The Oshawa Generals feel there’s no need to panic. They’ve been in this position before.
For the second straight OHL playoff series, the Generals find themselves down 2-0 after being handed a 7-3 defeat by the Ottawa 67’s in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference best-of-seven final, Saturday, Apr. 20, at TD Place in Ottawa.
Oshawa found itself in the same position in the conference semifinals against Niagara when they dropped the opening two games on the road, before reeling off four straight to eliminate the IceDogs.
While the 67’s, the OHL’s regular season champions, present a bigger challenge, the Generals are hoping a return home for Game 3 tonight (Apr. 21) will get them back in the series.
“We’ve been down 2-0 before, so we’re not worried,” said Generals overager Anthony Salinitri. “They’re a good hockey team, but we believe that we have the team to win it all. So, we’re going to come back hard in our home.”
Once again, it was a four-goal explosion by the 67’s in the third period that sunk the Generals in the Nation’s Capital.
Things actually got off to a great start in the frame for Oshawa when Allan McShane scored just 37 seconds in to tie the game at 3-3. The celebration didn’t last long. Marco Rossi, with Ottawa on the power play, put the home side back on top at 3:11.
The 67’s would put it away beginning four minutes later when Mitchell Hoelscher, Sasha Chmelevski, with his second of the game, and Kyle Maksimovich scored a little more than three minutes apart.
It marked the second-straight game Ottawa has scored four unanswered goals in third.
“What I’m really proud of is the way we reacted after they scored a quick goal in the (third period),” said Ottawa head coach Andre Tourigny, whose club has won all 10 of its playoff games. “I really liked our leadership. I really like the execution of our guys. They stayed in the moment, never felt panicked.
“They felt a burning desire to compete and stayed with it, so I was really proud of them.”
Graeme Clarke and Tye Felhaber also scored for the 67’s, who outshot Oshawa, 42-28, including 18-9 in a dominant third period.
Brandon Saigeon, whose sixth of the playoffs came just 28 seconds into the game, and Serron Noel also scored for the Generals, who are a perfect 6-0 on home ice this postseason.
“I loved our game for the first 40 minutes,” said Oshawa head coach Greg Walters. “We defended very well. We actually were out-chancing them.”
Special teams cost the Generals in this one. Ottawa scored twice on the power play.
“At the end of the day, we took three offensive-zone penalties,” Walters said. “Two of which when we were on the power play and the one they came back and scored on it. Obviously when they smell blood, they come in bunches.”
Puck drop for Game 3 tonight at the Tribute Communities Centre is 6:05 p.m.
photo: The Ottawa 67’s have now won 10-straight playoff games after beating the Oshawa Generals, 7-3, in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference final, Apr. 20, at TD Place in Ottawa. Terry Wilson/OHL Images