Majors clinch semifinal berth at Memorial Cup
Attack play Ice in Thursday night 3rd-place tiebreaker
With nothing working on the power play, Rob Flick decided to just throw it on net.
Flick wasn't trying to score but his shot with a two-man advantage late in the second period turned out to be the winner as the Mississiauga St. Michael's Majors gained a measure of revenge Wednesday with a 3-1 win over the Owen Sound Attack.
"We weren't getting any chances," Flick said. "So I thought when I got the puck I'd just fire it on net and get a rebound. I caught the goalie leaning a bit and luckily it went under his glove."
"Any time you get a 5-on-3 it's crucial to score. You have to really bear down and get quality chances."
With the game tied 1-1, Owen Sound took two interference penalties on the same play. First, Shaw upended Casey Cizikas at centre ice with a low hip check and then Mike Halmo checked goalie J.P. Anderson as he was trying to make it to the bench for the extra attacker.
Mississauga made the Attack pay, working the puck around to Flick who put a shot high past Jordan Binnington for a 2-1 lead at 18:24 of the middle period.
With the win Mississauga clinched its spot in the Memorial Cup semifinal and avenged its Game 7 overtime loss to the Attack at the Hershey Centre for the Onatrio Hockey League championship on May 15.
The Majors get the day off on Thursday while the Attack plays the Western Hockey League champion Kootenay Ice in a third-place tiebreaker for the other spot in Friday's semifinal.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Saint John Sea Dogs have already sealed their spot in Sunday's final.
Wednesday's game was a penalty-filled affair with Owen Sound taking 13 minor penalties, giving the Majors nine power plays and the Attack getting only four in return.
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jesse Blacker, who took three Attack penalties in the game, wasn't happy with the officiating but didn't lay the blame on them.
"You can say what you want about the refereeing, but we didn't help ourselves out either," Blacker said. "I'm not going to comment on whether I agree with some of the calls or not. It is what it is. You can't take penalties like that, especially in a 1-1 game."
Attack head coach Mark Reeds was less diplomatic.
"I don't think St. Michael's was squeaky clean out there," he said.
Jordan Mayer had the Majors' first goal and Anderson made 21 saves for the win in front of a capacity crowd at Mississauga's Hershey Centre.
Jay Gilbert added an empty-netter at 19:25.
Shaw had the lone goal for Owen Sound. Binnington stopped 26 shots in net.
Coming out flying
The Majors were only able to capitalize on 1-of-9 power plays, but it was the difference in the game.
"We got the game-winner on it but we want our power play to be a lot better," Cizikas said. "It's definitely something we have to work on."
Mississauga came out flying in the first, outshooting the Attack 11-3 with the help of four power play opportunities.
"I thought we had a lot more jump tonight," Majors head coach Dave Cameron said. "We had some real good energy and anytime you have that in a big game it relaxes you a bit."
Mississauga opened the scoring at 8:01 of the first period. With the teams playing 4-on-4, Maxim Kitsyn made nice a pass through the Attack defence to Mayer who wristed a shot that sneaked under Binnington's arm.
The Majors thought they'd made it 2-0 at 18:27 when Devante Smith-Pelly scored, but the goal was disallowed upon review.
It was a penalty-filled first period, with Owen Sound taking seven minors and Mississauga four.
Owen Sound tied the game eight minutes into the second period. Matt Stanisz's point shot deflected off the boards, and Robby Mignardi tipped it in front to a streaking Shaw who snapped it home.
It was Shaw's fifth point of the tournament, tying him with Saint John's Tomas Jurco for the lead. Shaw also took four penalties in the game.
Owen Sound continued to frequent the penalty box in the second, taking another six minors in the period to the Majors' two.
The Attack got a 5-on-3 opportunity in the third but couldn't convert.
The game wrapped up the round-robin portion of the tournament.