There is an Erie silence in Houndtown.
For the second successive spring, the Erie Otters have sidelined the Soo Greyhounds from the Ontario Hockey League, Western Conference playoffs.
And for those in any way associated with the Greyhounds, this one is tough to take.
The Hounds finished atop the OHL’s overall, regular-season standings in 2014-2015 with 110 points and while that was only six more than what the Otters totalled, the Soo was the overwhelming favourite to take the Western Conference playoff title from Erie and advance to the league championship series.
Erie, though, had other notions.
Buoyed by the adjusted game plans and the cunning coaching of Kris Knoblauch, the Otters upended the Greyhounds four games to two, stunning a dream team of multiple first-and-second-round National Hockey League draft picks.
Did Erie have more bounces go its way than the Soo did?
But this wasn’t a one-game series or a best-of-three.
This was a best-of-seven and when one team beats another four times in nine days then credit should be given where credit is due.
Aside from defenceman Darnell Nurse, who was a standout, the Hounds were unable to find a way to neutralize Otters superstar centre Connor McDavid and his accelerated speed.
And unless my eyes were playing tricks on me, Erie was able to generate far more in-close scoring chances than the Soo was over the course of the six games. The Hounds may have had more shots but the Otters had better scoring opportunities.
Some things are meant to be and some things aren’t.
This was meant to be for Erie and this was not meant to be for the Soo.
Whine and moan and bitch and blabber about the officiating and the perception that the referees had a preference for the Otters over the Hounds — but the fact is that Erie had just enough of an edge on the Soo over the course of 360 minutes of playoff hockey.
I don’t think the Greyhounds lost the series as much as I think the Otters won it.
Besides, what has happened cannot be changed.
Erie won the series.
The Soo did not.
PHOTO: Erie Otters are the OHL’s Western Conference champions. (Photo by Dan Hickling.)