The final round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs starts Thursday:
Ottawa 67’s (50-12-2-4) vs. Guelph Storm (40-18-6-4)
Season Series: Guelph wins 1-0-1-0
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, Oshawa 4-0
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, Saginaw 4-3
Two of the most intriguing storylines will meet in the Rogers OHL Championship Series in the 67’s and Storm.
The 67’s enter the final round riding a perfect 12-0 playoff record, becoming just the second team in league history to post such a start. In search of its first OHL championship since 2001, Ottawa has received support throughout its lineup, beginning in the forward ranks, where Dallas Stars prospect Tye Felhaber has come alive in the latter rounds, collecting 17 points in his last eight outings to bring his playoff total to 21 points in 12 appearances.
On the back end, the 67’s are led by a pair of Arizona Coyotes prospects in Noel Hoefenmayer and Kevin Bahl, while between the pipes trade acquisition and Vancouver Canucks draft pick Michael DiPietro is getting it done as he is a perfect 12-0 through the postseason with a 2.26 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
Standing between the team’s hopes of qualifying for the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia is the Western Conference’s Guelph Storm, who after eliminating the Kitchener Rangers in the quarter-final pieced together back-to-back series comebacks over the top-seeded London Knights then the Saginaw Spirit to advance to the OHL Final for the first time since 2014.
The Storm are led by Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki, whose 31 points – counting four game-winning goals – ranks first in OHL playoff scoring, while the team is also getting plenty of secondary offense from a handful of players, including Philadelphia Flyers draft-pick Isaac Ratcliffe and Chicago Blackhawks up-and-comer MacKenzie Entwistle.
Adding intrigue to the final matchup is that the Storm came away with points in both regular-season meetups against the OHL-leading 67’s, counting an 8-4 regulation stomping followed by a close fought 4-3 loss in extra time.