Otters Down Steelheads 5-2, Take 3-1 OHL Finals Lead


With an important Game Three going to Mississauga, the Otters faced the Steelheads at the Hershey Centre looking to go up 3-1 in the series before heading back to Erie. Warren Foegele scored a hat-trick and notched two assists en route to the Otters’ 5-2 victory. They can hoist the J. Ross Robertson Cup in Erie with a Game Five win.

After a disappointing end to their last game in Mississauga, the Otters burst out of the gate in Game Four, shocking the Steelheads with two quick goals in just four minutes: Warren Foegele received a perfect pass from Darren Raddysh, raced into the offensive zone, and beat the goaltender five-hole to make it 1-0 for the Otters thirty seconds into the game. Then, minutes later, Alex DeBrincat found linemate Dylan Strome–who took a hard shot to beat Matthew Mancina blocker-side, putting Erie up 2-0 early in the first period. With frustrations mounting, Mississauga captain Michael McLeod slashed OHL Defenseman of the Year Darren Raddysh, breaking his stick and earning a five-minute major penalty and a game-misconduct. The Otters would not score on the five-minute power play, however, and surrendered a shorthanded goal to the Steelheads’ Owen Tippett on the breakaway. The Otters skated off for the first intermission with the 2-1 lead.

The second period saw a return of the defensive, physical hockey both teams employed through the first three games of the series, and goaltenders Troy Timpano (Erie) and Mancina (Mississauga) stopped everything they faced to keep the game 2-1 heading into the third period. Darren Raddysh, after receiving attention in the dressing room from the incident in the first period, returned to the game in the second.

After their consecutive penalties were killed to start the third period, the Otters’ offense started to run away with the game in the third period. Darren Raddysh maintained puck control in the offensive zone; his pass found DeBrincat down low, and the Red Tilson award-winner made no mistake with his one-timer, beating Mancina glove-side to make it 3-1. Warren Foegele threw the puck on the net shortly thereafter, and Mississauga’s Shaw Boomhower accidently bumped Mancina and the puck into the net, giving Erie a three-goal lead midway through the third period. Tippett scored his second of the night to pull the Steelheads within two, but Erie’s Foegele went back the other way to score an empty-net goal, securing his hat-trick and a 5-2 Otters win.

Warren Foegele scored three goals and two assists for the Otters; Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat scored a goal and assist each; and Darren Raddysh notched two assists. Troy Timpano made 22 saves on 24 shots in the Game Four victory.

Owen Tippett scored twice and Matthew Mancina stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced in the loss.

With their Game Four win, the Otters head back to Erie with the chance to hoist the J. Ross Robertson Cup. They have a 3-1 series stranglehold on the Mississauga Steelheads.

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