In a week when the Devils moved up from the fourth pick (I mistakenly said the sixth pick in my post on the subject) via the NHL Draft Lottery, the Devils had some other prospects in action tonight in game one of the OHL Finals.
First, some info on the Devils’ first overall pick. This will be the second time in franchise history that the team has picked first overall. In 1979, as the Colorado Rockies, they chose Rob Ramage as the top pick in the NHL Entry Draft. This is also the second time the Devils have won the Draft Lottery. They won in 2011 and moved up to fourth, ultimately choosing Adam Larsson with that pick.
Now, with that little bit of background on the Devils’ history with the Draft out of the way, let’s talk about Mikey McLeod, Nathan Bastian and the Mississauga Steelheads. They kicked off the OHL Final tonight in Erie, Pennsylvania at the Erie Insurance Arena against the Erie Otters. The Steelheads have been on a roll this spring, but the layoff between their sweep of Peterborough and this series may have come back to hurt them.
They fell to the Otters, 2-1. Erie got goals from Warren Foegele (at 5:38 of the first period) and Dylan Strome (at 14:45 of the first) to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Steelheads would score late, when Stefan LeBlanc scored at 17:25 of the third period (with assists to Trent Fox and Ryan McLeod – Mikey’s brother).
Mississauga had a chance to tie things up late when Taylor Raddysh of the Otters was called for interference at 19:13 of the third. The Steelheads were unable to score and things ended 2-1. On the night both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.
All three goal scorers were named the three stars: Foegele the first, Strome the second and LeBlanc the third. Mikey McLeod had one shot and won 17 of 23 faceoffs taken. Bastian was a minus-1, had a shot on goal and won five of the eleven faceoffs he took.
In goal, Matthew Mancina made 26 saves on 28 shots faced. He played 59:13, as he was pulled with the power play for two extra attackers late in the game. He took the loss. For Erie, Troy Timpano made 13 saves on just 14 Mississauga shots in getting the win.
Game two, with the Otters up one game to zero, will be played in Erie on May 7. Puck drop for that game is at 4 PM.