The underdogs from Hamilton are a win away from taking the Ontario Hockey League championship from the top dogs of Sault Ste. Marie.
Showing no fear of playing in a hostile road environment, Hamilton Bulldogs upended Soo Greyhounds 6-4 on Friday to take a three games to two lead in the best-of-seven championship series.
The Bulldogs can win the OHL crown with a home-ice victory. Game 6 of the OHL title set is slated for FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 and the match will be televised on Sportsnet.
Should the Soo win Game 6, it will play host to a seventh-and-deciding game on Monday night at the Essar Centre.
The Western Conference champion Greyhounds finished 23 points ahead of the Eastern Conference-leading Bulldogs over the course of the 2017-2018 regular season. The teams split their two regular-season matches with each winning on home ice.
And home ice is what Hamilton will have for Sunday’s Game 6. The Bulldogs have played in front of more than 16,000 fans through two home games thus far in the finals.
As Hamilton has won two of three games in the Soo, the Greyhounds have taken one of two from the Bulldogs at FirstOntario Centre.
THEY SAID IT
“We got outplayed. We weren’t executing from the start,” said Greyhounds captain Tim Gettinger following the Soo’s Game 5 loss on home ice.
“We had a lot of players not show up,” added Greyhound head coach Drew Bannister. “Hamilton put a lot of pressure on us and exposed mistakes in our game.”
“I thought we played extremely well for 50 minutes,” said Hamilton head coach John Gruden. “We were really good through the beginning of the third period and then the Soo started to wake up.”
Hamilton radio announcer Bill Toffan, who used to work in Sault Ste. Marie at erstwhile station CKCY, is of the notion that the Bulldogs will win the OHL championship at home on Sunday.
Toffan, appearing on Soo radio station Oldies 93 via telephone this morning, told venerable host Lou Turco that “while it has been a great series, I think the Bulldogs are going to win it at home on Sunday afternoon.”