WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINAL
(4) Owen Sound Attack at (1) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Series tied 3-3
Two high-powered clubs squaring off in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Semi-Final that saw Owen Sound take the series in six games, the Attack and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds settle their second round score in Game 7 tonight.
The puck will drop at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie on the heels of a dominant 7-1 showing by Owen Sound on home ice in Game 6 as the Bears outshot the Hounds 46-25 and had goals from seven different contributors.
The Greyhounds, who went wire-to-wire atop the OHL standings and entered the playoffs as the top-ranked team in the CHL, face a big test tonight as they try and rebound from Sunday’s sub-par showing.
“We’re still confident and we believe in each other,” said Greyhounds captain Tim Gettinger told the Sault Star’s Peter Ruicci following the loss. “A good crowd will give us a boost and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Attack handed the Greyhounds their first regulation loss at the Essar Centre since their home opener on September 23rd in Game 1, but Sault Ste. Marie responded with home ice wins in Games 2 and 5.
The Hounds remain without the services of suspended forward Keeghan Howdeshell while overage veteran Hayden Verbeek suffered an injury in Game 4 of the series and remains questionable for tonight. Across the ice, the Attack remain without injured Los Angeles Kings prospect Markus Phillips on the back end.
Owen Sound sends 17-year-old netminder Mack Guzda to the crease after he turned aside 24 of 25 shots in Game 6. The Attack also got a shot in the arm on Sunday when Vancouver Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich had a goal and an assist in his return to the lineup.
“We know we can do it, we’re confident,” Attack captain Jacob Friend told the Owen Sound Sun Times’ Greg Cowan. “I think the Greyhounds got a wake-up call (yesterday). We know we can beat anyone.”
Overage forward Ethan Szypula enters tonight’s action on a six-game point streak as Owen Sound rides a wave of momentum into Sault Ste. Marie for a 7:07pm puck drop.
While fast starts are always important, the losing team has scored first in each of the past two games. Be sure to catch all the action of the first Game 7 matchup of the 2018 OHL Playoffs tonight at OHLLIVE.com.
The Series so far:
GAME 1: OS 4 vs. SSM 1 (Highlights/Game Centre)
GAME 2: OS 4 vs. SSM 5 OT (Highlights/Game Centre)
GAME 3: SSM 2 vs. OS 6 (Highlights/Game Centre)
GAME 4: SSM 5 vs. OS 2 (Highlights/Game Centre)
GAME 5: OS 1 vs. SSM 4 (Highlights/Game Centre)
GAME 6: SSM 1 vs. OS 7 (Highlights/Game Centre)
Sault Ste. Marie Game 7 history (8-5):
2016 – defeated Sarnia in 1st round / 2007 – lost to London in 2nd round / 2005 – lost to Windsor in 1st round / 2000 – defeated Erie in 2nd round / 1992 – defeated North Bay in OHL Championship Series / 1992 – defeated Kitchener in 2nd round / 1985 – defeated Peterborough in OHL Championship Series / 1984 – lost to Kitchener in OHL Semi-Final / 1983 – defeated Kitchener in OHL Semi-Final / 1982 – defeated Brantford in 2nd round / 1981 – defeated Kingston in OHL Semi-Final / 1978 – lost to Ottawa in 2nd round / 1976 – lost to Sudbury in 2nd round
Owen Sound Game 7 history (2-1):
2011 – defeated Mississauga in OHL Championship Series / 2004 – lost to Guelph in 1st round / 1990 – defeated Sudbury in first round