The Niagara IceDogs won a 3-2 double overtime thriller against the London Knights in game one of the Rogers OHL Championship Series Thursday night in London!
The first period saw the IceDogs get off to just the start they were looking for as Mitchell Theoret continued his strong playoff run by tipping home a Brett Ritchie shot for his fourth of the playoffs, as Niagara drew first blood 1-0 4:01 in. The score would remain that way for much of the period until London would sneak one by Mark Visentin with just under three minutes to tie things up at 1-1 after one. Shots in the period were 11-11.
The IceDogs would come out strong in the second period, carrying the play for much of the period, but London starter Michael Houser would be up to the task, keeping the score at 1-1 for the majority of the period. The IceDogs would finally be rewarded for their strong period however when Andrew Agozzino would do a great job of settling down an Alex Friesen pass and then fire one over Houser's shoulder to make it 2-1 with less than two minutes remaining in the period. That would prove to be the only goal of the period as the IceDogs headed into the third up 2-1. Shots after 40 minutes were 25-17 Niagara.
Unfortunately for Niagara, the IceDogs would be unable to carry the momentum of their strong second period into the third and London would find the back of the net four-on-four only three minutes into the period to knot things up again at 2-2. The teams would exchange scoring chances throughout the rest of the period, but both Houser and Visentin would hold strong, keeping the score at 2-2 and sending game one to overtime.
In double overtime the teams would continue to exchange chances until Dougie Hamilton was able to finally put one by Houser at the 9:03 mark of double overtime to send the IceDogs back to St. Catharines with a3-2 win and a 1-0 series lead. Final shots in the game were 54-43 for Niagara.
Visentin was tremendous in the victory, stopping 41 of 43 shots, while Hamilton was the star offensively with two assists to go with the game winning goal.
The IceDogs and Knights will return to action Saturday night at 7pm when the series shifts to Niagara for game two. Tickets for Saturday's game are sold out, but fans can be sure to catch the game live on TVCogeco or the online radio stream at GiantFM.com
1. NIAG M. Theoret, (4) (B. Ritchie, D. Hamilton), 4:01
1. LDN M. Domi, (3) (S. Harrington, G. McKegg), 17:15
2. NIAG A. Agozzino, (8) (A. Friesen, D. Hamilton), 18:23
3. LDN S. Griffith, (9) (V. Namestnikov), 3:00
OT2. NIAG D. Hamilton, (5) (T. Kuhnhackl, F. Hamilton), 9:03