Archives for: April 2007
After finally getting a chance to have a post-game meal, some sleep, a trip from Sudbury to Toronto to take care of some matters, and then back home - I now have a chance to reflect on an exciting 2007 OHL Eastern Conference Championship Series.
The Sudbury Wolves are headed to the OHL Championship Series for the first time in 31 years after knocking off the Belleville Bulls 4-3 Friday night at Sudbury Arena, giving the Wolves a six-game series victory. Oh, by the way, the game went triple overtime!
The Plymouth Whalers are the first team to stamp their ticket into the OHL Championship Series after beating the London Knights 4-1 Thursday night - capturing the Western Conference Final by the same margin.
The Cinderella Story of the 2007 OHL playoffs may not be ready for midnight to strike on their time at the ball just yet. The Sudbury Wolves now have a chance to move onto the OHL Final for the first time in 30 years.
SUDBURY, ON - The Sudbury Wolves found themselves in a virtual must-win situation on home-ice Monday night, and were able to pull off a 3-2 overtime victory. This left the OHL Eastern Conference Championship Series tied 2-2 heading to Game 5 Wednesday in Belleville.
SUDBURY, ON - The Sudbury Arena was fairly quiet this morning in preparation for Game Four of the OHL Eastern Conference Final. Most of the noise came from the cleaning staff, who used the morning to clean up from the previous night's game, rather than doing that right after last night's game.
The Saginaw Spirit announced today that they will not be renewing the contract of Head Coach/GM Bob Mancini.
SUDBURY, ON - After two periods of virtual on-ice chess, the Sudbury Wolves and Belleville Bulls provided an entertaining third period and overtime before the Bulls captured a 2-1 victory and took a 2-1 lead in the series.
SUDBURY, ON - It's a glorious Sunday in Sudbury, sunny and the temperature at about 20 degrees, perfect weather for a hockey game? We'll find out later on when 5,500-6,000 people jam into Sudbury Arena following a day of warm temperatures.
The Plymouth Whalers opened up a 2-0 lead in the OHL Western Conference Final Friday night with a 5-1 victory. Tom Sestito scored two goals while James Neal, Dan Collins and Jared Boll had singles. Sergei Kostitsyn replied for the Knights on the powerplay in the third period. The two teams head back to London for Game 3 Sunday night.
The five cities looking to host the 2008 Memorial Cup have submitted their entries, not it's time for me to give my handicapping of the race.
The OHL Western Conference final got underway Thursday night, with the Plymouth Whalers gaining control 20 second into the third period and not looking back. In the East, "the fourth Staal" was the overtime hero.
The Belleville Bulls took a 1-0 lead in the OHL Eastern Conference Final Wednesday night with a 3-2 victory over the Sudbury Wolves.
The proposed new home of the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds will be known as "Amiga Center at Kent". The naming rights to the building have been sold to Amiga. Now, when most people think of Amiga, they think of those old computer gaming systems. The building will be in the Seattle suburb of Kent, which has a population of 85,000 people.
The London Knights avoided being the third team to lose a seven game series after taking a 3-0 lead Monday night thanks to an 8-4 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in Game Seven of the OHL Western Conference Semifinal.
Belleville Bulls forward Tyler Donati is the 2007 winner of the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy as the OHL's top overage player for 2006-07. The Oakville native finished fourth in scoring with 129 points in 66 games.
Less than one week ago, the London Knights had a 3-0 series lead on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL Western Conference semi-final. Three games later, it's all tied up and one game for all the marbles.
The Plymouth Whalers have stamped their ticket into the OHL Western Conference Championship Series with a 4-1 win over the Kitchener Rangers, and five game series victory. The Whalers await the winner of the London/Sault Ste. Marie series. The Greyhounds picked up a 5-2 win in London Friday night, making it a 3-2 series. Game Six is Sunday afternoon in the Soo.
The Cinderella Story for the Sudbury Wolves continues in this year's playoffs as Sudbury, the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, completed the sweep of the Barrie Colts to move on to the Eastern Conference Final. They will take on the Belleville Bulls. The Bulls also swept their second round series, beating Oshawa in four games.
In the West, Kitchener beat Plymouth 4-2 to stay alive, forcing game five in the series Friday at Plymouth.
A Newmarket man has been sentenced to 60 days behind bars, to be served on weekends, for assaulting two linesmen at a hockey game in Peterborough.
When discussing young stars in the OHL, the first name that comes to mind to many is John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals. But riding just under the radar is Steven Stamkos of the Sarnia Sting. The 2006 OHL first overall pick finished his rookie season with 92 points, helping the Sting return to the playoffs for the first time in four years.
The Chicago Blackhawks have won the NHL's draft lottery and will select first overall at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus in June. The Blackhawks had the fifth overall pick based on order of finish, but were the lucky lottery winners.
Note to James Neal - I think your secret is out. For the second time in this post-season the Plymouth Whalers forward has been caught with an illegal twig. But despite the late powerplay for the Kitchener Rangers, the Whalers picked up a 3-2 victory and now take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 Western Conference Semifinal series.
You know that feeling when you were hoping to attend a hockey game, but you didn't, and then it turned out to be a great game? That certainly happened Friday night in suburban Detroit, Michigan with the Plymouth Whalers hosting the Kitchener Rangers in game one of the Western Conference semifinal.
It did not take long for the second round to see its first overtime game, and the folks in Barrie were left holding their breath for a little while.
Had a nice chat with Oshawa Generals goaltender Loic Lacasse last night for this week's edition of OHL News Radio. The overager, who came over from the Quebec Remparts mid-season, has helped solidify the Generals goaltending this season. That has led to the Gens offence being able to do its thing, leading to wins.
Lacasse is a Grandby, QC native, so after the interview I had to ask him how much he remembered the 1996 Memorial Cup in which the Grandy Predateurs beat Peterborough 4-0 in the final.
Found this little story out of New Jersey. The man had been charged with drunk driving because he was operating a zamboni with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. Appeals court throws it out saying a zamboni is not a motor vehicle.
Following the Plymouth Whalers victory over the Guelph Storm to wrap up their opening round series, I had a chance to catch up with Whalers forward James Neal.
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The match-ups for the OHL Conference semi-finals are now set.
The Belleville Bulls, Sudbury Wolves and Sault Ste. Maarie Greyhounds have all advanced in the OHL Playoffs after victories on Sunday night.