The Niagara IceDogs cruised to a 9-0 win over the visiting Ottawa 67’s in front of a sellout crowd of 3,145 at the Gatorade Garden City Complex on Thursday night.
The Niagara IceDogs took the early 1-0 lead as Ondrej Kopta picked up his first career OHL goal 4:24 into the game. After both teams would exchanges power plays, the IceDogs would add to their lead as Dougie Hamilton picked up his eighth goal of the season, on the power play, to give the IceDogs a 2-0 lead, 13:17 into the first. The IceDogs would carry that 2-0 lead into the first intermission with the shots favouring Niagara 19-9.
The second period would see the IceDogs continue to roll, scoring three times early. Brett Ritchie got the second going by scoring his 25th of the season just 33 seconds in. Steven Shipley would keep things going as he added his 14th of the season, just 1:11 into the period to give the IceDogs a 4-0 lead. The IceDogs would then add a Ryan Strome power play goal just seconds later taking a 5-0 lead, with their third goal in a span of only 1:16. Things would not stop there as Trevor Petersen would score his third goal of the season midway through the second to give the IceDogs a 6-0 lead. Strome would then cap a strong second period for the IceDogs by scoring his second of the night to give the IceDogs a 7-0 lead heading into the 2nd intermission. The shot total at the end of the second was 33-17 in favour of the IceDogs.
The third period would see the teams battle throughout most of the period with the score remaining 7-0 until Anthony DiFruscia would add to the lead 13:33 into the third, making it an 8-0 IceDogs lead. Broderick Kelly would put the icing on the cake late with a goal late in the third to make it a 9-0 final. The shot total for the game favoured the IceDogs 47-27. Christopher Festarini would make 27 saves to pick up his 3rd shutout of the season.
The game marked the last home game before Brett Ritchie, Ryan Strome and Dougie Hamilton head off to Hockey Canada’s World Junior selection camp, with the trio receiving three star honours to give fans a chance to send them off in style.
The IceDogs will travel to London tomorrow night to take on the Knights on Sportsnet’s Friday Night Hockey, before heading back to St. Catharine’s next Thursday to host the Erie Otters. Great seats are still available for Thursday night and all other IceDog home games and can be purchased at all IceDogs ticketing locations!
1. NIAG O. Kopta, (1) (S. Rover, M. Robinson), 4:44
1. NIAG D. Hamilton, (8) (M. Theoret, S. Shipley), 13:17 (PP)
2. NIAG B. Ritchie, (25) (R. Strome, J. Graham), 0:33
2. NIAG S. Shipley, (14) (B. Kelly, S. Rover), 1:11
2. NIAG R. Strome, (21) (M. Theoret, S. Shipley), 1:49 (PP)
2. NIAG T. Petersen, (3) (J. Wigle), 7:40
2. NIAG R. Strome, (22) (D. Hamilton), 15:32
3. NIAG A. DiFruscia, (10) (S. Shipley, C. Verhaeghe), 13:33
3. NIAG B. Kelly, (2) (B. Hiddink, J. Wigle), 17:08