Tied 2-2 entering the final minute of the second period, underage forward Jack Hughes took a feed from Samuel Bitten to beat Barrie’s Jacob Ingham and put the Mississauga Rebels ahead for good in a 4-2 victory.
The Colts opened the scoring on a goal by Justin Janicki before Riley Damiani and Ryan Littlejohn put the Rebels in front with goals less than a minute apart to close out the first period.
Blueliner Braden Henderson reinstated Barrie’s lead on the powerplay, but Hughes would respond before the second expired to send the Rebels into the third up 3-2.
Bitten would add insurance with an assist from Thomas Maia at 10:54 of the third to secure the win for Mississauga.
“Our recent series with the Toronto Red Wings has been a good primer for us,” said Rebels Player of the Game Ryan Littlejohn, whose big presence was felt throughout the game. “We played them really hard and advanced to the GTHL Finals. I think it kept us fresh and we hit the ground running tonight.”
The Rebels take on Elite Hockey Group on Wednesday as they continue the quest for their first OHL Cup title since 2012. Barrie will face the London Jr. Knights.
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Mississauga – Ryan Littlejohn (1G)
Barrie – Rhys Brown