|« Barrie/Mississauga Monday Live Blog||Doyle: Kitchener goes up 2-0 in Western Final »|
Junior hockey - you never really know what to expect. The past 76 hours have been just about perfect for the Kitchener Rangers, and at the most opportune time of the season....
Jeremy Morin celebrates one of his three goals for Kitchener.
Aaron Bell/OHL Images
The Rangers took a commanding 3-0 lead in the OHL Western Conference Championship Series with a 5-3 win at Windsor Sunday night. Gabriel Landeskog scored the winner goal when his dump-in with 1:33 to go in the third period got past Windsor goaltender Troy Passingham, who was making his first appearance of the series. Jeremy Morin was the offensive star for Kitchener with three goals, while Julian Cimadamore added an empty net goal. Adam Henrique scored two goals for Windsor while Zach Kassian had the other Spitfires goal.
"That was one heck of a hockey game here tonight and we were very fortunate to come out of it with a win," said Rangers GM/Coach Steve Spott.
Windsor Head Coach Bob Boughner was upset after the game, feeling Windsor should have taken a 4-3 lead with about six minutes remaining in the third period. Henrique put the puck in the net, but it was waved off when Taylor Hall was called for goaltender interference. "Terrible, terrible, terrible call. We should be up 4-3 there," said a frustrated Boughner. "To say I'm frustrated about that goal is an understatement."
This is the second time in the series a goal has been called back in similar fashion. In the opening game the Rangers were disappointed when a goal was called back with Chris MacKinnon in the crease.
Morin opened the scoring on Passingham at 1:02 of the first period for the only goal of the first period. "I think anytime you come into an away arena, you try to come out strong and take the crowd out of it," added Morin. "Getting that goal early was big in doing that."
Kassian tied the game in the second period before Henrique put the Spitfires ahead for the first time in the game. But just 15 seconds later Morin scored his second of the game to even it up. Then Morin completed the hat trick before the second period was over to head to the dressing room up by a goal. The Spitfires started the third period in the powerplay and Henrique added his ninth of the playoffs at 29 seconds.
But Landeskog's shot from centre ice beat Passingham to deflate the sold out crowd of 6,514 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor. Game Four of the series is Tuesday in Kitchener. This will be the first time Windsor has faced possible elimination in the OHL playoffs since the 2008 postseason when they were knocked out by Sarnia in the first round. But it is the 2009 Memorial Cup most people remember - Windsor lost their first two games before winning four straight to capture the title.
-Before the game, Sudbury Wolves captain John Kurtz was named the 2010 recipient of the Mickey Renaud Captain's Trophy. It honours an OHL captain who is judged to show the same qualities as Renaud in terms of leadership and dedication both on and off the ice.
-Morin returned to the line-up after missing the third period of Saturday's second game of the series with what Spott announced as an upper-body "stinger".
-Justin Shugg was back in action for Windsor after being a scratch Saturday. Derek Lanoue was taken out of the Windsor lineup.
No feedback yet
Comments are not allowed from anonymous visitors.