Ivan Lodnia and Jason Robertson each had three-point efforts to help the Niagara IceDogs grab control of their Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Oshawa Generals with a 5-1 win, Apr. 7, at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.
Niagara now leads the best-of-seven series, 2-0, and can put the Generals on the brink of elimination when the second-round matchup moves to Oshawa, Apr. 9, for Game 3.
“They’re not down until you lose at home, so they’re going to go back to their great rink with a ton of fan support,” IceDogs head coach Billy Burke said of the Generals. “It’s going to be rocking in there. I know Oshawa fans don’t like us, we don’t like them.
“It’s a great rivalry, so it’s going to be rocking and we got to make sure we’re not forcing anything, and really try to limit our mistakes because they’re going to have another gear at home for sure.”
Robertson, who scored the overtime winner in Game 1, found the net twice for Niagara, including a late empty-net goal to seal it. Lodnia, who helped the Erie Otters win an OHL championship in 2017, opened the scoring just 5:47 into the contest and would add two assists to earn the game’s first star.
The Minnesota Wild prospect now has six points in the second-round series.
“He’s an unbelievable two-way player,” Burke said of Lodnia. “He can score. That was a huge goal he got on the power play right away. His commitment to the two-way game, he’s an excellent penalty killer, very smart. He can take faceoffs. He’s a very complete player.
“He’s the only guy we have that has won a championship, played in the Memorial Cup. He has great experience and he shares that with the guys.”
Former Oshawa defenceman Matt Brassard and Philip Tomasino also scored for the IceDogs, who were missing injured forwards Akil Thomas (102 points) and Kirill Maksimov (40 goals) from the lineup.
Allan McShane had the lone goal for the Generals, who were outshot, 42-25, in the loss.
Game time Tuesday at the Tribute Communities Centre is 7:05 p.m.
photo: Allan McShane had the lone goal as the Oshawa Generals dropped Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series to the Niagara IceDogs, 5-1, at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines. The IceDogs now lead the best-0f-seven series, 2-0. Terry Wilson/CHL Images