Grandits’ OT goal pulls Wings even in Junior hockey semifinal

It’s back to square one for the Hamilton Junior Red Wings and the Aurora Tigers.

Hamilton’s 4-3 sudden-death overtime win on Monday night evened the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League semifinal at a game apiece in the best-of-seven affair. Game three is Tuesday night (March 27) in Aurora.

Frankie Grandits, who had four points on the night (the goal and three assists), scored the game winner with 34 seconds left in the OT session while the Wings were on the powerplay.

Special teams ruled the night with six of the goals scored either on the powerplay or while killing a penalty.

For Hamilton, in addition to Grandits key marker, Steve Mullin had two goals (and one assist) while the Wings enjoyed the man advantage and Kyle Jukosky netted a shorthanded counter when Hamilton was building a 3-1 lead.

The Tigers’ Andrew Eastman had opened the scoring with a powerplay goal early in the first period and Mark Thorburn and Joey Martin (power play) sparked the visitors’ comeback to force the overtime.

Hamilton netminder Cam Talbot stopped 41 of the 44 shots he faced while Tyler Gordon turned aside 34 of the 38 Red Wings efforts.

In the other OPJHL semifinal, Toronto St. Michaels and Wellington Dukes are tied at 1-1. That series resumes on March 28.