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Ritchie powers Peterborough to Game 7 win

by Mike G. Morreale

Peterborough Petes left wing Nicholas Ritchie, No. 7 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, certainly had a tournament to remember against the favored Kingston Frontenacs in the opening round of the Ontario Hockey League's Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Petes, who fell behind 0-3 in the best-of-7 series, capped a remarkable comeback on Tuesday with a 2-1 overtime victory against the Frontenacs in Game 7 in Kingston. Ritchie assisted on the tying goal by Hunter Garlent 2:40 into the second before ending the game and the series 12:17 into overtime.

Peterborough became the fourth team in OHL history to rally from an 0-3 hole in a playoff series.

Peterborough will now advance to the conference semifinal round against the Oshawa Generals and a showdown against forward Michael Dal Colle, No. 5 on Central Scouting's midterm list of draft-eligible North Americans. The best-of-seven opens Friday in Oshawa.

Ritchie contributed four goals and six points in the final four games to boost his playoff totals to five goals and eight points in seven postseason games. Ritchie's teammate, center Eric Cornel, No. 23 on Central Scouting's midterm rankings, chipped in with four goals and five points in seven playoff games.

Kingston was led all season by center Samuel Bennett, No. 1 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking release. The 6-foot-0.25, 178-pound left-hand shot had five goals and nine points in seven games against the Petes. Bennett, who had 36 goals and 91 points in 57 regular-season games, scored an unassisted goal 59 seconds into the first period to give Kingston a 1-0 lead against the Petes in Game 7.

For the Frontenacs, defenseman Roland McKeown, No. 15 on Central Scouting's midterm report, had one goal and four points and right wing Spencer Watson (No. 43) had one goal and five points.

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