Western Conference sweeps

April 5, 2024

London Knights, Saginaw Spirit and Soo Greyhounds have all punched their tickets into the second round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs following opening round sweeps in the Western Conference.

No. 1 seed London upended no. 8 seed Flint Firebirds, no. 2 seed Saginaw took the measure of no. 7 seed Owen Sound Attack and no. 3 seed Soo blew away no. 6 seed Guelph Storm.

London will face off against the eventual winner of the series between no. 3 seed Kitchener Rangers and no. 6 seed Erie Otters in one Western Conference semi final. No. 2 seed Saginaw and No. 3 seed Soo will go head to head in the other.

While powerhouse London did as expected in upending Flint, the Knights got all they could handle from the eighth place Firebirds. London eked out 3-0 (with an empty net goal), 6-4 (with an empty net goal), 4-3 (overtime) and 3-2 victories to eliminate coach Paul Flache’s feisty Firebirds from Flint.

“(Flint) played really hard,” high scoring London forward Denver Barkey told Postmedia. “There wasn’t much time and space. It was a harder series than any one of us thought. They played with a lot of heart.”

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