The Oshawa Generals held serve on home ice and now they find themselves back on even ground in their Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Niagara IceDogs.
Anthony Salinitri and Nando Eggenberger scored a pair of goals each to lead the Generals to a 7-3 win over the IceDogs in OHL playoff action, Apr. 11, at the Tribute Communities Centre.
The win was the second straight for Oshawa at home and evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2. The series returns to St. Catharines for Game 5 on Apr. 12, with puck drop at the Meridian Centre set for 7 p.m.
The winner of the series will meet the Ottawa 67’s in the Eastern Conference final. Ottawa completed a four-game sweep of the Sudbury Wolves with a 3-2 overtime win in Sudbury on Thursday.
Kyle MacLean and Giovanni Vallati had a goal and assist each, while Allan McShane added the other marker for the Generals, who are a perfect 5-0 at home in the playoffs. Kyle Keyser had another big effort in goal, making 36 saves to record his sixth playoff win.
Jason Robertson, who has scored in every game of the series, Matthew Philip and Akil Thomas, who returned after missing the first three games of the series with an upper body injury, scored for the IceDogs, who have yet to lose to the Generals at home this season.
Philip put the IceDogs on top a little more than six minutes into the contest, but the Generals would respond with three goals a little more than seven minutes apart and never trailed after that.
Salinitri scored his first of the series to tie it a little more than a minute after Philip’s goal. Kyle Bollers slid the puck to the overager, who was all alone in front and backhanded a shot upstairs over the glove of Niagara goaltender Stephen Dhillon.
Vallati put Oshawa ahead on the power play at 11:46 when his long shot from the point found its way through Dhillon. MacLean doubled the lead three minutes later with the Generals shorthanded. Just seconds after an outstretched Keyser robbed Ben Jones in front, Serron Noel raced down the ice on a two-on-one and slid the puck across to a hard-charging MacLean, who ripped it past Dhillon.
Thomas would cut the lead to one late in a wild opening period, but the Oshawa power play would get that back midway through the second when Dhillon, out of his net to play the puck, shot it off his own player and it bounced right to Eggenberger, who tapped it into the open net.
Eggenberger’s second of the contest just 6:15 into the third period put Oshawa ahead, 5-2. Robertson would get that right back for Niagara just 46 seconds later, but late goals by Salinitri, his second of the game, and McShane, on the power play, iced the Oshawa win.
Bollers and Noel each finished with a pair of assists for the Generals, who dominated special team play, going 3-for-7 with the man advantage, while their penalty kill had a shorthanded marker and held the IceDogs scoreless on five power plays.
photo: Kyle Keyser had another big effort, stopping 36 shots to lead the Oshawa Generals to a 7-3 win over the Niagara IceDogs and even their Eastern Conference Semifinal best-of-seven series at 2-2. Terry Wilson/OHL Images