The OHL Finals are slated to open up tonight in Erie, Pennsylvania at 7:30 p.m. EST as the Erie Otters and the Barrie Colts go to battle with a Memorial Cup berth on the line.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the matchup:
There’s a definite edge to the Otters here. The Otters had 10 players score 10 goals or more, including Cory Pecker and Brad Boyes, who lead the team with 53 goals and 36 goals respectively. The Colts also had 10
players score 10 goals or more but only 1 player (19-year-old centre Blaine Down) scored 25+ goals and he had exactly 25. The Colts had 3 players with 50+ points but their leading scorer, Blaine Down, had 61 points, which would place 4th on the Otters.
Both teams have solid defensive corps. Erie’s defensive corps is led by Canadian World Junior silver medalist Carlo Colaiacovo. Chris Eade and Brian Lee have also put together solid seasons for the Otters. On the other hand Barrie is led defensively by Max Kaminsky Trophy winner Erik Reitz, along with veterans Jan Platil, and Tyler Hanchuk. Jeremy Swanson, acquired from Sault Ste. Marie before the season began, has also put together a solid campaign.
A definite edge to the Colts here as overage backstop David Chant has had an outstanding season for the Colts this year and placed 3rd in the voting for the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player for his efforts. For Erie, T.J. Aceti had been strong in the playoffs for the Otters. Barrie has an edge in this category as Chant has been very strong in the playoffs beating some high powered offenses in Belleville and Toronto.
Now, here’s a look at the schedule for the series:
Game 1 – Tonight at Erie, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Fri. May 3 at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 – Mon. May 6 at Erie, 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 – Wed. May 8 at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5 – Fri. May 10 at Erie, 7:30 p.m. *
Game 6 – Sat. May 11 at Barrie, 7:30 p.m. *
Game 7 – Tues. May 14 at Erie, 7:30 p.m. *
* If necessary
Overall the Colts, in my mind have the upper hand as they have had a strong season and are riding a hot goaltender in David Chant. I like the Colts to earn themselves a trip to the Memorial Cup win a well earned, and hard fought, 7 game victory over Erie.