BRAMPTON, Ont. - Evgeny Grachev had a goal and an assist and Thomas McCollum made 21 saves for his first shutout of the post-season as the Brampton Battalion blanked the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 3-0 Thursday in the first game of their Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Battalion showed little rust despite coming out of a week-long layoff after sweeping the Peterborough Petes in the first round.
"It was a tough game and we know it's going to be a tough series," said Battalion head coach Stan Butler. "Both teams competed hard but our best guys were our best players tonight."
Battalion captain Cody Hodgson, who had two assists in the win, emphasized the importance of coming out strong right out the gate.
"This was exactly the kind of game we wanted. We came out hard right at the start and got all over them."
Josh Day and Thomas Stajan rounded out the scoring for the Battalion.
The Majors were back in action for the first time in five days since ousting the Barrie Colts 4-1 in their opening round series.
Despite the loss, JP Anderson was solid between the pipes for the Majors, turning aside 41 of 44 shots.
Game 2 of the series goes Friday night in Mississauga, Ont.