WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
(Soo leads 3-2)
Game 1: Sault Ste. Marie 3, Kitchener 2
Game 2: Sault Ste. Marie 4, Kitchener 2
Game 3: Kitchener 3, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Game 4: Kitchener 7, Sault Ste. Marie 4
Game 5: Sault Ste. Marie 7, Kitchener 3
Game 6: April 29, at the Aud, 2 p.m.
Game 7: April 30, at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
* if necessary
Additional reading: Rangers even series 2-2
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 (10-5) starts.
Sault Ste. Marie:
Boris Katchouk-Morgan Frost-Taylor Raddysh
Tim Gettinger-Barrett Hayton-Jack Kopacka
Keeghan Howdeshell-Joe Carroll-Ryan Roth
Zack Trott-Brett Jacklin-Cole MacKay
Rasmus Sandin-Connor Timmins
Noah Carroll-Mac Hollowell
Jacob LeGuerrier-Jordan Sambrook
Matthew Villalta (10-4) starts.
- The Hamilton Bulldogs eliminated Kingston in five games to win the eastern conference title last night. Kitchener was 2-0 against Hamilton in the regular season and won both games 4-3. The Soo went 1-1 against the Bulldogs. The 'Hounds lone victory was a 10-0 drubbing.
- I'm told the Soo's Boris Katchouk is healthy and that he left Game 4 briefly in Kitchener to deal with an equipment issue. But you know how it goes at this time of the year with the sharing of info. He sure looks tender while walking around.
- Same injured guys still out. Hayden Verbeek (mid body) for the Soo and Connor Hall (shoulder) and Austin McEneny (shoulder) for the Rangers.
- Soo media room killing me tonight with the sweet potato fries, two salads and chicken fingees. Just deadly delicious.
- At this stage, Hamilton has to be laughing. The Bulldogs could have close to a week off by the time the OHL final gets rolling and at this time of the year the extra rest is a massive advantage.
- Credit the Soo, they came out flying and took it right at the Rangers. Built up a 3-1 first period lead and controlled most of the play. That’s the start you’re after when it’s 2-2 in the series and you don’t want to go back to Kitchener for a must-win game.
- The shot clock counters at the Essar sure don’t do their goalies any favours. The Rangers had more than five first period shots.
- Shots through two periods 31-14 Soo. Just six shots for the Rangers in the third. Tough to win when it’s that one-sided.
- That backhand by Jack Kopacka in the second period? Sometimes you just have to deliver a slow cap of respect.
- Kitchener got away with too many men in the second. Adam Liska was almost at the Rangers blue line before he raced back to the bench. Close call.
- Speaking of must-win mode, it’s the Rangers who are on the hot seat now. At least the Blueshirts have been awesome at home so far in this series.
- It’s a brutal turn around if this series goes the distance. The teams play Sunday afternoon and then have to hustle back up to Soo for Game 7 Monday at 7 p.m. (if necessary). Nothing like cramming in a game that decides which team goes to the OHL championship.
- That was Sault Ste. Marie’s best game of the series and Kitchener’s worst.
- How bored was the crowd in the third? They did the wave. Not a good look for the Blueshirts.
- I was confused when the crowd chanting: “We want Gar-ref,” as in Garreffa. Thought that was odd. Then realized they were chanting “We want refs!” Gotta get my hearing checked.
- It’s always interesting when guys look like they want to fight but then realize they’re face to face with Givani Smith and quickly opt out of said bout. I don’t blame them, I would too.
JB’s top three Rangers: Joseph Garreffa, Nick McHugh, Mario Culina