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2019 OHL Conference Final Preview

 

The third round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs begins Thursday, as the 67’s and Generals will battle for the Bobby Orr Trophy as the Eastern Conference Champions, while the Western Conference’s Spirit and Storm will face off for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy.

Eastern Conference

(1) Ottawa 67’s (50-12-2-4) vs. (3) Oshawa Generals (44-20-4-0)

Season Series: Ottawa wins 5-1-1-1

67’s – 106 Points (1st in East Division)
Top Scorer: Tye Felhaber (59-50-109)
Top Goaltender: Michael DiPietro (23-12-0-1, 2.40, .911)
Home: 29-3-1-1 | Road: 21-9-3-1
GF: 296 (4th) | GA: 183 (1st)
PP: 23.2% (8th) | PK: 77.5% (12th)
Playoffs: Defeated Hamilton 4-0, Sudbury 4-0

Generals – 92 Points (2nd in East Division)
Top Scorer: Brandon Saigeon (37-55-92)
Top Goaltender: Kyle Keyser (32-8-3-0, 2.75, .915)
Home: 21-10-3-0 | Road: 23-10-1-0
GF: 288 (7th) | GA: 216 (5th)
PP: 24.5% (5th) | PK: 81.9% (5th)
Playoffs: Defeated Peterborough 4-1, Niagara 4-2

The 67’s remain perfect in the postseason after handing the Wolves a four-game exit in the second round, a series in which leading point-getter Ty Felhaber found his offensive spark after going without a goal in the quarter-final. In all, the Dallas Stars prospect wrapped up the series with six goals and three assists in four games, including a hat-trick in the series opener. His most crucial marker, however, came in the deciding game when he potted the winner midway through the third overtime session to seal the victory for the 67’s. Between the pipes, netminder Michael DiPietro outdueled Sudbury’s Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen as he notched his first-ever playoff shutout in a 5-0 win for the 67’s in Game 2. Entering the conference final, DiPietro will go head-to-head with Oshawa’s Kyle Keyser, a Boston Bruins prospect whose 2.09 goals-against average and incredible .943 save percentage in the playoffs leads the entire OHL circuit. Up front, the Generals are headlined by centre Brandon Saigeon, a fifth-round pick by the Colorado Avalanche in last year’s NHL draft who has recorded 13 points in 11 playoff appearances.

Western Conference

(2) Saginaw Spirit (45-17-3-3) vs. (4) Guelph Storm (40-18-6-4)

Season Series: Tied (Saginaw 2-1-1-0; Guelph 2-1-0-1)

Spirit – 96 Points (1st in West Division)
Top Scorer: Cole Perfetti (37-37-74)
Top Goaltender: Ivan Prosvetov (36-11-2-1, 2.94, .910)
Home: 24-7-2-1 | Road: 21-10-1-2
GF: 294 (5th) | GA: 218 (6th)
PP: 22.5% (10th) | PK: 82.9% (3rd)
Playoffs: Defeated Sarnia 4-0, Sault Ste. Marie 4-2

Storm – 90 Points (2nd in Midwest Division)
Top Scorer: Nate Schnarr (34-68-102)
Top Goaltender: Anthony Popovich (30-13-5-2, 3.29, .899)
Home: 23-9-1-1 | Road: 17-9-5-3
GF: 308 (2nd) | GA: 230 (8th)
PP: 25.8% (3rd) | PK: 79.1% (8th)
Playoffs: Defeated Kitchener 4-0, London 4-3

For the first time since uprooting to Saginaw in 2002, the Spirit have advanced to the conference final following a six-game takedown of the Greyhounds in the second round that saw the team’s deadline additions in Florida Panthers first rounder Owen Tippett and Ryan McLeod of the Edmonton Oilers push the pace offensively. In all, Tippett recorded nine points over the six games, bringing his playoff total to 17 points, good for fourth overall in league scoring. As for McLeod, he put up seven points in the second round, including a four-point night in Game 2 in a 10-1 drubbing that earned him second-star honours. In matching up against the Storm, the Spirit will face off against a club that made big additions of its own, including Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki, who was named the CHL Player of the Week after he notched 10 points in four games, while fellow forward MacKenzie Entwistle, who won the OHL championship last year with the Hamilton Bulldogs, has also had a strong postseason with 12 points in 11 games.

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