Visually Game 3 of the IceDogs/Generals series made for spectacular TV with a number of game stories entering the game, and even more after the game. Artistically, this was not exactly Rembrandt on ice. Bottom line is that there is some real animosity between these two teams, and the IceDogs showed the necessary push back to get back into the series. Here are a few random thoughts...
Scores 2 goals, and gets 20 stitches and still only gets 2nd star. Go figure!. That, to me, is a definitive statement on the leadership of the IceDogs as no one would have begrudged Shipley had he not returned. Warrior is an understatement.
Boosted by noise makers, the drum corps and a whole whack of loyal fans, the old building rocked on its foundations at time and was the loudest that I can remember it. Even though Oshawa is a veteran team, you could see that some were rattled at the atmosphere and the IceDogs fed off of it. Kudos to the IceDog fans.
Already a game story as IceDog fans revel in making Lucas Lessio public enemy number one, Lessio took centre stage for his over the top taunting celebration of a goal, that wrongly as it turned out, was waved off for a phantom contacting of the puck with a high stick. Lessio then took a slew of penalties and had his night end early as he picked up a questionable interference call and then a 10 minute misconduct. Lessio was on the short end of a few calls, but no IceDog fan will extend any sympathy to him. He was still visibly upset at the disallowed goal call after the game.
A pro's pro. Laughton has been the best player on either team in the playoffs. Easy to see why he is a first round pick and a future NHL'er. Even when he scored to make the game 4-2, there was no discernible reaction as he knew there was work to be done.
YOUTH IS SERVED
Maletta, DiFruscia, Perlini and Verhaeghe have been equally as effective as the big three of Strome, Shipley and Ritchie, and that is a good thing. Add in Aaron Haydon's return to the lineup from a broken jaw and they are a large reason that this a series very much in doubt.
In Game 3 Festarini outplayed Altshuller, and the IceDog net minder looked very composed, remarkable considering the wave of players that the Gens sent to the net. Altshuller has played well in spurts, but has not looked completely comfortable in the net so far for Oshawa.
Interesting choice by Coach DJ Smith to send McGuire, Dundas and Hunter Smith out for the last face-off. Gamesmanship has been an issue with both teams this series. The spillover to Game 4 will be interesting to say the least.
See you at the rink!