Hamilton 4 – Niagara 2 (HAM wins 4-1)
The IceDogs fought back late in the third period but Hamilton hung onto the win, taking the second round series in five games.
Robert Thomas (1g 1a) opened the scoring in the first, it was the games only goal through the first 40 minutes.
Matthew Strome scored in his return to the line up, as Strome and Nicholas Caamano helped open a 3-0 lead with goals 1:04 apart.
Benjamin Gleason had a pair of assists from the Bulldogs’ blueline.
Niagara responded 17 seconds later as captain Johnny Corneill got the IceDogs on the board. Ben Jones made it a one goal game before MacKenzie Entwistle added an insurance marker into the empty net.
Hamilton will play the winner of Kingston and Barrie in the Eastern Conference Final.
Kingston 7 – Barrie 1 (KGN leads 3-2)
Gabriel Vilardi scored a pair of goals for the third straight game as Kingston dominated game five to win their third in a row and take a 3-2 series lead.
In his third game of the playoffs, Max Jones found the back of the net for the first time, part of a five goal first period for the Fronts. Vilardi scored twice while Brett Neumann and Jason Robertson (1g 1a) also scored in the opening frame.
Sean Day and Matt Hotchkiss (1g 1a) added to Kingston’s lead in the second.
Jason Willms scored the only goal for Barrie, while Jeremy Helvig made 32 saves for Kingston and Linus Nyman chipped in with three assists.
Prior to this series, Kingston was without a second round victory since 1998, they are now one win away from their first Conference Final appearance since 1993.
Game six is Friday night in Kingston.
Kitchener Rangers 5 – Sarnia Sting 3 (series tied 2-2)
Jordan Kyrou scored his second goal of the playoffs, the first that wasn’t into an empty net, but Kitchener was able to pick up a big game four win in Sarnia to even the series.
Connor Schlighting opened the scoring with his first of the playoffs, but Kole Sherwood scored his 10th, and Austin McEneny also tallied to give the visitors a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes.
Brayden Guy and Kyrou scored in the second period, while Jonathan Yantsis scored in the second for Kitchener.
With the game tied 3-3, Givani Smith scored the go ahead goal, and set up the insurance goal from captain Connor Bunnaman.
Game five is Friday night in Kitchener.