In the end, there was no derailing the Niagara IceDogs.
Mackenzie Blackwood and the Barrie Colts saw their postseason run come to a close with a 3-2 loss in Game 4 of the OHL Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday. Niagara, which is 12-1 in the playoffs, completed the sweep and moves on to the OHL Final riding a 10-game winning streak.
Blackwood made 26 saves in the setback. Barrie opened the scoring at 17:46 of the first period only to surrender the tying goal 1:54 later. That was the first of three straight markers for the IceDogs, who scored the only two goals of the second to take a 3-1 lead, outshooting the Colts, 13-5, in the frame.
Niagara will face the London Knights for the OHL title.
Blackwood went 6-5 in the playoffs with a 2.71 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and one shutout. He opened the conference final with a 39-save effort, marking his highest save total of the postseason. He faced another heavy workload in Game 3, stopping 36.
The Thunder Bay native recorded 28 wins during the regular season for the Colts, who finished second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 43-22-0-3.
Selected by the Devils in the second round of last year’s Draft, Blackwood is one of six finalists for OHL Goaltender of the Year. He ranked fifth in wins, sixth in GAA (2.72), first in save percentage (tied, .921) and fourth in shutouts (tied, 3).