Oshawa Generals hoping home cooking can save season after back-to-back losses in OHL final

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Published May 12, 2024 at 11:03 pm

Oshawa-London

It ain’t pretty but with four wins required to win the Ontario Hockey League championship – and book a ticket to the Memorial Cup – it’s not over either.

Not just yet, anyway, but London Knights are halfway to that goal after two games of the best-of-seven OHL final and the league’s top seed has done it in dominating fashion, outscoring the Oshawa Generals 17-2 after Saturday night’s 9-1 drubbing at the Budweiser Gardens in London.

The series shifts to Oshawa and the Tribute Centre for games 3 and 4 Monday and Wednesday with the Generals hoping home cooking, a loud home crowd and the possible return of three of the team’s best players will help the club climb back in the series.

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Easton Cowan – the OHL Player of the Year – led the Knights in Thursday night’s 8-1 thrashing with five points while Denver Barkey (four points) and Kaspar Halttunen (three goals) paced London in Saturday’s blowout.

Sophomore star Beckett Sennecke, rugged overage defencemen Connor Punnett and 30-goal winger Matthew Buckley have been out with injuries and Oshawa coach Derek Laxdal is hopeful that some or all of his missing stars can return for Monday’s game.

Laxdal also cautioned fans not to get too down on the players after two one-sided games with the league’s number one club.

“At the end of the day these are kids. And they’ve poured their hearts out to get here,” he said at the post-game presser Saturday, adding that he told the players the score “doesn’t matter.”

“We’re down 2-0. We have to pick ourselves up.”

Puck drop is 7 p.m.

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