Generals eliminate IceDogs
Stephen Dhillon made 27 saves in his final game as a Niagara IceDog Monday in a 3-2 loss at Oshawa. Photo by: OHL IMAGES.
The Niagara IceDogs’ season came to a premature and disappointing end Monday in Oshawa.
The IceDogs dropped a 3-2 decision to the Generals and were eliminated from the Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinals series in six games.
The IceDogs took the first two games of the set at home, then dropped the next four and were ousted.
It was an unexpected result for a team which declared from Day 1 of training camp they were in it to win it and backed it up by loading up on veteran players such as Jason Robertson, Jack Studnicka, Matt Brassard and Jacob Paquette. Ironically, Studnicka and Brassard came from the Generals in a blockbuster deal that saw the IceDogs deal a good portion of their future in the form of several draft picks and promising defenceman Lleyton Moore.
The Generals now advance to the Eastern Conference final versus the Ottawa 67’s, who swept the Sudbury Wolves 4-0 in their semifinal.
Overage netminder Stephen Dhillon, who saw his IceDogs’ career come to an end, made 27 saves in the loss.
Dhillon, Brassard and defenceman Johnathon Schaefer all saw their OHL careers come to an end as over-agers.
Captain Ben Jones, Paquette, Ivan Lodnia, Kirill Maksimov, Oliver Castleman, Matthew Philip, Robertson, Studnicka, Jack McGrath, Drew Hunter, Bradey Johnson, Daniel Bukac and Elijah Roberts would all be eligible to return next season as over-agers, although only three over-agers are permitted per team. Jones, Lodnia, Paquette, Maksimov, Robertson and Studnicka are all but certain to turn pro.
Once again, Kyle Keyser proved to be a huge difference maker as the Boston Bruins prospect kicked out 34 shots.
The Generals opened the scoring late in the first period when Brandon Saigeon scored his third of the playoffs.
Lodnia then got the IceDogs on the board less than a minute into the second before Giovanni Vallati gave Oshawa the lead back with his second of the post-season. Nando Eggenberger extended Oshawa’s lead to 3-1 with a late goal in the second.
Lodnia had the lone goal of the third at the 4:33 mark. Niagara fired 15 shots on net in the final 20 minutes and outshot the Gens 36-30 overall.
Oshawa scored twice on the power play in five opportunities while the IceDogs went scoreless in their lone chance with the man advantage.
Niagara head coach Billy Burke indicated he would speak with the media Tuesday.
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