Ridgebacks extend playoff series with big road win in Ottawa

Ontario Tech Ridgebacks' forward Jack Patterson takes a penalty in Game 1 of their best-of-three series with the Ottawa Gee-Gees at the Campus Ice Centre Wednesday. Ontario Tech has forced a third and deciding game in the series Sunday afternoon in Ottawa. Photo credit: Ryan Hahn

The Ontario Tech Ridgebacks have extended their series with the Ottawa Gee-Gees to a third and deciding game to determine who advances in the opening round of the Ontario University Athletics men’s hockey playoffs.

The Ridgebacks bounced back with a 5-3 victory over the Gee-Gees in Ottawa Saturday afternoon after losing Game 1 Wednesday 2-1 in overtime at home at the Campus Ice Centre.

Game 3 starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Uottawa Minto Sports Complex.

A quick start gave the Ridgebacks an early 2-0 lead just 6:18 into the opening frame on goals by Brennan Roy and Austin Eastman.

A late power-play goal at the end of the first period by Gee-Gees’ defenceman Medric Mercier, kept it close heading into the second period.

Power plays and penalties were an issue for the Ridgebacks as they allowed all three of the Gee-Gees goals while shorthanded and had 24 penalty minutes in the game.

Ontario Tech scored a goal on one of its six power plays with Josh Maguire finding the net making it 3-2 for the Ridgebacks in the second period.

That goal was answered later by Gee-Gees’ defenceman Mercier, again with the man advantage.

The Ridgebacks took the lead back on a goal by Jordan Ross which turned out to be the game winner.

Liam Hurley sealed the game with his first playoff goal with the Ridgebacks in the final 30 seconds with an empty-netter.

After Game 1 defence and goaltending seemed to be dominant for both teams, but Game 2 was not the same.

Leif Hertz got the win for Ontario Tech with 34 saves on the 37 shots he faced.

Gee-Gees’ goalie Domenic Graham allowed five goals on 30 shots.