Jamie Lewis (far left) smiles along with his teammates as they hoist the Bobby Orr Trophy. PHOTO BY CHRIS DAWSON.
Game Highlight video and the post game press conference video can be viewed below in our BayToday Sports Section.
A dramatic late third period goal by centre man Jamie Lewis gave the Battalion a 3-2 win and sweep of their series with the Oshawa Generals Wednesday night at the Gardens.
The goal came just three minutes after Oshawa’s Dylan Smoskowitz had tied the game 2-2 at 11:07, leaving the sell-out crowd feeling a little nervous.
But Lewis picked a perfect time to score his first goal of the playoffs.
“It’s the biggest goal I’ve ever scored in my life,” a shy Lewis told reporters at a post-game news conference.
The Generals needed a win to extend the series, but for the third time in four games, couldn’t score the first goal.
Instead, it was North Bay defenceman Marcus McIvor scoring from the point at 16:35 of the first period.
That held up until Ben Thomson took a roughing penalty and the Generals took advantage---Michael Dal Colle beating Jake Smith cleanly with a slap shot from the right faceoff circle with just 16 seconds left in the period to tie things up.
Both teams had chances, but it was Alex Henriksson scoring for the Troops late in the second on a power play to give the home team a 2-1 lead.
“We thought it (the series) would go a lot longer that it did,” Coach Stan Butler told reporters after the game. “It’s tough being down three games and having to come into this rink, which is one of the toughest rinks to play in in the league. “
“I’m really proud of the players. The first series we were on the ropes and found a way. The second series we were tied after four and found a way, and this series here we just seemed to create our own puck luck and found ways to win.’
The Generals only led for 6:22 in the entire series, and coach D.J. Smith gave credit to the Battalion team, but felt two losses at home was a series turner.
“Game one and two we didn’t play great at home. Maybe we were off a little too long (they swept the first two series). We weren’t great. I thought our best two games of the series were games three and four here and certainly tonight I thought was our best effort.”
Not good enough as it turned out.
The Battalion sweep the series and win the Bobby Orr trophy as champions of the OHL’s Eastern Conference.
They’ll now await the winner of the Western Conference between Guelph and Erie with the Storm leading the series 3-1. Game 5 is Friday in Guelph.
The first game in the OHL final will depend on when the Western series wraps up.
Asked which team Butler would prefer to battle, the coach answered “They’re both great teams. Pick your poison.”