Drive-thru playoff preview


Randy Russon
By
March 19, 2019

Spring fever has struck the Ontario Hockey League in the form of the annual rite of the playoff season. Following is a Hockey News North drive-thru preview of the first round of the OHL playoffs.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Ottawa 67s (1) v. Hamilton Bulldogs (8)

The 67s posted a league-best 106 points during the 2018-2019 regular season while the reigning OHL champion Bulldogs took the last playoff spot in the Eastern market with 63 points.

Ottawa has the OHL’s top goal-tending tandem in Michael DiPietro and Cedric Andree and boasts 59-goal scorer Tye Felhaber, the overage sensation who recently signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.

Hamilton is in a rebuild season and is likely headed for a spring sweep at the hands of Ottawa.

Niagara Ice Dogs (2) v. North Bay Battalion (7)

A scoring match-up features OHL points leader Jason Robertson of Niagara and 61-goal scorer Justin Brazeau of North Bay.

Other than that, Niagara has way too much for North Bay to overcome.

Oshawa Generals (3) v. Peterborough Petes (6)

The long-time rivals will face off for the umpteenth time in OHL history.

This one favours Oshawa, which is led by overage standout acquisitions, the high-scoring duo of Brandon Saigeon and Anthony Salinitri.

Sudbury Wolves (4) v. Mississauga Steelheads (5)

A showdown between workhorse goalies could be the highlight of this series. Sudbury has Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Mississauga has Jacob Ingham.

A sidebar is that the Steelheads feature 39-goal scorer Alan Lyszczarczyk, who began his OHL career with the Wolves and will no doubt be looking to make a statement to his old team.

This has the makings of a six or seven game set with the edge going to Sudbury.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

London Knights (1) v. Windsor Spitfires (8)

If this one could be over before it started, London would be headed to the semi-finals and Windsor would be packing up for the season.

This is a good Knight for a spring cleaning of Windsor.

Saginaw Spirit (2) v. Sarnia Sting (7)

There is bad blood between these two teams relative to an injury suffered by high-scoring Spirit forward Cole Coskey in a game against the Sting several weeks ago.

Sarnia showed it could beat Saginaw during the regular season but with a lot on the line, the Spirit should be able to take this playoff set in four or five games.

Saginaw has firepower aplenty led by Team Canada forward Owen Tippett and high-scoring defenseman Bode (Born To Be) Wilde.

And between the pipes, Ivan Prosvetov of Saginaw is one of the best in the Western world.

Soo Greyhounds (3) v. Owen Sound Attack (6)

Fourth-year forward Morgan Frost leads a Dog Pound that has plenty of offensive bite and a dandy defenseman who can score in Mac Hollowell.

Matthew Villalta of the Soo has considerable playoff experience from the past two seasons and has that edge on Owen Sound youngster Mack Guzda between the pipes.

The Attack has a team that bodes well for next season but has hopes for a spring fling of sorts led by forwards Aidan Dudas and Daylon Groulx.

Owen Sound has a recent history of playing well against the Soo but the Greyhounds should be able to win this in five games unless Guzda can steal a couple.

Guelph Storm (4) v. Kitchener Rangers (5)

Trade deadline acquisitions that include super forwards Nick Suzuki and Mackenzie Entwhistle gives Guelph an advantage over its Kitchener neighbours.

And not to dis the Kitchener coaching staff but Guelph has a cool, calm, collected head master of good experience in the unflappable George Burnett.

The Storm should prevail over the Rangers in a five-game forecast. Cheers, George.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULES

Ottawa 67’s (1) vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (8)

Game 1, Fri., March 22 at Ottawa – 7:00 p.m.

Game 2, Sun., March 24 at Ottawa – 2:00 p.m.

Game 3, Tues., March 26 at Hamilton – 7:00 p.m.

Game 4, Wed., March 27 at Hamilton – 7:00 p.m.

