OHL:Finals: Game three goes to McDavid, Otters
Josh Brown and Oshawa traveled to Erie for game three and suffered a 4-3 loss.
Game three of the OHL finals moved from Oshawa to Erie, allowing the Otters last change and the ability to get their star captain, Connor McDavid away from Josh Brown and company. For those wondering whether Brown has made a difference, the answer is "yes." Freed from the Brown and Dakota Mermis defensive pairing, McDavid struck for his first goal of the series, to go along with an assist. Nonetheless, the Generals' commitment to grinding, defense-centric hockey continued, with Panther prospect and Oshawa captain Brown getting this report during the first period:
Captain Josh Brown blocks ANOTHER Erie shot. We're scoreless in the bottom half of the first #GENSarmy— Oshawa Generals (@Oshawa_Generals) May 11, 2015
Still, Oshawa would leave the first down 2-0 to the Otters, with the goals going to Remi Elie and Alex DeBrincat. The Generals would pull to within 4-3, and it appeared they had tied the game with mere seconds to play, but the goal was disallowed as Brown, who finished with a -3 rating, was in the Erie crease.
How much did Erie getting last change effect the game? Oshawa Coach D.J. Smith had this to say post-game (from Yahoo Sports and Neate Sager):
"As much as they don't want to admit that line changes and matchups matter to them, they're trying really hard to get him away from our shutdown guys," Smith said of McDavid. "But he finds ways to get loose, he's the best player in the world for a reason. If I don't have my five best guys on the ice he's going to be dangerous."
The Generals still hold a 2-1 series lead, with game four in Erie on Wednesday.