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Rangers Double Up On Greyhounds

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Mike Duco
Game three in the back-and-forth battle between the Kitchener Rangers and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds went to Kitchener.

After splitting the first two games in Kitchener (Rangers won game one 3-1 while the Greyhounds won game two 3-1), the Rangers scored four of the first five goals of the game and never looked back in their 6-3 victory Sunday night.

Sault Ste. Marie got on the board first in the game when Arron Alphonso scored at 5:54 of the first period. Scott Timmins netted a short handed marker at 14:09 to tie the score heading into the second period.

And that’s where the Rangers took over.

Despite only putting eight shots on net in the middle period, three of them found the back of the net in the first 16:00 of the period, including two just 1:05 a part. Nick Spaling scored 4:32 in while Mike Duco scored his ninth of the postseason at the 5:37 mark. Nazem Kadri would then make it 4-1.

The Greyhounds’ Dylan King brought the score to 4-2 with 2:04 left in the period but they couldn’t get any closer.

Spaling scored his second of the night at 9:22 of the final period, Jacob Muzzin answered for Sault Ste. Marie at 10:27 and Matt Halischuk added the empty net goal with 15 seconds left in the game.

Duco finished the game with the goal, a +1 and had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty 53 seconds into the game and a 10-minute misconduct to begin the second period.

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The Belleville Bulls are cruising in their series as just one more victory will send them to the OHL Championships. That’s because the Bulls won two more this past weekend, a 4-3 win in Oshawa on Friday and a 5-2 victory on Saturday, giving them the 3-0 series lead over the Generals.

The Bulls can clinch the series with a victory Monday night in Oshawa.

Friday night’s game was a difficult win for the Bulls, especially with the first 3:56 of the game. The Generals came out strong and scored all three of their goals in that first 3:56, chasing starting goaltender Mike Murphy after just five shots.

Backup Parker Van Buskirk came in and shut down the Oshawa attack, stopping all 28 shots he faced and the Bulls found their scoring, scoring all four goals in the second frame. Matt Beleskey netted the game winner 13:23 in for his fifth of the post season.

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On Saturday night, the Bulls had a little easier time in their victory.

It was still difficult in the sense that they still found themselves down at one point in the game.

Belleville got on the board 11:59 into the first period before Oshawa answered with two straight to take their only lead of the game.

But Belleville answered Oshawa’s goal, tying it just six seconds after at the 15:46 mark. The Bulls would close out the five-goal first period with the game-winner, a power play tally by Cameron at 19:03.

After no scoring in the second period, Belleville added tow insurance goals, a Andrew Self power play goal at 3:27 and a Cory Tanaka short handed penalty shot at 13:39.

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The semifinals of the USHL playoffs are now set as John Lee and the second-seeded Waterloo Black Hawks will take on the fourth-seeded Chicago Steel in a best-of-five series.

The series opens with two games in Waterloo (April 23rd and 25th) before shifting to Chicago for game three (April 27th). Game four, if necessary, will also be in Chicago (April 29th), and if there is to be a game five, then it will be played the following night in Waterloo.

The winner of the Waterloo-Chicago series will play for the Clark Cup against the winner of the Omaha Lancers and Lincoln Stars.

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