EDMONTON, AB - A little adversity never hurt anyone, and that goes for both sides.
Evan Bouchard and the London Knights failed to sweep Dmitri Samorukov and the Guelph Storm last night, and Oilers prospects on the verge of advancing around the OHL playoffs on Thursday didn't fare much better.
Ryan McLeod failed to secure the series sweep with the Saginaw Spirit after being blanked 3-0 by the Soo Greyhounds in Game 4 of their second round series. The speedy centre was minus-1, and has three goals and five assists in eight games this postseason campaign.
In the end, it was never a sure thing.
Both Bouchard and McLeod get another crack at series point tomorrow night with London and Saginaw on home ice for the right to square off against one another in the OHL semifinals.
A Kirill Maksimov-less Niagara IceDogs head home tied 2-2 in their series with the Oshawa Generals, with the sniper who scored 40 goals in the regular season for Niagara having yet to make is playoff debut.
Goaltender Hayden Hawkey, defenceman Vincent Desharnais, and the Providence Friars had their collegiate careers down in the NCAA ended in the semifinals of the Frozen Four by the number-one ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.
Up until the second period, Hawkey enjoyed a shutout streak of 115:31 dating back to the first period of the NCAA East Regional Semifinal against Minnesota State. But last season's national champions Minnesota-Duluth broke the streak in the second period, then scored two late empty netters to book their place in the championship with a 4-1 win.
Hawkey finished the season 24-11-5 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .920 save percentage, leading all netminders with eight shutouts and helping guide the Friars to their sixth-consecutive NCAA Tournament.