4/17 Recap: Kassian in mix as Spits dig hole

In game two of the OHL Western Conference Final, Zack Kassian earned an assist as slumping Windsor suffered their second straight loss to Kitchener, 5-2. Jeff Skinner ('10) scored a pair of goals and added an assist for the Rangers, who will take a 2-0 series lead back to Windsor for Sunday's game three.

Kassian, who now has a goal and four assists over his current five-game point streak, played a factor in three of the game's first four goals. The big forward found himself in the penalty box after an offensive zone cross-check as the Rangers opened scoring with a power play goal at 12:22 of the first period. On his first shift of the second period, Kassian couldn't contain his check to allow the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Later in the period, the bullish wing helped produce a goal after being moved to a line with Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique by winning a corner battle and making a nice move on the way towards the net. Henrique finished off the play for his seventh goal of the playoffs to make it 3-1 Rangers.

With Kitchener goalie Brandon Maxwell proving to be a difference maker, the key to the Spits will be Kassian getting in front of the crease and impeding the keeper's sight lines. Also worth noting is the sometimes individualistic play of the talented Windsor forwards. Their defense is showing holes, so a complete team concept in all three zones is what this hockey watcher is prescribing for the defending Memorial Cup champs to make it a series.

In Barrie, Nick Crawford was even as the Colts downed Mississauga 3-1 to take a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Championship. Barrie carried the pace throughout, out-shooting the Majors 58-35 en route to the home-ice victory. The Colts barn was rocking, and the players definitely fed off the enthusiasm after dropping their first game of the playoffs the night before. The series will now shift back to Mississauga for game four on Monday.
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