For the second night in a row, the Belleville Bulls defeat the Niagara IceDogs in overtime with a 5-4 win Friday night to take a 2-0 series lead in second round playoff action.
P.K Subban blasted a rocket from the point past Jeremy Smith 1:58 into the extra frame to ice the win for the Bulls.
The Bulls got off to a very quick start scoring three goals in the first three minutes to silence the crowd of 3145 at the Gatorade Garden City Complex in St. Catharines. Bryan Cameron opened the scoring 38 seconds in the game and was followed by goals from Brandon Mashinter at 1:11 and Scott Howe at 2:49 to make it 3-0. IceDogs opening round hero Andrew Agozzino got the home team on the board with his sixth goal of the post-season scoring on the power play at 9:21 to cut the lead to 3-1 after one.
The IceDogs would build on that in the second scoring one late goal off the stick of Andrew Shaw at 18:53. In the third it was more IceDogs offence completing the comeback and taking the lead with two more unanswered goals, both on the power play courtesy of Patrick Lee at 2:54 and Alex Friesen at 3:26. Bulls forward Cory Tanaka spoiled the rally when he tipped a Shawn Lalonde point shot to tie the game and force overtime when he made it 4-4 at 17:33 of the third.
Mike Murphy was credited the win making 38 saves while IceDogs keeper Jeremy Smith was kept busy making 45 saves. Subban was named first star with IceDogs captain Alex Pietrangelo named second, and the Bulls' Mashinter named third. Game three goes Sunday night in Belleville.
Brampton Battalion 2, Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 1
The Brampton Battalion grabbed a 2-0 series lead in the other Friday night Eastern Conference semi-final matchup when they beat the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 2-1 at the Hershey Centre in the battle of the Peel region.
After a scoreless first period, Matt Kang opened the scoring for the Battalion when he grabbed a loose rebound off the pads of JP Anderson at 14:51 of the second to put the Troops on top. Majors captain Jesse Messier tied the game at 16:28 with a nice deke to beat Thomas McCollum in close.
Matt Duchene would score the game-winner with his fifth of the playoffs scoring at 12:05 with assists from Matt Clark and Cody Hodgson. The Majors battled hard late in the third with an empty net with numerous chances in close but could not bury their chances.
McCollum was the winning goaltender with 29 saves while Anderson made 33 in the loss. Duchene was named first star, Anderson second, and McCollum was third star of the game.
The series resumes Sunday afternoon in a nationally televised game on Rogers Sportsnet from the Powerade Centre in Brampton at 2:00pm.(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)