Last-minute goal gets Oshawa Generals back into OHL playoff series

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Published April 26, 2022 at 10:16 pm

Lleyton Moore scored the game-winning goal for the Oshawa Generals against the Kingston Frontenacs on Tuesday. (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

Lleyton Moore scored with eight seconds left, completing a comeback win by the Oshawa Generals that gets them back into their playoff series against the Kingston Frontenacs.

Facing their most desperate 20 minutes of hockey this season, the Generals surmounted a two-goal deficit to win 4-3 and cut Kingston’s lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League conference quarterfinal. With overtime looming, Moore, the 19-year-old defenceman, snapped a shot from the left faceoff circle that got through a screen and beat Kingston goalie Leevi Meriläinen.

Moore was one of the Generals’ most productive offensive defencemen this season with 54 points, but had only five goals.

Brett Harrison, Calum Ritchie and Stuart Rolofs also scored for the Generals, while Ty Tullio had two assists. Generals goalie Patrick Leaver, who was hooked in the first period Game 2 on Sunday after Kingston scored on three of its first four shots, bounced back with a 32-save night.

The Generals will have a chance to make the series a best-of-three when they host Game 4 at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Counting the regular season, they have defeated Kingston and top NHL draft prospect Shane Wright in four out of seven meetings at home this season.

The door for an Oshawa rally opened 6:17 into the third when Frontenacs defenceman Braden Haché received a slashing penalty. Sixteen seconds later, Harrison, a Boston Bruins draft choice, scored his second goal of the series to get Oshawa in striking distance.

That was the second power-play goal of the night for the Generals, who were 2-for-6 with the extra skater. Kingston was 0-for-3, including a failed five-minute power play that bridged the first and second period.

Ritchie, the rookie first-round choice, tied the game with 9:13 left with his first OHL goal, beating Meriläinen from a bad angle. The tying tally cancelled out Ritchie being on the ice for Kingston’s third goal with 10 seconds left in the second period, when Wright twisted away from Ritchie and teed up Kingston defenceman Lucas Peric for a screened slapshot that found the net.

Kingston had a dangerous three-on-one rush in the dying minutes after a penalty kill, with Wright and 100-point scorer Lucas Edmonds breaking free. But a deflected shot went wide of the Generals’ net.

Both teams had a contributor ejected in the first period. Generals rookie defenceman Blake Smith, an Oshawa native, got a checking-to-the-head major and game misconduct. Kingston lost two-way forward Jordan Frasca, a Pittsburgh Penguins signing, to a cross-checking minor and game misconduct.

Kingston took a 3-1 lead into the third thanks to three goals in the final seven minutes of the middle frame. Pickering native Paul Ludwinski assisted on each of the Frontenacs’ first two tallies, which were both credited to Philadelphia Flyers forward prospect Zayde Wisdom.

Ludwinski has five points in three games so far in the series. He had 16 goals and 43 points across 67 regular-season games.

Meriläinen saved 29-of-33 shots for the Frontenacs.

Kingston will host Game 5 on Saturday at the Leon’s Centre. Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Oshawa at 6:05 p.m. on Sunday (May 1).

(Cover photo by Terry Wilson, OHL Images.)

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