ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — Mark Visentin stopped 41 of 42 shots as the Niagara IceDogs defeated the visiting Ottawa 67′s 2-1 in overtime on Friday in Ontario Hockey League playoff action.
Since losing Game 4 in the first round to the Oshawa Generals, the 19-year-old goaltender has won his last seven starts and stopped 75 of 77 shots in his last two outings.
His 2.12 goals-against average and .930 save percentage leads all goaltenders who are still in post-season play.
Mitchell Theoret scored the winning goal 5:10 into overtime for the IceDogs while Tom Kuhnhackl scored the other.
Nicholas Foglia had the lone goal for the 67′s, who dropped to 2-5 on the road in the playoffs.
Ottawa’s leading scorer Tyler Toffoli failed to pick up a point for the first time in five contests.
Petr Mrazek was busy in net for the 67′s as he stopped 49 shots in a losing effort.
Neither club could score with the power play as Niagara went 0 for 2 and Ottawa 0 for 1.
The IceDogs lead the Eastern Conference Championship 1-0 with Game 2 scheduled for Sunday in St. Catharines at the Gatorade Garden City Complex.
The two teams were scoreless until the 7:04 mark of the third period when Kuhnhackl scored his fifth goal of the post-season for the IceDogs on semi-breakaway.
Marc Zanetti, captain of the 67′s, allegedly kicked Kuhnhackl after he scored the go ahead goal. Despite no penalty call on the play, it was discussed in the post game and the league will likely be reviewing the play.
Zanetti has already been suspended once this post season as he received a five-game ban for a spearing incident in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final series against the Belleville Bulls.
Just over three minutes later Foglia tied the game at one for Ottawa beating Mark Visentin from a tough angle.