The Oshawa Generals defeated the Niagara IceDogs 4-3 in a shootout at Tribute Communities Centre on Friday night.
The IceDogs started fantastically despite losing the game, and no one was better than winger Brice Cooke. In his first game of the preseason, Cooke beat Generals goaltender Patrick Leaver twice in the game’s first 10 minutes to put the IceDogs up 2-0 early.
The Generals would answer back later in the period, as Cooper Way took advantage of a beautiful cross-crease pass from Luke Torrance to cut the IceDogs lead in half.
However, the IceDogs would extend their lead back to two as, with under two minutes left in the period, Aiden Castle poked home a rebound for his first goal of the preseason. Castle, a former 2020 first-round pick, was recently traded from the Generals to the IceDogs in exchange for draft picks.
In the second period, the Generals looked like a much hungrier team, driving the pace of play and creating some excellent offensive zone pressure.
About five minutes into the period, it was a pinching Parker Petruniak who slid a beautiful pass over to rookie sensation Calum Ritchie who finished off the play to make it a 3-2 game. It was Ritchie’s second goal and sixth point in just his third preseason game.
Despite chances from both teams, the goalies stood tall and were able to keep the game 3-2 at the end of 40.
In the third, both teams traded rush chances back and forth. Finally, at 10:38 of the period, defenceman Riley Pitt found a lose puck from a broken play in the neutral zone and fired a wrist shot past Joseph Constanzo to tie the game 3-3.
Neither team was able to break the deadlock after 60 minutes, so the game required a shootout.
Ryan Gagnier opened the shootout for Oshawa and sniped a beautiful shot top-shelf to give the Generals the early advantage. Daniel Michaud also scored for the Generals on a nice deke that fooled Constanzo.
Patrick Leaver shut the door on both Niagara IceDogs shooters to secure the 4-3 victory for the Generals. His performance, especially in the second half of the game, earned him the first star of the game.
The win moves the Generals to 2-1 on the preseason. They now head to Niagara to face off against the IceDogs tomorrow at 7 pm.