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Majors drop a heartbreaker in Game Seven

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Game seven in the Rogers OHL Championship Series went today at the Hershey Centre.  In front of a sell out crowd the two teams left everything they had on the ice and treated fans to a thrilling overtime game.  Owen Sound prevailed in overtime, with a 3-2 victory.

The pace was fast and furious and if you didn’t know it was a game 7, you would have figured it out quickly.  Both teams were playing hard and desperate hockey. Early on, the Majors seemed to be on their heels a bit, as Owen Sound was getting some solid pressure down low.

Joey Hishon put on a clinic in the Majors end after the Majors failed to get the puck out, and after Hishon came around from behind the net he fed Matt Stanisz at the point who let a blast go. The shot was tipped by Mike Halmo who recorded his fifth goal of the playoffs at 4:14.

The Majors pushed back and quickly pulled even just over three minutes later. After a good effort low in the Attack zone by Chris DeSousa and Rob Flick, the puck went back to Stuart Percy who skated around a defender and made a nice short side shot over his Jordan Binnington’s shoulder. Assists went to DeSousa and Riley Brace.

Owen Sound responded when Jarrod Maidens scored off a nice pass from Cameron Brace as the Majors D missed some coverage in front of the net at 12:34. Brace and Liam Heelis had the assists.

There was some great end to end action late in the period. JP Anderson made a great poke check on a two on one to spring the Majors back on a three on two, but Binnington shut the door on Devante Smith-Pelly.Shortly after, Jordan Mayer scored a powerplay goal to tie the game at two after nice passing from Marc Cantin and Michael D’Orazio with five minutes left in the period. Shots were 10-6 Majors.

The Majors came out strong in the second after spending a lot of time in their own end in the first period. Play had opened up as teams were flying through the neutral zone back and forth but nobody could find the back of the net. Dylan DeMelo had a tripping penalty late in the period but the Majors worked hard to kill it off and kept the game locked at two. Shots on goal were 9-7 in favour of the Attack in the second period.

The Majors earned a couple early powerplay opportunities at the start of the third, but couldn’t convert. Both goalies were playing well as there were chances but still neither team could find the back of the net. D’Orazio almost scored a massive goal when he hit the post with about 10 minutes remaining, which was as close to a goal either team came in the third, as fans were treated to an extremely exciting hockey game. Owen Sound outshot the Majors 11-8 in the third period.

Overtime didn’t last long as the game winner came less then four minutes into the extra period. After a defensive zone faceoff for the Majors the puck found its way in front of the net and after a mad scramble, the puck took a bounce off a Majors foot and beat Anderson to the far side of the net.  Maidens put the loose puck into the open net to score the game winner, and series clinching goal.  Owen Sound outshot the Majors 3-2 in overtime.

JP Anderson made 26 saves on 29 shots for the Majors while Jordan Binnington made 25 saves on 27 shots for the Attack.  The games three stars were Halmo (3rd), Percy (2nd) and Maidens first. Robby Mignardi was award the Wayne Gretzky Trophy for the MVP of the 2011 playoffs by Commissioner David Branch.

The Majors still have more hockey to play as the MasterCard Memorial Cup begins this Friday.  The Majors kick off the tournament when they play the QMJHL representative, either the Saint John Sea Dogs or the Gatineau Olympiques.

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