Connor McDavid showed, once again, why he is NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater heading into the 2015 NHL Draft. McDavid scored two goals, including a beautiful shorthanded tally, as the Erie Otters took a 2-1 series lead over Darnell Nurse and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, with a 4-2 win.
On a shorthanded breakaway in the first period, McDavid went full-Forsberg. In a throwback to Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg, McDavid slipped the puck past Greyhounds goaltender Brandon Halverson, one-handed. That goal at 10:51 was assisted by Remi Ellie and gave Erie a 2-0 lead.
McDavid’s second goal came at 1:01 of the second period as he flipped a backhand behind Halverson, unassisted. That goal made it 3-1, Erie.
McDavid now has 18 goals and 32 points in 12 playoff games, leading the OHL.
The Greyhounds made a push, making it a 3-2 game at 14:57 of the second. Anaheim Ducks 2014 first-round pick, Nick Ritchie, scored his 13th goal of the playoffs, assisted by Tyler Ganly and Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse.
Nurse, taken seventh overall in 2013, logged a lot of ice time, rarely leaving the game for long, and had an assist and two penalty minutes.
It was Nick Betz who opened the scoring for Erie at 5:55 of the first period, assisted by Cory Genovese and Troy Donnay.
Nicholas Baptiste closed out the 4-2 win for Erie with an empty-net goal at 18:21 of the third.
Ganly was the other goal scorer for Sault Ste. Marie, potting one at 16:39 of the first.
Dylan Strome, NHL Central Scouting’s fourth-ranked North American skater, finished the game with no points.
Game four of the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Final will be played in Erie again this Tuesday at 5 p.m. MDT. Fans can tune in on Sportsnet 360.