BELLEVILLE, Ont. - Brendan Gaunce scored twice Thursday to lead the Belleville Bulls to an 8-1 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads in Game 1 of their Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference quarter-final.
Dylan DeMelo replied for Mississauga.
Both clubs set the tone for an intense first-round playoff match with three fights in the first six minutes of play. When the gloves weren't off Belleville, took the play to Mississauga and opened up a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Simmonds opened the scoring by tipping home a perfect passing play, followed by goals from Hooey and Gaunce.
DeMelo got the Steelheads on the board in the second period, but the Eastern Conference's top-ranked team answered back with goals from Subban and Gaunce to add to the lead.
Cardwell, Quine and Sandlak closed out the scoring in the third.
The Bulls went 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Steelheads were scoreless on their three chances.
Game 2 of the series goes Saturday in Belleville.