The Ontario Hockey League final series is set after the Guelph Storm dispatched the Erie Otters in five games last night after a 5-0 victory at the Sleeman Center in Guelph and capturing the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as the Western Conference Champions. Not pretending to be superstitious, team captain Matt Finn took the trophy from Commissioner David Branch and skated briefly with it to center ice for a team photo.
The final puts the league’s top offensive team in the regular season (340 goals) against the third best defensive team (189 goals against). But if you think this is a “offense vs defense” series, consider this: The Erie Otters were the top defensive team in the regular season with just 170 goals against. The Storm outscored the Otters 26 to 12 in their five game series.
The Battalion made the show after beating out the Eastern Conference’s top seed Oshawa Generals in a four game sweep as the second seed. The Battalion outscored their opponents 14-7 to capture the Bobby Orr Trophy as the Eastern Conference Champions.
The two teams met just twice in the regular season with Guelph winning it 2-0. The first meeting was held in Guelph as the Storm trounced the Battalion 7-2. Brendan O’Neill got the start in goal for North Bay while Justin Nichols started for Guelph. The Storm also dominated the shot clock with a 36 to 18 margin. Steven Trojanovic led the way for Guelph with 2 goals and 2 assists.
The rematch was held on February 27 in North Bay with the score a little closer this time, 5-4. O’Neill once again got the start for North Bay while Matthew Mancina started for Guelph. North Bay would outshoot Guelph 38-28 this time. Guelph was led by Robby Fabbri with a goal and an assist while Barclay Goodrow did the same for North Bay.
The schedule for the final is as follows:
Game 1, Thurs., May 1 North Bay at Guelph, 7:00
Game 2, Fri., May 2 North Bay at Guelph, 7:00
Game 3, Tues., May 6 Guelph at North Bay, 7:00
Game 4, Wed., May 7 Guelph at North Bay, 7:00
Game 5, Fri., May 9 North Bay at Guelph, 7:00*
Game 6, Sun., May 11 Guelph at North Bay, 2:00*
Game 7, Mon., May 12 North Bay at Guelph, 7:00*
My prediction: Guelph wins in 5 games.