Majors fall in overtime

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

PETERBOROUGH -- Justin Peters was credited with getting the St. Michael's Majors through the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs but it's apparent the goaltender doesn't mind bearing the brunt when the Majors falter.

Peters, who was outstanding in the upset of the Mississauga IceDogs, allowed a weak goal in overtime last night as the Majors lost 5-4 to the Peterborough Petes in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semi-final.

Greg Stewart scored on a harmless-looking shot from the side boards 16 seconds into the extra time, beating Peters between the legs and sending an already raucous crowd of 3,618 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre into delirium.

"I think it went through (Majors defenceman) Scott Lehman's legs and I did not quite see it," Peters said. "But it's no excuse. I should have that. I need to stop those in order for us to win. I have to be ready all the time."

Stewart, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, also scored in the third period. He proved the old adage about just putting the puck at the net is advice that can work once in awhile.

"It was pretty exciting because I have never (witnessed) a crowd this big yelling for me," Stewart said. "I just turned around and shot the puck and saw the goal light go on. I've never had such a big night in my life."

Justin Donati, Peter Franchin, Tyler Haskins and Ryan Wilson scored for St. Mike's. Peters made 35 saves.

Jamie Tardif, with two power-play goals, and Liam Reddox also scored for Peterborough. Reddox's goal tied the game with less than four minutes left in the third and ended a 54-second span in which the teams scored three goals. Goalie Jeff MacDougald stopped 25 shots.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is scheduled for tonight at St. Michael's Arena.

Seeded eighth in the conference, the Majors beat the top-seeded IceDogs three times in Mississauga. But where the IceDogs wouldn't go near Peters with a 10-foot pole, the second-seeded Petes didn't mind making life miserable for the goalie. In fact, referee Carman Cox whistled the Petes three times for goalie interference infractions. Even so, the Petes had nine power plays to the Majors' five.

Already without captain Nathan McIver (wrist), the Majors lost forward Jeff Larsh to a probable left leg injury in the second period after he was creamed by Petes defenceman Bryan Young on a hard but legal hit. Majors coach Bud Stefanski said Larsh would be evaluated today but acknowledged the situation did not look good.

"We have to tighten up," Stefanski said of his club's performance. "We can't lose the one-on-one battles. I think the teams were feeling each other out for the first two periods and after that it became a bit of a circus."


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