By: Barre Campbell – Ottawa67s.com Staff
Photo: Robert Lefebvre – IceLevel Photography
OTTAWA – The opening-round playoff meeting between the Ottawa 67’s and Niagara IceDogs is shaping into precisely what many thought it would be before it even started: a home-ice series.
After winning the first two games of the best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference quarter-final in convincing fashion and scoring eight times in each contest at the friendly confines of TD Place, Ottawa’s offence was limited to a pair of goals by the IceDogs on Monday at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines as Niagara posted a 6-2 decision.
The 67’s lead the series two games to one heading into Game 4 on Wednesday evening in St. Catharines.
A fifth game on Good Friday night at TD Place is now assured, and the 67’s could clinch the series on home ice if they manage a win on Wednesday, but that’s a tall order, as Niagara has been just as good at home all season as the 67’s have been at Lansdowne.
Jeremiah Addison scored twice early in the third period to salvage what had been a bleak night for Ottawa on offence. The IceDogs owned a wide margin in shots through two periods (32-18) and led 2-0 after the opening period and 4-0 after two.
The final shot ratio was nearly 2:1 in favour of Niagara (45-23),
Leo Lazarev relieved starter Liam Herbst in the Ottawa net at the start of the final period and allowed a goal to Niagara’s Jordan Maletta to give the IceDogs a 5-0 advantage before Addison made was able to get the 67’s on the board.
Brandon Hope went all the way in net for Niagara and made 21 saves.
Ottawa native Billy Jenkins scored twice for Niagara, as did Jordan Maletta, who also had an assist. Josh Ho-Sang added three helpers for the IceDogs.
Tickets for Game 5 on Good Friday, April 3 (face-off at 7:30 p.m.) are available at the capitaltickets.ca or by calling 613-232-6767.