After a loss in St. Thomas the night before, the Nats were eager to close the series at home in game 5. The Nationals put the pressure on early in the first period with many opportunities deep in the St. Thomas zone. Six minutes into the game, a strong shot from the blue line by Noah Tooke got tipped in by Wes Dobbin to open the scoring for the Nationals. With five and a half minutes left in the period, the National’s Wes Dobbin received a hooking penalty to put them on the penalty kill. A minute later, St. Thomas was able to capitalize on their power play tying up the game. That did not last long as James Turner scored a beautiful wrap around goal at 17:08 to give the Nationals the lead going into the second period.
Just a minute and a half into the second period, Josh Castle walked in from the corner and scored to make it 3-1 for London. The Nationals continued to pressure when James Turner shot the puck tight in goal for his second of the game at 4:16. Both teams got into some penalty trouble in the middle of the period but St. Thomas’ Sean McGurn scored a short-handed goal on a breakaway from their own end to make it 4-2 going into the third.
Good movement of the puck by the Nationals in the St. Thomas zone ended with James Turner scoring a hat trick goal off of a shot that hit two posts before going in at 5:20. St. Thomas’ final penalty allowed Christian Pollilo to capitalize on the power play and seal the first round of the playoffs with a 6-2 win.
The first game of the next series will be at home next Wednesday, March 13 at 7 pm.