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With roughly 12 or so games left in the regular season it looks like it's going to come down to the wire in the Eastern Conference for three teams to fight it out for the final two playoff spots....
As of this afternoon the three teams -- Oshawa, Sudbury and Niagara -- are all tied with 47 points and 56 games played. However, the Generals have lost eight straight and the Wolves have lost their last five. The IceDogs, on the other hand, have been on a roll having won two straight and are 5-3-0-2 in their last 10.
“I think around the (January) trade deadline we were 20th out of the 20 teams,” IceDogs GM Dave Brown told the Star for a story in today's paper.
“I don’t think there were a lot of people – other than ourselves – that thought that we were in the race (for the playoffs), but we’ve made it our goal and here we are today and we’re deadlocked with two other teams.”
Tonight, the Generals (21-30-3-2) visit the Eastern Conference-leading Barrie Colts (45-8-0-2). The IceDogs (20-29-2-5), who have earned points in six of their last eight games, will host the fifth-place Brampton Battalion (21-23-7-5). Sudbury will gear up for their important battle with the IceDogs on Friday night.
And though the IceDogs want to gain as many points as possible while the Wolves and Gens are struggling, they're not even thinking about the seventh spot in the Conference.
“Part of the problem is that if we start thinking about it like that and getting greedy we’re going to end up somewhere we don’t want to be, so we’re just taking it one day at a time," said Brown.
“Would I like to be there? Absolutely. But I think our fear is that we may end up overlooking everything else. Our goal is to make the playoffs.”
Things are pretty tight in the Western Conference as well with a mere two points separating the ninth-place Guelph Storm (25-27-3-1) from the Owen Sound Attack (25-27-4-2) who are hanging on to the last playoff berth. The Attack will have their work cut out for them as the Storm hold two games in hand.
Still lots of season left, so it should be interesting to see how it all plays out in the end.
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I hope the Ice Dogs can keep 7th going into the playoffs.
I love a close playoff race.
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