The Kitchener Rangers joined the Belleville Bulls in needing just one more victory to clinch their Conference Championship and then battle it out for the OHL Championship and then the chance for the Memorial Cup. That’s because Mike Duco and the Rangers topped the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds Monday night by a score of 7-3.
Leading the charge was Duco, as the Panthers prospect netted two goals, the team’s fifth and seventh on the night respectively. Duco is now tied for the team lead with 11 playoff goals. He also finished the night with a mind-numbing +5 rating. Yes that’s right. +5
Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie each scored a goal in the opening period - Kitchener’s Justin Azevedo at 4:38 and Sault Ste. Marie’s Josh Godfrey at 11:55.
But then the Rangers came out flying in the second period. The team potted four goals in the middle frame to the Greyhounds one, giving them a commanding 5-2 lead going into the final period. Duco’s goal came with 2:20 left in the period and it was an unassisted short handed tally.
With a good-sized lead, the Rangers made sure they held onto it, playing suffocating defense. Kitchener allowed only six shots to reach goaltender John Unice, and only a Brandon Biggers goal at the 5:53 mark, bringing the Greyhounds to within 5-3 would beat the netminder. But that’s as close as they got.
Nazem Kadri scored at the 12:24 mark and Duco finished off the scoring with 1:11 left in the game.
The Rangers can wrap up the series on Wednesday when they host the Greyhounds at 7:00pm.More Information
The Oshawa Generals lived to see another day against the Belleville Bulls as their 2-1 victory in Oshawa sends the series to a Game 5.
It was the first time in the series that the high-powered Bulls offense was held to less than three goals in a game. The Generals Daryl Borden turned away 32 shots on the night as only Jan Mursak’s seventh of the post season at 6:10 of the first period beat the netminder.
Oshawa answered that opening tally with Dale Mitchell’s 10th of the playoffs at 17:34 to knot the score after one. And after a scoreless second period in which the two teams combined for 14 shots, Brett Parnham scored the game winner 6:44 into the third period.
The Bulls have another chance to clinch the series as they host the Generals on Wednesday.More Information