PETERBOROUGH -- Justin Peters nearly prolonged his team's season almost singlehandedly last night, but it meant little to the St. Michael's Majors goaltender. "It's pretty rough right now," an emotional Peters said after the Majors were eliminated from the Ontario Hockey League playoffs by the Peterborough Petes following a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 5 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final.
"We lost and that's what hurts. At one point (in the regular season), we were 14 points out of a playoff spot, and to fight back, I am proud of the guys. (But) we're going home."
Peters made 66 saves before Jamie Tardif redirected a shot by Kyle Raftis past him at 13:40 of overtime.
Peters was pulled in the Majors' two home games in the series but struck back last night before a sellout crowd of 3,924 here at the Memorial Centre, making 30 saves in the opening period alone.
It was enough to keep the Majors alive, and they managed to tie the game midway through the third period when Ryan Wilson scored on a wraparound. But when Tardif scored, it marked the third time in the series Peterborough recorded an overtime win on home ice. Although each game was close, the Petes were the deeper and better group.
"We were a team of destiny," said Majors overage forward Darryl Boyce, who played his final OHL game. "We got by the first round (in an upset of the Mississauga IceDogs). We were running on fumes (last night). The guys wanted to bring it back to Toronto so bad. This is going to keep a lot of guys up for the next few days."
Alexei Ivanov also scored for the Majors.
Jadran Beljo had two goals for the Petes, who got 35 saves from Jeff MacDougald.
"We may not have the most talented team, but you have to give what you have and we did that," Majors coach Bud Stefanski said. "If you told me we would playing in the middle of April back in December, I probably would not have believed you."
The Petes will face the winner of the Ottawa 67's-Sudbury Wolves semi in the conference final. The 67's lead that series 3-1.
"It would be exciting," Petes coach Dick Todd said of the possibility of facing fellow coaching great Brian Kilrea of the 67's. "Over the years we've had some memorable series against him, going back to early in my time when Roger Neilson was the coach."