While the hockey world had their eyes focused on a pair of game sevens in Washington and Anaheim, a game four was being played in Mississauga, Ontario during the OHL Final. The Erie Otters got to within one game of playing for the Memorial Cup with a 5-2 win over the home Steelheads. To say it was a wild one would be an understatement.
Warren Foegele continued to torment the Steelheads when he scored just 27 seconds into the game, with assists to Darren Raddysh and Dylan Strome. Foegele ended the game with a hat trick and two assists, good for five points and factored in on every Erie goal of the night.
Strome made it 2-0 Otters at the 4:08 mark of the first period. Alex DeBrincat and Foegele had the assists on that one.
Owen Tippett finally got the Steelheads on the board, but it came at a cost. The goal came unassisted and shorthanded at 11:40 of the first. Mississauga was killing off a five minute major taken by Mikey McLeod for slashing at the 9:49 mark of the first. McLeod was also assessed a game misconduct on the play, meaning he was gone. Michael Little served McLeod’s penalty. Amazingly, Erie did not score on that power play.
But they would make their own special teams presence known when the scoring resumed in the third period. DeBrincat scored shorthanded what would be the game winner at 1:33 into the third frame. Darren Raddysh and Foegele had the assists. Dylan Strome was serving two minutes for slashing taken at the very end of the second period. It was now 3-1 Erie.
Foegele then scored unassisted at 7:13 of the third to make it 4-1. Owen Tippett answered with his own unassisted goal at 11:06 to get Mississauga back into it and make it 4-2. But Foegele would put a capper on it when he scored into an empty net at 19:41 from Anthony Cirelli to make it 5-2, completing the hat trick.
Foegele, for his efforts, was named the game’s first star while Tippett, with a pair of goals, was the second. Nathan Bastian was the third star.
Mikey McLeod’s stat line in his truncated night saw him a minus-1 with five penalty minutes and he went 1-for-4 in the faceoff circle. Bastian had three shots on goal, two penalty minutes and was 8-for-18 on faceoffs.
In net for the Steelheads, Matthew Mancina made 32 saves on 36 shots in 57:56 of time on ice (Erie actually had 37 shots on goal because of the empty netter). For Erie, Troy Timpano made 22 saves on 24 Mississauga shots. The Otters went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Steelheads were 0-for-4 with the man advantage. This was the first game in the series won by the road team and the first to feature a score of more than one goal difference.
Game five shifts scene to the Erie Insurance Arena as the Otters will look to wrap things up, winning the OHL title and moving on to Windsor to play for the Memorial Cup. That game will be played on May 12.