Separated by a single point during the 2017-2018 regular season, Soo Greyhounds and Timmins Majors are set to face off in a best-of-three, Great North Midget Hockey League playoff series.
The two teams begin the series tonight at 7:30 at Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls, which is about a 45 minute commute from Timmins. The Majors normally play their home games at McIntyre Arena in Timmins but the facility is unavailable for tonight’s match.
While having home-ice advantage for the series, the Greyhounds opted to open on the road.
Game 2 in the series is slated for Saturday night at 7:30 at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. If a third game is necessary it will be played on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at John Rhodes Community Centre in the Soo.
The Greyhounds finished in fourth place in the six-team major midget division of the Great North with a regular-season record of 13-19-4. The Majors placed fifth with a record of 14-21-1.
On the ice, the two teams split six games during the regular season though the Soo had to forfeit one of its wins in Timmins because it used two suspended players in the contest.
To be sure, discipline could play a factor in the series. The Greyhounds racked up 831 minutes in penalties — most in the league — during the 36-game regular season compared to 643 for Timmins.
On the score sheet, Avery Rebek led the Soo in goals during the regular season with 19 while fellow forwards Caleb Wood and Parker Morgan chipped in with 18 and 13, respectively.
For Timmins, Austin Holmes netted 14 goals, Riley Brousseau tapped in 13 and Kobe Barrette and Gabby Kioki potted 12 apiece.
The league’s other first-round series features the third-place Kapuskasing Flyers, with a record of 18-14-4, taking on the last-place New Liskeard Cubs, who had a 5-30-1 mark during the regular season.
That series begins tonight at 8:00 in New Liskeard with Game 2 set for Saturday evening at 7:30 in Kapuskasing. If a third game is needed it will be played in Kapuskasing on Sunday afternoon at 2:30.
First-place North Bay Trappers and runner-up Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves have opening round byes.
PHOTO: In action from earlier this season, Timmins forward Dryden Rivet clears the puck from in front of goalie Dylan Dallaire as Majors defenceman Jeremy Jeffries and Soo forward Nick Jameus look. (Photo by Timmins Daily Press.)