As the sun melts the snow and the grass starts to show, hockey is still a go.
It’s a go in Guelph and London where the Storm and the Knights are both facing Ontario Hockey League playoff elimination at the respective hands of the Soo Greyhounds and Erie Otters.
It’s a go in North Bay where the Battalion is back home after taking one of two on the road from the Barrie Colts.
It’s a go in the Michigan Soo where the Eagles are one win away from kay-o-ing the Keystone Ice Miners and advancing to the second round of the North American Hockey League playoffs.
It’s a go in Cochrane where the Crunch awaits the Soo Thunderbirds in a Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship series that is tied at a game apiece.
Let’s talk more about the NOJHL finals as the upstart Crunch has taken home-ice advantage from the Thunderbirds by virtue of having forced a split from Games 1 and 2 in the Soo.
Actually, let’s let Cochrane coach Ryan Leonard do the talking.
This is some of what never-at-loss-for-words-Lenny had to say to the Timmins Daily Press as his team preps for Game 3 up in Polar Bear country.
“We’re excited about Thursday. There’s no panic button here. We’re just going to keep it positive. We’re in the driver’s seat as far as I’m concerned. The Soo just beat us 8-0 (in Game 2) so mentally they’ll be thinking this is going to be easy. They’ve got to come up here, they’ve got to do the travel, they’ve got to do the sitting around.”
I like a coach who is good copy — and Leonard is good copy.
The mouth that roars has his team within grasp of an NOJHL championship.
Imagine the interview if Cochrane takes the title?
Better take a deep breath.