Game 5, Fri., March 29 at Ottawa- 7:00 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at Hamilton – 7:00 p.m.*

Game 7, Tues., April 2 at Ottawa – 7:00 p.m.*

Niagara IceDogs (2) vs. North Bay Battalion (7)

Game 1, Thurs., March 21 at Niagara – 7:00 p.m.

Game 2, Sat., March 23 at Niagara – 7:00 p.m.

Game 3, Tues., March 26 at North Bay – 7:00 p.m.

Game 4, Thurs., March 28 at North Bay – 7:00 p.m.

Game 5, Fri., March 29 at Niagara – 7:00 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at North Bay – 2:00 p.m.*

Game 7, Tues., April 2 at Niagara – 7:00 p.m.*

Oshawa Generals (3) vs Peterborough Petes (6)

Game 1, Fri., March 22 at Oshawa – 7:35 p.m.

Game 2, Sun., March 24 at Oshawa – 6:05 p.m.

Game 3, Tues., March 26 at Peterborough – 7:05 p.m.

Game 4, Thurs., March 28 at Peterborough – 7:05 p.m.

Game 5, Sat., March 30 at Oshawa – 7:05 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at Peterborough – 7:05 p.m.*

Game 7, Tues., April 2 at Oshawa – 7:05 p.m.*

Sudbury Wolves (4) vs. Mississauga Steelheads (5)

Game 1, Fri., March 22 at Sudbury – 7:05 p.m.

Game 2, Sat., March 23 at Sudbury – 7:05 p.m.

Game 3, Sun., March 24 at Mississauga – 7:05 p.m.

Game 4, Wed., March 27 at Mississauga – 7:00 p.m.

Game 5, Thurs., March 28 at Sudbury – 7:05 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at Mississauga – 2:00 p.m.*

Game 7, Mon., April 1 at Sudbury – 7:05 p.m.*
 
London Knights (1) vs. Windsor Spitfires (8)

Game 1, Fri., March 22 at London – 7:30 p.m.

Game 2, Sun., March 24 at London – 2:00 p.m.

Game 3, Tues., March 26 at Windsor – 7:05 p.m.

Game 4, Thurs., March 28 at Windsor – 7:05 p.m.

Game 5, Fri., March 29 at London – 7:30 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at Windsor – 2:05 p.m.*

Game 7, Tues., April 2 at London – 7:00 p.m.*

Saginaw Spirit (2) vs. Sarnia Sting (7)

Game 1, Thurs., March 21 at Saginaw – 7:05 p.m.

Game 2, Sat., March 23 at Saginaw – 7:05 p.m.

Game 3, Tues., March 26 at Sarnia – 7:05 p.m.

Game 4, Thurs., March 28 at Sarnia – 7:05 p.m.

Game 5, Sat., March 30 at Saginaw – 7:05 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at Sarnia – 4:05 p.m.*

Game 7, Tues., April 2 at Saginaw – 7:05 p.m.*

Soo Greyhounds (3) vs. Owen Sound Attack (6)

Game 1, Thurs., March 21 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.

Game 2, Sat., March 23 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.

Game 3, Mon., March 25 at Owen Sound – 7:00 p.m.

Game 4, Wed., March 27 at Owen Sound – 7:00 p.m.

Game 5, Fri., March 29 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at Owen Sound – 7:00 p.m.*

Game 7, Tues., April 2 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.*

Guelph Storm (4) vs. Kitchener Rangers (5)

Game 1, Fri., March 22 at Guelph – 7:30 p.m.

Game 2, Sun., March 24 at Guelph – 2:00 p.m.

Game 3, Tues., March 26 at Kitchener – 7:00 p.m.

Game 4, Thurs., March 28 at Kitchener – 7:00 p.m.

Game 5, Fri., March 29 at Guelph – 7:30 p.m.*

Game 6, Sun., March 31 at Kitchener – 6:00 p.m.*

Game 7, Tues., April 2 at Guelph – 7:00 p.m.*

(* if necessary.)


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