goal and a helper as the 67’s snapped a three-game slide. Tye Felhaber (26) and Sasha Chmelevski (31) also added goals while goaltender Olivier Tremblay made 31 saves as Ottawa was outshot 33-24. Ottawa Senators prospect Alex Formenton (20, 21) had a pair of goals for London. The Knights see a three-game winning streak snapped as their grip on fourth place over Owen Sound is narrowed to just one point. The 67’s improve to 26-24-5-3, a point up on seventh place Oshawa in the Eastern Conference. The win is Ottawa’s first in London since Mar. 3, 2012.
SARNIA 6 – FLINT 2
OHL assist leader Jordan Kyrou tacked on four helpers to his season total, giving him 61 as the Sarnia Sting defeated the Flint Firebirds 6-2 on the road. Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael Pezzetta (20, 21) scored twice while Calgary Flames draft pick Adam Ruzicka collected three assists. Sean Josling (20), Marko Jakovljevic (1) and Drake Rymsha (28) also provided Sarnia goals as the Sting won for the eighth time in the past 10 games, improving to 41-13-4-0. Ryan Littlejohn (3) and Connor Roberts (16) scored in Flint’s ninth straight loss as they were outshot 43-28. Aidan Hughes made 26 saves in the Sarnia crease to collect the win while Luke Cavallin made 37 saves in goal for the Firebirds. The two clubs wrap up their season series in Sarnia on Sunday.