By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
The Oshawa Generals have punched their playoff ticket, but the final destination remains unknown.
The Gens qualified for the 2018 OHL playoffs by notching a 3-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers on Friday, March 2.
However, their six-game winning streak came to an end with a 4-1 loss to the top team in the OHL’s Eastern Conference, the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday, March 3.
The Bulldogs scored three times in the first period and once in the second to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Allan McShane scored the Gens only goal of the game, his 18th of the season, at 9:41 of the third period.
Oshawa was outshot by a two-to-one margin, 39 to 18, only managing three throughout the entire third period.
Things went much better for the team versus Kitchener on March 2.
After falling behind 2-0 early in the second period, Brendan Harrogate got the Gens on the board at 8:45, with assists going to Matt Brassard and Eric Henderson.
Kyle McLean would tie things up with four minutes left in the second period, burying a laser off a feed behind the net from Kenny Huether.
Despite being outshot heavily in the game, the Gens played a strong defensive game and eventually Domenico Commisso scored at 8:20 of the third period, giving Oshawa its first and only lead of the game.
Cole Ceci, making his first appearance in exactly a month, stopped 34 of 36 shots, earning his first win since Dec. 8, 2017.
The Generals were also victorious in a rare Wednesday home game on Feb. 28, defeating the Mississauga Steelheads 5-4.
After a scoreless first 18 minutes of play, Serron Noel broke the tie on the power play, his 25th of the year.
The offense would pick up in the second as the Gens scored three times in a five minute segment.
Renars Krastenbergs put Oshawa up 2-0 at 4:40 with Antropov and Kyle McLean following suit to secure a commanding 4-0 lead.
However, the Steelheads were undeterred finally beating Kyle Keyser with five minutes left in the second.
The lead was down to one with two Mississauga power play goals in the third, before Trent Fox tied things up at 13:08.
Just when it seemed the Steelheads had stolen all momentum, Krastenbergs found his way behind the defense and scored on a breakaway to give the fans the finish they were looking for and the Gens the 5-4 win.
Despite giving up four goals, Keyser was strong in net, stopping 40 of 44 shots, including 36 over the second and third periods alone.
Even with a guaranteed spot in the playoffs, the Generals could believably finish anywhere between fourth and eighth place.
The team currently sits fifth in the tight Eastern Conference standings with 67 points, one point between fourth place Niagara, and one point ahead of sixth place North Bay.
A mere seven points separate fourth and eighth place in the conference.
The Gens are back home at the Tribute Communities Centre tonight (March 7) against the Kingston Frontenacs, looking to avenge a 5-3 home loss a month ago.
Oshawa will travel to Mississauga on Friday, March 9 before returning home against Hamilton on March 11.