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Duchene hat trick helps Brampton eliminate Belleville

The Canadian Press

4/24/2009 11:46:21 PM

BRAMPTON, Ont. - Matt Duchene had a hat trick for Brampton as the Battalion defeated the Belleville Bulls 7-4 Friday to capture the OHL Eastern Conference final in six games.

Brampton now moves on to face the Western Conference champion Windsor Spitfires in the OHL Championship.

Windsor beat the London Knights in their series 4-1.

The Battalion led 2-0 after the first on a goal from Jason Dale and a power-play marker by Duchene.

Belleville roared back with three goals in the second. Brandon Mashinter brought the Bulls to within one, before Nick Palmieri scored twice to make it 3-2.

The Battalion answered with three unanswered goals of their own in the third, starting with Duchene's second on power-play at 2:03.

Cody Hodgson gave the Battalion the a 4-3 lead at 6:49. Duchene score his third of the night just 47 seconds later.

Mashinter cut the Brampton lead to one at 9:21 before Evgeny Grachev and Hodgson rounded out the scoring with empty-netters.

Despite the loss, Belleville general manager and head coach George Burnett applauded the Battalion.

"You have to give lots of credit to Brampton," said Burnett. "They'll represent the Eastern Conference well."

Game 1 of the OHL Championship series starts Wednesday in Windsor, Ont.