ERIE 5, OWEN SOUND 3
Hayden Fowler scored twice as the Erie Otters skated past their Midwest Division rival Owen Sound Attack and into the Midwest’s fourth place spot with a 5-3 win on home ice. Overager Matthew Struthers’ 18th of the season opened the scoring for the Attack and the Otters responded with markers from Chad Yetman (26) and Jack Duff (4) for a brief one-goal lead. Sergey Popov (11) quickly tied things up, before Fowler (16) and Owen Sound’s Brady Lyle (14) traded goals to bring that tie to 3-3. Connor Lockhart (7) scored the game winning goal, a first in his OHL career, about a minute after Lyle’s tying goal, and Fowler (17) took advantage of the empty net to expand on the lead and seal the win. The Otters (20-16-2-6) and Attack (21-18-3-3) are tied at 48 points, and are both six points ahead of the Soo Greyhounds for that seventh place seed in the Western Conference.
SAGINAW 5, KINGSTON 4
The Saginaw Spirit scored five unanswered goals to erase a 4-0 deficit and defeat the Kingston Frontenacs in a 5-4 comeback win. Kingston’s four-goal lead came off the sticks of Martin Chromiak (5), Lucas Rowe (6), Zayde Wisdom (21), and Shane Wright (23), until the Spirit responded with goals from Cole Perfetti (26), DJ Busdeker (12), Mitchell Smith (7), and a second from Perfetti (27) to tie the score midway through the final frame. Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux (29) scored with just 2.5 seconds left to earn the win for the Spirit, capping off a four point night (1-3-4). Perfetti, who registered an assist on Giroux’s game winning goal, also notched four points on the night (2-2-4) and became the league’s top scorer with 81 points (27-54-81) in 45 games. Saginaw maintains their spot atop the West Division with 62 points, tied with the Kitchener Rangers for the Western Conference’s top seed, as they improve to 29-13-2-2. The Frontenacs’ record drops to 13-25-2-2 on the year as they remain fifth in the East Division.
MISSISSAUGA 4, PETERBOROUGH 3
NHL Draft eligible James Hardie had himself a three-point performance that included two goals, sending his Mississauga Steelheads to a 4-3 victory past the visiting Peterborough Petes. Florida Panthers pick Cole Schwindt (18) struck 32 seconds in with one of two goals on the night, and was followed up by one from Hardie (24) less than two minutes later. Jack York (4) cut the lead the Trout lead in half, but Schwindt (19) notched a second to bring the Fish back up by two. Peterborough’s Brady Hinz (10) traded goals with Hardie (25) just over a minute part, and Toronto Maple Leafs pick Nick Robertson’s 33rd of the season came 41 seconds after that to bring the Petes with one until the final buzzer. The shots ended 39-33 in favour of the Trout, who improve to 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 and an overall 20-23-2-1 on the season at second in the Central Division, just four points below the leading Sudbury Wolves. Peterborough’s second straight loss lands them at 28-15-2-1 as they stick around at second in the East Division.
NORTH BAY 4, SUDBURY 2
Shane Bulitka scored twice against his former team and Mason Primeau earned a pair of late goals to lead the North Bay Battalion to a 4-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves in the second of a back-to-back with the division rival squad. Oversaged Butlika scored just 30 seconds in for a quick lead the Troops would hold onto until midway through the middle frame when Carolina Hurricanes prospect Blake Murray evened things up with his 20th on the year. Bultika (18) and Murray (21) would trade goals once again before Primeau (10, 11) scored twice in the third, including once in the empty net within the final minute. Fifth in the Central Division, the Battalion see their record improve to 11-31-2-0 while the Wolves, who were coming off an 8-4 win over the Troops the night before, drop to 23-21-1-0 on the year but continue to sit atop the Central Division.
FLINT 7, GUELPH 5
Dallas Stars first rounder Ty Dellandrea notched a pair of late goals to complete his three-point night and guide his Flint Firebirds to a 7-5 comeback win over the host Guelph Storm. Jack Wismer (12), Ethan Keppen (16), and Brennan Othmann (10) helped the ‘Birds to a first period 3-0 lead before the Storm came flying from goals from Cam Hillis (17, 18), Eric Uba (18), Andrei Bakanov (9), and Pavel Gogolov (33) to jump ahead 4-3 by the beginning of the final frame. The Firebirds then responded with four of their own unanswered, this time from Riley McCourt (13), Riley Piercey (15), and Dellandrea (23, 24). The Firebirds put 30 shots on Nico Daws in his return to the Guelph net, while Anthony Popovich saved 27 of the 32 he faced between the Flint pipes. The Storm have now dropped their last eight matches, remain third in the Midwest Division, and fall to 22-16-1-4. The Firebirds also sit third in the West Division but see their record climb to 25-17-1-1.
KITCHENER 7, SARNIA 4
The Kitchener Rangers’ hot streak continued as Reid Valade and Dallas Stars pick Riley Damiani put up three points each in a big 7-4 triumph over the Sarnia Sting. Jonathan Yantsis (32) found the back of the net 4:07 into the first, and Serron Noel (14) earned his first with the Blueshirts just 23 seconds later for an early 2-0 lead. Overaged Sting skater Ryan McGregor notched his 18th on the year to cut Kitchener’s lead in half, but the Rangers responded with four straight from Valade (15, 16), Donovan Sebrango (4), and Holden Wale (4) to boost their lead to 6-1. Ryan Roth (18) earned his first of two before Mike Petizian (13) registered Kitchener’s seventh and final goal. Eric Hjorth (10) and Roth (19) netted two more for the Sting to round out the 11-goal game. The shots concluded at 38-35 in favour of Sarnia. The Rangers add yet another win to their tally for an 11-0-2-0 record in their last 13. They sit at the top of the Midwest at 28-11-4-2, while the Sting fall to 16-26-4-0 at fifth in the West Division.
LONDON 4, HAMILTON 1
Ottawa Senators prospect Jonathan Gruden notched a pair of goals to lead his London Knights to their fifth straight win, this time in a 4-1 toppling of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Gruden (19) and McMichael (34) scored in the opening period to establish an early 2-0 London lead, and Hamilton’s Brady Johnson (5), the lone second period scorer, was able to temporarily cut that lead in half. Luke Evangelista (19) scored early in the third to widen the goal cushion and Gruden potted one with just 10 seconds to go to extend it even further. The Knights now hold a 9-1-0-0 tally in their last 10 games and sit two points out of first in the Midwest Division. Their record on the year bumps up to 29-13-1-1, while the Bulldogs drop to 18-21-3-1 in the East Division’s fourth place slot.