The Oshawa Generals hosted their arch rival Peterborough Petes this afternoon in the final regular season game for both teams. Even with both teams clinching their respective seeds in the upcoming playoffs next week there was no shortage of animosity between the players as the Generals looked to even the season series at 4-4. The Generals have had the Petes number over the last five years taking 28 of the 41 meetings with 15 of those coming on home ice and coach Bob Jones was looking to keep their home dominance heading into the playoffs.
The Gens opened up the scoring as an extended period of pressure in the Petes zone led to an open shot from the point for Riley Stillman who sniped it off the post and in for his 9th goal of the season. The Petes thought they had tied the game up with six minutes remaining, but after review the officials waived the goal off much to the delight of the sold out crowd in attendance. The Petes eventually tied the game at 1-1 with one minute on the clock as Pavel Gogolev found himself alone face to face with Kyle Keyser, who got the start in place of Jeremy Brodeur, and sniped it high. Going into the first intermission the game was tied with the visitors outshooting the Gens 8-6.
Stillman scored his second goal of the game on a slapshot just 40 seconds into the period to put him into double digits for the season and give the Gens back the lead. The rest of the period featured more penalties than scoring chances as things got heated between the two rivals, combining for three penalties in the last seven minutes with neither team being able to capitalize. The best chance of the second half fell to Mason Kohn who dangled his way through a few Petes defenders, but couldn’t beat Smith. After two periods of play the Gens led 2-1 with the shots being dead even at 16 a piece.
The Petes tied the game up once more on a tipped shot from Zach Gallant the squeaked through Keyser at the 13 minute mark of the period. Just like before when the Generals found themselves in a tie game there was Stillman waiting to help his team, and help he did as he dangled his way to the front of the net and put in his third goal of the game for his first career hattrick. Joe Manchurek put the game out of reach with an empty net goal to end the game 4-2 and send the Gens into the playoffs on a high note.
The Generals next home game will be their playoff opener on March 24th at 7:35PM against either the Ottawa 67’s or Sudbury Wolves which will be determined after Sudbury plays Mississauga on Tuesday night.