Florida Panthers prospect Josh Brown and the Oshawa defense once again bottled up the potent offense of Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters to take game two of the OHL finals by a score of 5-1.
Brown once again played a big part in shutting the NHL's next superstar down. Here is the game two report from Yahoo Sports Neate Segar: "The Generals, thus far, have a total buy-in to playing chokeout hockey that slows down skating, speedy teams. McDavid's chances at 5-on-5, as David Staples detailed over The Cult of Hockey, have been limiited. It hasn't just been the so-called "no-name" Generals such as first defence pair Josh Brown and Dakota Mermis and wing Bradley Latour; Vancouver Canucks signing Cole Cassels and Ottawa Senators fourth-rounder Tobias Lindberg have also been big factors."
It must also be noted that McDavid's teammate in Erie, Dylan Strome, is also considered a high end NHL caliber talent. Both were held without a goal in game two, and both have no goals (yet) in the series. From TheStar.com: "That wasn’t supposed to be the script for this final. McDavid had been averaging what is believed to be a record 2.8 points per game (42 points in 15 games). He remains nine points away from setting a new OHL record for playoff points."
The report on the Panthers' Brown reads as follows at this point (From Edmonton Journal): "Then there’s big 21-year-old Josh Brown, taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, which announces him as a marginal pro prospect. So far, though, the massive Brown is teaming up on a defensive pairing with Mermis to harass McDavid and keep him to the outside, away from the kill floor in front of the Oshawa goal."
Game three is Monday night in Erie, giving the Otters the ability (with last change) to get McDavid and Strome away from Brown. For Panther fans, this may be very telling: if McDavid explodes offensively, we will know just how good Brown has been in the shutdown role.