The Oshawa Generals entered their final game of the round robin undefeated. Their win tonight takes them directly to the final game. The Kelowna Rockets were 1-1-0 after two games and now await the outcome of tomorrow's Quebec Ramparts vs. Rimouski Oceanic game to see if they have to play a tie-breaker against Rimouski for the final playoff spot.
The game was goalless after one period.
Oshawa got off to a great start. They registered twelve shots in the first period and controlled play for much of the period, despite not registering a goal. Both New York Islanders first rounder Michael Dal Colle and Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McCarron had several good chances, including an empty net chance and a shot off the post.
Dal Colle, in particular, was great, picking off multiple passes in the neutral zone and turning them into good chances for the Generals. I wasn't counting, but he probably generated close to five 2-on-1 rushes over the course of the game. Eight of the Generals’ twelve shots on in the first were registered by Dal Colle and his linemate, Los Angeles Kings prospect Matt Mistele.
The Oshawa defence did a good job of preventing Kelowna from getting much time in the Generals' zone by breaking up zone entries and sending breakout passes to the forwards for quick transitions up-ice.
Jackson Whistle, Rockets goalie, kept the team in it through one period--the score would have been a lot different were it not for his play.
Things opened up a bit in the second. Cole Cassels put Oshawa on the board. Dakota Mermis found Cassels on the backdoor with a great pass. Whistle didn’t have a chance. Dal Colle picked up an assist on the goal.
Oshawa then got the chance to show off their OHL leading penalty kill after Mistele picked up a tripping penalty. Kelowna had a difficult time entering and staying in the zone, not getting any zone time until well into the power play and only registering one shot on goal.
Ottawa Senators prospect Tobias Lindberg scored for Oshawa in the final minutes of the second period. His pretty toe-drag move on a two-on-one rush looked like it could have been the dagger for the Rockets.
However, Gage Quinney, Rockets forward, scored less than a minute later to cut the lead in half. Quinney corralled a rolling puck and shot it past Ken Appleby.
Quinney's goal opened the gates for Kelowna, and the game looked far less lopsided in the third.
One of Oshawa's best chances in the period was a breakaway by Bradley Latour. Whistle's save set the stage for a late game push, culminating in a one-minute long 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity, after a kneeing call on Mermis and a delay of game on Cassels.
Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl had a couple scoring chances on the backdoor during the PP during an otherwise quiet game, but couldn't connect. Draft eligible Tyson Baillie had a wide open net during the 5-on-4, but missed the net.
Ken Appleby closed the door, despite appearing shaken up earlier in the period after a collision with top prospect Nick Mirkley. Rockets head coach Dan Lambert should have considered pulling his goalie during the 5-on-3.
The final shot total was 29-21 for Oshawa. The final takes place on Sunday, May 31st at 7:00.