By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
As the losses pile up, its safe to say the Oshawa Generals are looking over their shoulders in the Eastern Conference standings – but if games don’t start going their way, there may be nobody back there to see.
Oshawa fell 5-1 to the Soo Greyhounds at the General Motors Centre on Feb. 7, the club’s third loss in as many nights, extending their losing streak to four games, stretching back to a Jan. 31 loss to the Ottawa 67s.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” said goaltender Jeremy Brodeur. Brodeur had all three starts over the weekend and despite strong efforts, including stopping 47 of 52 shots in Friday’s loss to the Kingston Frontenacs, was unable to lock down a point over the weekend.
“We work hard every weekend and we try and get the results we can and when they don’t come our way, it’s really frustrating for our team and we’ve just go to find a way to push forward and find a way to get points every night,” Brodeur says.
Despite the losses, Brodeur is finding some positives in his own game.
“I feel like I’m seeing the puck well,” he says. “I’ve just been trying to give our team the best chance to win and then hopefully just try and get results. Obviously that didn’t happen this weekend, but we’ve been coming close.”
Oshawa held the high-flying Greyhounds off the board for the majority of the first two periods, including keeping Soo from getting a shot on net for the first 10 minutes of the game.
Fatigue would become a factor in the third period, with the Greyhounds leading 1-0.
Several odd-man rushes would result in goals, as well as some powerplay opportunities that Sault Ste. Marie would take advantage of. An empty net goal would seal the 5-1 win late in the final frame.
Oshawa’s lone marker would come off the stick of Lukas Lofquist for his 16th of the season.
The loss has Oshawa slipping out of playoff contention as their 43 points (18-27-3-4) has them tied with the Hamilton Bulldogs, who have a game in hand.
The Frontenacs currently lead the OHL Eastern Conference with 68 points, trailed by the Barrie Colts with 64, but a team has yet to clinch a playoff birth. In the Western Conference, the Erie Otters, London Knights and Kitchener Rangers have already punched their ticket to the playoffs.
Brodeur says his team shouldn’t focus on their battle with Hamilton, but on simply winning the games ahead.
“It’s in the back of our minds that they’re there, but at the end, if we do what we know how to do and get points every night, we shouldn’t have to worry about them,” he says.
Next up for Oshawa are a pair of inter-conference matchups on the road, the first against rival Peterborough Petes on Feb 11, followed by a trip to Ottawa on Feb. 12.
The Gens will return home on Family Day, Feb. 15, for an afternoon game against the Owen Sound Attack. Puck drop is set for 2:05 p.m.