Majors have work cut out

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

The St. Michael's Majors may need divine intervention if they're going to participate in the OHL Eastern Conference final for a fifth consecutive season.

The Majors were done in by dumb penalties and bad luck last night in a 6-3 loss to the Peterborough Petes and are one loss away from unpacking their golf clubs for the summer.

The Petes scored four power-play goals and the Majors hit four goal posts before a packed house of 1,540 at St. Michael's Arena, helping send the Petes into Game 5 of the conference semi-final tomorrow night in Peterborough with a 3-1 series lead.

"We're not down and out yet," Majors forward Darryl Boycec said. "We're fighting for our (hockey) lives now. There were a lot of errors on our part and we have to get back to playing how we did against Mississauga (in the first round, when the Majors won in five games). We had energy-filled games when we went into Mississauga and we have to bring that same mentality when we go into Peterborough."

Cory Vitarelli, Alexei Ivanov and Boyce scored for St. Mike's. The Majors were short-handed quickly when rookie Travis Elder was sent off the ice by referee Mike Pearce in the first period. That was the fault of Majors coach Bud Stefanski, who incorrectly wrote Elder's name on the gamesheet, causing Elder to be finished for the night.

Daniel Ryder, with two goals including the winner, Mark Flood, Logan Hunter, Jadran Beljo and Mike Montgomery scored for the Petes.

Stefanski was not a happy man and it was not just because he pulled starting goalie Justin Peters for the second time in as many home games in the series. The Petes enjoyed a pair of lengthy two-man advantages in the second period -- Ryder scored on the first one -- and Stefanski was wondering where his team's discipline went. Overall, the Petes had eight power plays, as did the Majors, who scored only on one.

"We had some momentum in the second period and then we took some ridiculous penalties," Stefanski said. "Whether it's trying too hard, wanting to do too much, you can't let your emotions control you."

Wayne Savage made 31 saves in relief of Peters, who was yanked after giving up two goals on six shots. Stefanski said he has not decided who will start tomorrow night. Peters got the hook in Game 2 when he gave up three goals on 12 shots.

"I was not going to wait for three (last night)," Stefanski said. "I don't know if it was fair or not. I thought (Peters' goaltending) was our strength coming in. (Petes goalie Jeff) MacDougald has been the surprise of the series.

MacDougald made 35 saves, none bigger than when he got his glove on a shot by Peter Franchin to steal a sure goal in the first period.


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