The Niagara IceDogs are Eastern Conference Champions after a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa 67's in game five of the Eastern Conference Final. With the win, the IceDogs win the series four games to one.
The first period saw the IceDogs strike first on the powerplay as Ryan Strome scored to give Niagara a 1-0 lead. The lead would not last however as Ottawa would answer right back with a powerplay goal of their own to knot things up at 1-1. Freddie Hamilton would then break in and score with a great deke at 15:49 to give the IceDogs a 2-1 lead that they would carry into the intermission. Shots after one were 19-8 in favour of Niagara.
The second period would see the IceDogs continue their strong play, outshooting Ottawa 13-8 in the period, and Alex Friesen would score the only goal of the period to give the IceDogs a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The third period would see Ottawa close the gap to only 3-2 with their second powerplay goal of the game with just under ten minutes remaining. Ottawa would continue to pressure the IceDogs, and with 1:42 remaining Ottawa would go on another powerplay. The IceDogs would be unfazed however, putting in an incredibly gutsy penalty kill. Ottawa would pull the goalie with just under a minute to go to go 6 on 4, but the IceDogs would dig deep and hold off the 67's to bring home the 3-2 victory. Shots in the third were 40-29 in favour of the IceDogs.
With the win, the IceDogs will move on to face the London Knights in the Rogers OHL Championship, starting in London on Thursday night. The full schedule for the series is as follows:
Game 1: Thursday May 3 – Niagara at London - 7:00 pm
Game 2: Saturday May 5 – London at Niagara – 7:00 pm
Game 3: Monday May 7 – Niagara at London – 7:00 pm
Game 4: Wednesday May 9 – London at Niagara – 7:00 pm
Game 5: Friday May 11 – Niagara at London – 7:00 pm*
Game 6: Sunday May 13 – London at Niagara – 2:00 pm*
Game 7: Monday May 14 – Niagara at London – 7:00 pm*
Tickets for games two and four of the series will go on sale through all IceDogs ticketing locations starting at 12 noon on Monday, April 30th! Don't miss out as tickets are sure to go quickly so get your tickets Monday!
1. NIAG R. Strome, (7) (F. Hamilton, D. Pacan), 2:02 (PP)
1. OTT S. Monahan, (8) (M. Cajkovsky, C. Ceci), 3:04 (PP)
1. NIAG F. Hamilton, (6) (D. Hamilton), 15:49
2. NIAG A. Friesen, (8) (D. Hamilton, J. Graham), 13:34
3. OTT J. Cardwell, (4) (M. Cazzola, T. Toffoli), 10:14 (PP)