Oshawa Generals win regular season finale; playoffs begin Friday in Kingston

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Published April 18, 2022 at 9:24 am

Photo: Ian Goodall Media

The season that counts begins Friday in Kingston but the Oshawa Generals at least finished the season that was Sunday with a win: 5-4 in a shootout against the East’s number two squad, the North Bay Battalion.

Ryan Gagnier scored the shootout winner Sunday and rookie Carter Bickle, who replaced overager Zach Paputsakis in the Oshawa crease midway through the second, got the win, his first in the Ontario Hockey League.

“An unreal feeling. I was so excited when I saw Gagnier score that goal,” local boy Bickle (Brooklin) said after the game. “It’s certainly a moment I’ll never forget and to do it here is extra special.”

The win put the bow on a mixed final weekend for the Generals, fitting as it was in a season with mixed results as well. The club was expected to contend in the conference but finished sixth with a 30-31-7 record.

Playoffs begin Friday against the Kingston Frontenacs, who Oshawa seemed to finally figure out with two recent wins late in the season after suffering six straight defeats. Games three and four will be here at the Tribute Communities Centre on Tuesday April 26 and Thursday April 28.

Oshawa travelled up to North Bay Thursday night and came out on the short end of a 4-1 loss, with captain Ty Tullio’s 40th goal of the season the only bright spot.

The Generals picked up a point the following night, losing 4-3 in overtime to Mississauga on James Hardle’s 41st of the season for the Steelheads 37 seconds into the extra frame. Tullio continued his hot hand, scoring his 41st and 42nd of the season while Brett Harrison had the other goal and chipped in two assists for a three-point night.

On Sunday Oshawa spotted North Bay a 1-0 lead before scoring three in a row to take a 3-1 lead early in the second and withstood a furious Battalion rally to send the game into extras and set up Gagnier’s heroics.

Thomas Stewart scored twice for Oshawa with Harrison and Stuart Rolfs adding singles.

Tullio finished as the team’s scoring leader, registering 42-44-86 totals, good for 12th in league scoring behind runaway scoring champion Wyatt Johnson of Windsor, ho finished with 46 goals and 78 assists for 124 points.

Harrison (61) was second on the Generals, followed by defenceman Lleyton Moore with 54 (including a team-leading 49 assists), Oskar Olausson (49) and rookie Calum Ritchie, who finished his first season in the ‘O’ with 19 goals and 26 assists for 45 points.

Hamilton, the top team in the league, set franchise records with 51 wins and 107 points to win the East, followed by North Bay (93), Kingston (87), Mississauga (82), Barrie (75), Oshawa (67), Ottawa (65) and Peterborough (64).

Sudbury and Niagara did not qualify for the playoffs.

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