IceDogs fall to Generals
Stephen Dhillon made 31 saves in a losing effort as the Niagara IceDogs dropped a 4-1 decision at Oshawa Tuesday. Photo by: OHL IMAGES.
The Niagara IceDogs came out flat and never recovered as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Oshawa Generals Tuesday night in Oshawa.
Niagara still leads the Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference best-of-seven semifinal playoff series 2-1 and can come to within a win of advancing with a victory in Game 4 Thursday in Oshawa. Game 5 is back in St. Catharines Saturday.
“I thought we were a little slow and soft,” Niagara coach Billy Burke said. “We weren’t making the hard plays they were making, but you have to give credit to them. They had more jump and physicality to their game and we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be.
“They’re a 92-point team and it would have been great to be up 3-0, but I don’t think anyone realistically thought that was going to happen.”
Burke feels the best thing the IceDogs can do now is not get caught up in the loss and focus on what’s ahead.
“It’s a playoff series. The sky’s not falling. We regroup and we’re better Thursday,” Burke said.
Burke did see some positives in the loss.
“I thought our older guys did a good job when it was obvious this one was getting away from us in the third. No one was going to settle scores or anything like that. It was keep the focus, finish hard, and be ready for Game 4.”
The Generals outshot the IceDogs 18-9 in a scoreless first period that saw Niagara goaltender Stephen Dhillon stand tall with some big saves.
Jason Robertson broke the scoreless deadlock early in the second with his sixth of the post-season before Serron Noel replied for Oshawa late in the second. Niagara held an 11-7 edge in shots in the period.
The Generals took over early in the third with goals by Kyle Bollers and Noel just seven seconds apart. Brett Neumann then scored a power-play goal halfway through the period to wrap up the scoring.
The Generals out-shot the IceDogs 35-29 and scored two goals in four opportunities with the man advantage.
The IceDogs went 0-for-1 on the power play.
Niagara were once again without forwards Akil Thomas and Kirill Maksimov, who continue to be listed as day-to-day.
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