WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
(Sault Ste. Marie leads 1-0)
Game 1: Sault Ste. Marie 3, Kitchener 2
Game 2: Saturday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.
Game 3: April 23, at the Aud, 7 p.m.
Game 4: April 25, at the Aud, 7 p.m.
Game 5: April 27, at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
Game 6: April 29, at the Aud, 2 p.m.*
Game 7: April 30, at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
* if necessary
Givani Smith-Logan Brown-Kole Sherwood
Connor Bunnaman-Rickard Hugg-Adam Mascherin
Nick McHugh-Riley Damiani-Greg Meireles
Adam Liska-Michael Petizian-Jonathan Yantsis
Logan Stanley-Michael Vukojevic
Giovanni Vallati-Joseph Garreffa
Kyle Gentles-Jack York
Mario Culina (8-3) starts.
Sault Ste. Marie:
Boris Katchouk-Morgan Frost-Taylor Raddysh
Keeghan Howdeshell-Hayden Verbeek-Tim Gettinger
Joe Carroll-Barrett Hayton-Jack Kopacka
Zack Trott-X-Ryan Roth
Rasmus Sandin-Connor Timmins
Noah Carroll-Mac Hollowell
Anthony DeMeo-Jordan Sambrook
Matthew Villalta (8-3) starts.
- Rangers D Austin McEneny will not play due to an upper body injury suffered in Game 6 of the OHL western conference semifinals against Sarnia.
- Kitchener F Eric Guest did not make the trip north as he's the latest victim of the flu/sickness going around the team.
- There is an electricity at the Essar Centre and around the Soo in general about this series. I sure hope that vibe transfers to the Aud and Waterloo Region for Games 3 and 4.
- Soo defenceman Noah Carroll collided into the end boards hard and left the game at the 6:02 mark of the first period and went right to the dressing room. His right arm had that limp, out of joint look to it but he returned for the second.
- Kitchener’s Logan Brown scored 39 seconds after the ‘Hounds tied it up in the first but the goal was waved off due to a high stick.
- Jay McKee is sure getting the most out of his guys. I can’t help by but think about all the messages I got throughout the season demanding that he be fired. He has all the Rangers playing a level up.
- Clearly part of the Rangers’ game plan was to be physical against the Greyhounds. The Soo sure didn’t look comfortable being pushed around.
- The Givani Smith-Connor Bunnaman combo was giving the Soo fits all game and the team had trouble handling them.
- Sault Ste. Marie had a two-on-none break in the second but pushed the puck ahead too fast and Rangers goalie Mario Culina was able to break up the glorious chance.
- New feeling to the conference finals from a media standpoint as the OHL takes over and holds news conferences after each game.
- Smith hit the ice late in the third after taking a high stick to the face. No call.
- A key penalty kill by the Rangers with fewer than five minutes to go in the game. It showed a lot of character.
- There was lots of focus by the Soo on Brown and Sherwood, who combined for just one shot on net.
- The top power play had a new look with four forwards and Logan Stanley. No Joseph Garreffa.
- What can you say? The Soo scored with 0.9 seconds left in the game. It really was unbelievable. Morgan Frost won the draw, got it back to Taylor Raddysh who set up Connor Timmins. It happened so fast.
JB’s top three Rangers: Mario Culina, Givani Smith, Connor Bunnaman