IceDogs dig deep to edge Gens
Niagara rookie Pano Fimis is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury. Photo by: OHL IMAGES.
The Niagara IceDogs, missing four regulars from their lineup, found a way to get the job done Friday night in Oshawa.
The IceDogs jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, permitted three late goals which sent the game into overtime, then rebounded to win 8-7 in a shootout in Ontario Hockey League action.
“Obviously never want to give up a big lead but a great effort and great resiliency,” IceDogs coach Billy Burke said. “After not a very good night on Wednesday what an unbelievable response in terms of effort and team play. Outstanding show of character from the players tonight.
“If anyone would’ve told us this morning we would be going into OT we all would’ve taken it. Not perfect but we got it done and it was a big win against a good team on the road.”
Brice Cooke paced the IceDogs with two goals and an assist while Anthony Agostinelli, Declan Waddick, Danil Gushchin, Daniel Michaud and Rodwin Dionicio added singles.
Oskar Olausson scored four times, all in third period, as the Generals rallied from a 6-2 deficit after 40 minutes with five goals in the final frame.
Ty Tullio, Calum Ritchie and former St. Catharines Falcon Dawson McKinney rounded out the scoring for Oshawa.
In the seven-round shootout, Gushchin and Juan Copeland, with the winner, scored for Niagara.
Rookie Joey Costanzo made 45 saves in goal for the IceDogs to earn the win.
From Costanzo in the shootout, Copeland with the shootout winner, two goals from Cooke and a big goal from Waddick, the future is exciting,” Burke said.
IceDogs were without centre Pano Fimis, who suffered an upper body injury in Erie Wednesday night and did not finish the game.
IceDogs general manager Joey Burke announced Friday Fimis is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.
“Honesty, it was a bit of a scramble play. The puck got ripped around and I grabbed the puck and I don’t remember much from there,” Fimis said. “I took a hit and fell awkwardly into the boards.”
Fimis has 27 points so far this season in 40 games, and is currently rated as Scott Wheeler’s (The Athletic) 57th Top Prospect for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
“Injuries are tough, but at the same time, it’s part of the game and just another bump in the road,” Fimis said. “It’s another curveball thrown at me. I have to find a way to get through this and come back stronger than ever.”
Defenceman Isaac Enright and forward Cameron Peters are each week-to-week, both dealing with upper body injuries. Forward Liam Van Loon is currently serving a 10-game suspension, following a hit in Sudbury on Feb. 11. The left-winger was acquired through a trade earlier in the season with Hamilton, and has 17 points with 26 games played. He is eligible to return on March 9.
The IceDogs have called up forward Ilia Chmelevski from the Welland Junior Canadians, who made his OHL debut Wedneday in Erie.
The IceDogs are home to Sudbury Sunday at 2 p.m.
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