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Onto The Next Round

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Mike Duco
And then there were two.

While NHL teams are still jockeying for the right to play in the Stanley Cup, the OHL has its finalists for their prized trophy, the J. Ross Robertson Cup, as the Belleville Bulls and Kitchener Rangers finished off their series Wednesday night, each in five games.
The two teams will compete in the Rogers OHL Championship Series starting next week after they both trounced their opponents in the clinching games.

Kitchener shut out the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5-0 in Kitchener as the Rangers controlled play from the start.

Outshooting the Greyhounds 42-27 in the game and in every period, the Rangers got on the board with Matt Halischuk’s 12th goal of the post season just 1:48 into the game.

That’s all they would need, but they wanted to make sure that Sault Ste. Marie wouldn’t mount any time of comeback.

Mike Duco netted his 12th of the playoffs 10:48 into the second period that gave the Rangers a two-goal lead. And then the Rangers pulled away with three goals in the third period. Halischuk scored his second of the night as the Rangers converted on a 5-on-3 power play attempt 14:01 into the final period. They then cashed in on another power play attempt, as Nick Spaling scored 45 seconds later. Scott Tregunna gave the Kitchener power play unit three goals on the night when he scored with 3:18 left in the game.

Duco finished the game with the goal and was a +1.

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It was an even more impressive victory in Belleville as the Bulls routed the Oshawa Generals 11-0.

Yes you did read that right. 11-0!

It’s a mind-numbing thought to think a team put up that many goals, even without the services of one of their leaders and offensive whizzes, Panthers prospect Shawn Matthias, who has missed the entire playoffs with mono.

Averaging just over three goals a game in their first four games, the Bulls scored three times just in the first period. Then added five in the second and another three in the third.

Cory Tanaka scored 4:24 into the game and the Bulls were off. Adam Perry scored twice in the initial period (17:33 and 19:18 marks).

Matt Beleskey scored two of Belleville’s five goals in the second period and finished off the hat trick 9:24 into the third period.

Belleville buzzed around Oshawa all night throwing up 47 shots on Daryl Borden who was kept in the whole game. They also finished 6-of-13 on the power play.

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23 Seconds.

That’s how close John Lee and the Waterloo Black Hawks to joining the Bulls and Rangers to shutting out their opponents.

Instead they would have to settle for a 4-1 victory to open up their USHL Semifinal series against the Chicago Steel Wednesday night.

Nick Larson scored on the power play at 15:55 of the first period to give the Hawks the 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second period, the Hawks scored twice in just 13 seconds of play. Siim Liivik scored at 9:38 and Blake Kessel scored at 9:51. Keegan Meuer netted the fourth Waterloo goal at 19:15 before Brian O’Neill scored at the 19:37 to finally get the Steel onto the board.

The Hawks outshot the Steel 46-19 on the night. Lee finished a -1, and had 5 shots on net, and an interference penalty 6:09 into the third period.

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