Could this be the year of the dog in the Ontario Hockey League? To be sure, Soo Greyhounds and Hamilton Bulldogs are the pick of the litter thus far in the playoffs.
As the Greyhounds are up two games to none on the Kitchener Rangers in the Western Conference finals, the Bulldogs have a similar lead on the Kingston Frontenacs in the Eastern Conference title round.
Both teams entered the playoffs as the no. 1 seed in their respective conferences. The Soo put up a league-best 116 points during the regular season while Hamilton was no slouch with 93 points of its own.
The winning has continued for both teams during the playoffs.
The Greyhounds swept the Saginaw Spirit in four games in the opening round before being extended to the seven-game maximum by the Owen Sound Attack in the second round.
As for the Bulldogs, they made it to their conference final series by cuffing both the Ottawa 67s and Niagara Ice Dogs in five-game sets.
While the Greyhounds have been the talk of the OHL all season — and with good reason — the Bulldogs have had plenty to bark about.
Former OHL and National Hockey League defenseman of considerable note, Steve Staois, has built the Bulldogs into an exceptional team in only his second season as general manager.
In just their third year in Hamilton after relocating from Belleville as the erstwhile Bulls, the Bulldogs have managed to win over fans, supporters and sponsors in the Steel City under the steely resolve of Staois, a 44-year old hometown kid.
As tails are wagging in one steel town, they are too, in another.