The Generals have lost their second straight game to begin the 2021-22 season by a score of 3-2, this time in a shootout to the Niagara Ice Dogs.
Like last night’s game against the Bulldogs, the first 20 minutes were scoreless for both sides. There were chances for both teams, but Tucker Tynan and Zachary Paputsakis both were mistake-free after one period. This game was the first of the season for Paputsakis.
The game’s first goal came off the stick of Calum Ritchie, who found some open ice at the side of the net and received a great pass from captain Ty Tullio. Ritchie was all over the ice in this game, creating plays and finding open ice on what seemed like each and every shift.
“He is such a talented player, and we are seeing it on full display,” said Generals head coach Todd Miller after the game. “He’s so good on both sides of the puck and always seems to know what the right decision is to do when he’s on the ice; he’s a special player.”
The Generals would hold onto that lead for the remainder of the 2nd period, and after 40 minutes, the shots were 22-16 in favour of Oshawa.
However, just like last night, the 3rd period proved to be crucial in the game’s outcome. Niagara came out looking to push back hard and erase Oshawa’s lead. They were able to get the tying goal within the first 5 minutes of the period as centre Jake Uberti beat Paputsakis low corner to make it a 1-1 game.
Niagara would later get their first lead of the game as Isaac Enright’s shot from the point had eyes to the top corner of the net and beat Paputsakis glove side.
Momentum can change quickly in a game like this, though, and a holding call by Declan Waddick gave the Generals a powerplay with just under five minutes left in regulation.
Some excellent passing on the powerplay led to a Ty Tullio shot redirected by Daniel Michaud that found its way past Tucker Tynan to tie the game 2-2. It was Tullio’s second assist of the game and third of the young season.
Regulation solved nothing, and the same could be said about overtime. The two teams traded chances back and forth, but somehow, the puck never found its way into the back of the net. So, the Oshawa Generals and Niagara IceDogs would have to decide a winner in the shootout, the first shootout of the OHL season.
No one scored in the first two shootout rounds, while Calum Ritchie and Cameron Butler scored in the third round, extending the shootout further. Both teams would score in the fourth round (Lleyton Moore and Rodwin Dionicio), and both would miss in the fifth round.
It was finally in the sixth round when this game would have its winner. Niagara’s Juan Copeland scored to put the pressure on Oshawa’s Daniel Michaud, who Tucker Tynan denied to secure the win for the IceDogs.
The Generals leave these first two games of the regular season with just one of a possible four points. However, head coach Todd Miller isn’t worried at all.
“I loved our effort in both games, and if we keep that up moving forward, we will breakthrough soon.”
Oshawa will look to get their first win of the season Monday when they travel to Ottawa to face the 67’s.