Unable to win in five tries at Hamilton's Chedoke Arena this season, the Georgetown Raiders weren't disappointed to hear that their current playoff opponents will move back into their home rink for game five of this series. A multi-million-dollar renovation to the Steel City's storied Mountain Arena
is complete and that has to be welcome news for the Raiders, who lost 5-1 on Monday night at Olympic-size Chedoke and now trail the Red Wings 2-1 in their best-of-seven OHA Provincial Jr. A Hockey League West Conference semi-final series. The Mountain Arena dimensions are much the same as Georgetown's Mold-Masters SportsPlex, where the Raiders physically dominated second-place Hamilton in game two on Saturday and enjoyed a rare blowout. "The bigger ice gives (Hamilton) more room to skate, which they like, but bottom line, we have to lay the body on them and be better disciplined at the same time," said Raiders' forward Paul Marchese, who was tossed from Monday's game for three stick fouls. "It's going to come down to winning those one-on-one battles no matter where we play." The Red Wings took a 1-0 first-period lead with Georgetown down two men, then scored twice more early in the middle stanza. David Jarman's breakaway goal sparked a brief rally for the Raiders late in the second period, but Hamilton's Kyle Zettler tallied with just five seconds remaining before the intermission to regain control of the match. Game four of the series will be played tonight (Wednesday) in Georgetown starting at 8 p.m., with game five at Mountain Arena tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m.
"Hopefully, playing (at Mountain Arena) will be an advantage for us," said Raiders' coach Jay Anderson. "We have to cut down our mistakes, and we got away from being physical, like we did so well Saturday. It'll be nice to get back in our barn to get that energy back and then we'll just see what happens Thursday." In Saturday's 9-3 rout, the Raiders scored five times within five minutes in the second period and dominated the visiting Red Wings. Rookie George Lovatsis, Paul Marchese and Mike Gurtler scored twice each for the home side, with singles added by David Jarman, Greg Lever and Kyle Termini. The series-opening contest in Hamilton required over four hours before a winner was decided. Former Raider Tyler Kelloway supplied the winning goal on a rebound after a 3-2 rush in the fourth overtime frame.
Georgetown goalie Ryan Gibb made 72 saves on the evening, while Talbot blocked 53 shots directed at him. Erik Lundmark, Lever and Ryan Lee scored for the Raiders. RAIDER RAP: Raider defenceman Andrew Dennis was expected to skate for the first time in two weeks Tuesday after hurting his leg in the Streetsville series. Ryan Hirtle-St. Denis was scratched after getting hurt during Monday's warmup...The Red Wings have missed injured veteran defender Justin Merritt and lost winger Corey Stringer on Monday due to a leg injury.