MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Defenceman Alex Pietrangelo scored a pair of goals and forward Stefan Legein had one goal and two assists as the Niagara IceDogs defeated the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 3-1 Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final playoff series in the Ontario Hockey League.
Pietrangelo, ranked as the fifth best junior player for this year's National Hockey League entry draft, scored a power-play marker midway through the first period to pull the IceDogs into a 1-1 tie and then scored what proved to be the game winner halfway through the second period.
"It wasn't just me, it was all the guys in front of the net who set up screens that helped me," said the six-foot-four, 210-pound rearguard. "It's not an individual effort. Every goal is a team goal."
His first goal was a low slapshot from the blue-line that Mississauga goaltender Chris Carrozzi wasn't able to see because two Niagara players and one Mississauga defenceman were crowded in front of the crease. His second goal was a 50-foot slapshot that sailed over Carrozzi's right shoulder.
Legein, who was on Team Canada's gold medal-winning junior squad in January, assisted on both goals by Pietrangelo and sealed the Niagara win with a short-handed goal when he walked in alone on Carrozzi in the dying seconds of the second period.
"This is a big win for us," said Pietrangelo. "I know everyone talks about a sweep, but we'll take it game by game. They (the Majors) played tough tonight."
Kaspars Daugavins scored the only goal for the Majors, who outshot Niagara 33-24. Included in Carrozzi's 21 saves was stopping Niagara rookie Alex Friesen on a penalty shot just a couple of minutes before Pietraneglo's second goal of the game.
Game Three in the series is scheduled for Sunday night in St. Catharines.