Opilka’s saves help Kitchener tie series with Attack
OWEN SOUND – Luke Opilka stopped 40 shots as he helped the Kitchener Rangers edge the Owen Sound Attack 2-1 in OHL playoff action Saturday night at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
The result ties the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final at a win apiece and comes a day after the Attack dumped the Rangers 9-1.
Things didn’t start well for the Rangers as Petrus Palmu opened the scoring for Owen Sound 33 seconds into the game. That was to be the only goal Opilka allowed.
Adam Mascherin tied it for Kitchener on a power play eight and a half minutes later and Jonathan Yantsis fired in the winner at 4:44 of the third.
Michael McNiven took the loss in net for the Attack.
Owen Sound outshot Kitchener 41-26 and won 46 of the 71 faceoffs in the game. The Rangers went 1-for-7 on the power play and held Owen Sound scoreless on four power plays.
Third game of the series is set for Monday at Kitchener. Game time is 7 p.m.
Erie 9 Sarnia 3
SARNIA — The Otters scored the first five goals of the game, the first four coming in the first period, on their way to the win Saturday night at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
Erie leads the Western Conference quarter-final 2-0.
Anthony Cirelli and Dylan Strome scored twice each for Erie while single goals were added by Warren Foegele, Taylor Raddysh, Erik Cernak, Ivan Lodnia and Haydn Hopkins.
Kevin Spinozzi had two goals for Sarnia while Jordan Ernst scored the other goal.
Troy Timpano picked up the win in net for Erie as he stopped 26 shots. Aidan Hughes allowed seven goals on 31 shots to be tagged with the loss for Sarnia. Blair Coffin took over in the Sarnia net at 15:16 of the second and yielded two goals on 14 shots.
Third game is to go Monday night at Sarnia.
Flint 6 Sault Ste. Marie 3
SAULT STE. MARIE — The Firebirds had a pair of goals in the first period and three more in the second in the win over the Greyhounds Saturday night at the Essar Centre.
The result squares the Western Conference quarter-final at a win apiece.
Flint led 2-0 after the first and 5-1 after the second and the Firebirds outshot the Greyhounds 31-27.
The Firebirds had two power-play goals and two shorthanded goals in the game.
Maurizio Colella connected for a pair of goals for Flint while Kole Sherwood, Alex Peters, Jalen Smereck and Ryan Moore added a goal apiece.
Boris Katchouk, Zachary Senyshyn and Jack Kopacka scored for Sault Ste. Marie.
Connor Hicks was the winning goaltender for Flint while Matthew Villalta was tagged with the loss for the Greyhounds after allowing five goals on 23 shots in the first two periods. Joseph Raaymakers played the third and stopped all seven shots he faced.
Flint’s third-period goal was scored into an empty net with 1:19 to go.
The teams are to meet at Flint Monday night for Game 3.
Peterborough 6 Niagara 3
PETERBOROUGH – Four consecutive goals helped the Petes rally for the win over the IceDogs Saturday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
With the win the Petes shoot ahead 2-0 in the Eastern Conference quarter-final.
Although the Petes scored first, Niagara led 2-1 at the end of the first. That score stood until Peterborough scored a pair of goals 56 seconds apart late in the second period to go ahead for good.
Steven Lorentz and Jonathan Ang had two goals apiece for the Petes while Nikita Korostelev and Matt Spencer also scored.
Niagara received goals from Ryan Mantha, Johnny Corneil and Kirill Maksimov.
The IceDogs outshot the Petes 44-41 and went 2-for-6 on the power play while Peterborough went 2-for-7. The host Petes won 55 of the 81 faceoffs in the game. Zach Gallant led as won 20 of 26 draws.
Dylan Wells had the win in net for Peterborough while Stephen Dhillon was tagged with the loss for Niagara.
Third game is set for Tuesday night at Niagara.
- Guelph Sports Journal