Generals Take Game One in Convincing Fashion Over Steelheads
By Dean Eastman
Game 1 of the Ontario Hockey League's Eastern Conference Quarter-Final saw the Oshawa Generals skate to a 6 - 0 win over the visiting Mississauga Steelheads on Friday night at the General Motors Centre. Gens' netminder Daniel Altshuller stood tall in the Oshawa net to record the shutout.
Oshawa - March 21, 2014 - The Eastern Conference top-ranked Oshawa Generals opened their 2014 OHL Playoffs much like they finished the close to their 2013 - 2014 OHL regular season--with their collective foot off the gas pedal. The 4,506 hockey fans in attendance at the GM Centre collectively held their breath early on in the contest as the hometown Generals displayed, as one season ticket holder suggested, "no sense of urgency" in their game. It was actually the visiting Mississauga Steelheads who were the aggressor in the first half of the opening frame.
The game remained scoreless until 19:23 of the first period when the Generals scored on the power play to go ahead 1 - 0. Winger Josh Sterk tipped in a lovely shot from third-year forward "Big Rig" Hunter Smith. Smith was a force to be reckoned in Game One as he recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick, registering one goal, four assists and a short-lived tilt against the Steelhead's tough guy, Brandon Belding.
Mississauga's starting goaltender Spencer Martin was pulled from the Steelhead net at the 10:44 mark of the third period in favour of backup netminder Chase Marchand after the Generals' own Michael Dal Colle scored a beauty of a goal to make it a 5 - 0 game. Give Martin credit as he appeared to be none too happy to leave his crease for the Mississauga bench.
The Steelheads managed to fire only 21 shots on Daniel Altshuller to the Generals' 44 shots on goal. The announced three stars of the game was lopsided in Oshawa's favour. Josh Sterk registered two goals and was named the game's third star, Smith was solid all night at both ends of the ice and was named second star. Second-year left winger Michael Dal Colle potted two goals and added three assists and was named the game's first star.
View from the Cheap Seats
Oshawa Generals' team captain Josh Brown did not dress due to a lower body injury (LBI). The Generals' third and fourth lines, most notably Justice Dundas, Jacob Busch, Sam Harding, Joe Manchurek, and Aidan Wallace outskated and outplayed Mississauga's third and fourth lines on this night. Dundas scored the Generals' sixth goal late in the third period on a nice low shot from the slot on a feed from Smith.
Prior to the start of this series, this writer predicted that Oshawa would finish the series in 5 games. After witnessing the offensive attack displayed by the Gennies, this writer wishes he had predicted a first round sweep of the Steelheads. Mississauga needs to devise a new and much improved game plan before the start of Game 2 if they want to last longer than the minimum four games in Round 1.
Game 2 of this series resumes on Sunday night at 6:05 p.m. at the GM Centre before heading to Mississauga for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday.
For the love of the game, I remain, Dean Eastman.
Dean Eastman is the Oshawa Generals correspondent for OurHometown.ca Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young sons Eric and Ryan. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Oshawa Generals organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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