OHL Finals Preview

By Brad Coccimiglio
The Memorial Cup is just around the corner and the OHL champion will soon be decided. For the second year in a row the Plymouth Whalers will fight for an opportunity to represent the OHL in the tournament while the Ottawa 67’s will look to make their second appearance in 3 years in the prestigious tournament.

Before we start anything here’s a look at the schedule for the series:

Sat. May 5PlymouthOttawa
Sun. May 6PlymouthOttawa
Thurs. May 10OttawaPlymouth
Fri. May 11OttawaPlymouth
Sun. May 13PlymouthOttawa
Tues. May 15OttawaPlymouth
Wed. May 16PlymouthOttawa
Now that that’s settled let’s break down the match-up:

Both teams feature a number of high scoring players that can break open a game at any time. Ottawa features defenceman Jon Zion and forward Joe Talbot while the Whalers counter with the likes of Damian Surma, Stephen Weiss and Kris Vernarsky. With those types of players on each side there should be no shortage of offence for this series.


Plymouth’s defensive corps were bolstered when the Whalers added Ryan O’Keefe from Barrie. This will be O’Keefe’s second straight appearance in the finals. The Whalers also boast NHL draft prospect Cole Jarrett and Libor Ustrnul. On the Ottawa side Jonathan Zion is always a threat.


The Whalers are backstopped by two time OHL goaltender of the year runner-up Rob Zepp. Zepp had a solid season and backup Paul Drew was also solid when called upon to relieve Zepp. Seamus Kotyk had a good season between the pipes for the 67’s although it wasn’t as strong as Zepp’s season.


The 67’s have a very slight edge in this department as they posted a perfect 7-0 record on home ice in the playoffs. The Whalers were not quite as strong on home ice posting a 5-1 record thus far in the playoffs.


The 67’s road record, although not quite as good as their home record was solid at 5-2. The Whalers actually played better away from home posting a perfect 7-0 record after 3 playoff rounds.


Both teams faced some strong competition in the first three rounds of the playoffs but they also seemed to handle the competition quite easily.

Ottawa faced North Bay (won series 4-0), Belleville (won series 4-2), and Toronto St. Michael’s (won series 4-0). On the other side the Whalers faced Sarnia (won series 4-0), Windsor (won series 4-0) and the regular season champion Erie Otters (won series 4-1).

Right now I know most of you are probably expecting a prediction from me and who am I to disappoint, I must say that I like the Whalers to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup in 6 games over Ottawa.