MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Mike Pelech scored late in the second period and the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Barrie Colts Friday night in the opening game of their Eastern Conference playoff series in the Ontario Hockey League.
Pelech batted a floating puck out of the air as he cut in front of the Barrie and beat Colts' goalie Michael Hutchinson from the edge of the crease with less than three minutes remaining in the period.
"It was a really physical game but it was nice to win," said Pelech, who also drew an assist on Dustin Ekelman's goal that opened the scoring in the first period. "We knew they (the Colts) were going to be physical. They weren't giving us a lot of room out there. We expect it'll be like that the whole series".
"We're just going to have to play well in our own end and hopefully we'll create some offence from it," added Pelech, a native of Toronto.
Rob Flick and Jesse Messier had the other goals for the Majors, who battled back from a 3-1 first-period deficit.
Alex Hutchings had a pair of goals for the Colts, including a shorthanded marker, and Stefan Della Rovere had the other.
After Hutchings' second goal had given the Colts a two-goal cushion midway through the first frame, the Majors pulled starting netminder Chris Carrozzi and replaced him with JP Anderson.
Anderson blanked Barrie the rest of the way, stopping 19 shots. Carrozzi allowed three goals on just eight shots.
Peter Di Salvo got the start in the Barrie net, but he lasted only one period after giving up three goals on 10 shots. Hutchison came in for the start of the second period and made 20 saves on the night.
The second game in the series is scheduled for Saturday night in Barrie.