Western Conference Semi-Final Series (Best-of-seven)
Owen Sound Attack (3) vs Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (2)
Only three teams in the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League regular season reached the 100-point plateau.
And now as the playoffs move into Round 2, two of those teams will meet when the Greyhounds (100 pts) and Attack (102 pts) open their Western Conference Semi-Final series in Sault Ste. Marie this Wednesday Night (March 5).
The Greyhounds will open the series with home-ice advantage by virtue of their West Division title.
To get here, both teams advanced after defeating their opening round opponent in five games; Hounds skated past Flint, while Owen Sound dropped Kitchener.
And while both clubs have had tremendous success this year including multiple franchise reocrds for both, there is a definite unfamiliarity of these opponents after only meeting twice each regular season.
Here are some numbers from their previous two match-ups.
GF 2 | GA 12
SF 71 | SA 78
PP 1-for-10 (10%) | PK 5-for-6 (83.3%)
FOW 61 | FOL 59
* Owen Sound opened scoring in both games
* Hounds trailed both after both 1st and 2nd periods
But this is the playoffs. And the second season has saw both teams build upon their solid runs to cap off the regular season where the Greyhounds were 8-1-1-0 in their last 10, Owen Sound was 9-0-1-0.
Add to the mix that between the pipes these two teams feature the Top 2 goalies currently in OHL playoff statistics and this is a highly anticipated series YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS!
Let’s take a look at some of the news and notes we want to share with you before heading to the rink:
Between the pipes a pair of 19-year old goalies will go head-to-head with Joseph Raaymakers (SSM) and Michael McNiven (OS).
The two veteran goalies currently sit first and second respectively for all goalies in post-season goals against average.
Raaymakers, who has now started, and won, three career post-season games for the Greyhounds, spots a sparkling 1.21 GAA to go along with a .957 SV% in 3 games (3-0).
While at the opposite end of the ice, McNiven has 11 career playoff games played. In 2017, the Georgetown ON native has a 4-1 record go along with a 1.81 GAA and .925 SV% in 5 games (4-1).
After finishing the regular season with the #1 ranked powerplay, Owen Sound enter this series with the 4th best mark in the playoffs thanks to an 8-for-24 (33.3%) conversion in the opening round.
The Hounds were 4-for-29 (13.8%) in Round 1.
These teams were neck-and-neck as far as penalty kill in the regular season and are now 3rd (OS) and 6th (SSM) respectively following their first five games.
Owen Sound is 21-for-24 or 87.5% (4 SHGA) while the Hounds are 21-for-25 or 84.0% with 2 short handed goals for.
PLAYOFFS TOP 3 PERFORMERS
• Boris Katchouk (5-3-8); 1 PPG, 1 SHG, 1 GWG
• Tim Gettinger (3-2-5); 1 PPG, 1 SHG, 1 GWG
• Jack Kopacka (2-3-5); 2 PPA
• Petrus Palmu (6-5-11); 1 PPG, 2 SHG, 2 GWG, 34 SOG
• Nick Suzuki (4-6-10); 1 PPG, 1SGH
• Kevin Hancock (4-4-8); 2 PPG, 1 GWG
COMPLETE SERIES SCHEDULE
GM 1 – Wed. Apr 5 @ SSM, 7:07
GM 2 – Fri. Apr 7 @ SSM, 7:07
GM 3 – Sun. Apr 9 @ OS, 6:00
GM 4 – Tues. Apr 11 @ OS, 7:00
*GM5 – Fri. Apr 14 @ SSM, 7:07
*GM6 – Sun. Apr 16 @ OS, 6:00
*GM7 – Tues. Apr 18 @ SSM, 7:07
* denotes “if necessary”
PREVIOUS PLAYOFF MATCHUPS
The last time these teams met in playoffs was in the opening round of 2014 where the Hounds won in 5 games and advanced to play the Erie Otters.
Prior to that, the Hounds and Attack also met in the opening round of the 2013 (Owen Sound won in six games) and 1999 (Owen Sound won in five games).
DID YOU KNOW?
• This is the fourth consecutive season the Greyhounds have advanced to the 2nd Round of the OHL Playoffs
• Owen Sound has made playoffs in each of six seasons following their first OHL championship in 2011
As mentioned, they only meet twice each regular season and it has been three months since they last skated head-to-head.
Here’s how their regular season series faired;
L 1-6, Jan. 4 @ OS
Teams matched each other with 11 shots apiece, while Maksim Sushko had the lone goal providing Owen Sound a 1-0 lead after the first; Along with 20 shots, the Attack scored four goals in the second period to take a commanding 5-1 lead before each team traded a goal in the third (Katchouk); Matt Schmalz had a 3-point night (2g, 1a) for OS;
L 1-6, Oct. 9 @ SSM
Owen Sound scored three late first period goals, including a pair less than a minute apart to build up a 3-0 first period lead; Petrus Palmu would eventually notch the hat trick before the Attack downed the Hounds; David Miller had the lone goal for the Hounds; Both teams had one PP goal
INDIVIDUAL GAME PLAYOFF TICKETS
Great seats are available NOW for both Game 1 & 2 directly at the Essar Centre Box Office, online (CLICK HERE), or over the phone (1-866-775-9422).
Round 2 pricing is as follows (per ticket, including tax):
• Adult: $25.00
• Student/Senior: $21.50
• Child: $14.00
Be sure to secure your seats in advance and come enjoy some spectacular playoff hockey!
SEASON TICKET HOLDERS
Season Ticket Holders who did not opt into the playoff package will have their seats held up until 48 hours before each game (unless otherwise stipulated).
Should the 48 hour window not be available, we will both send out a newsletter and post the information on soogreyhounds.com. It is the onus of our season ticket holders to stay informed with the information provided.
Season Ticket Holders purchasing on a Game-by-Game basis will have the following deadlines to purchase their Season Ticket locations:
• Game 1 Release Deadline: Monday April 3 at 5:30PM
• Game 2 Release Deadline: Wednesday April 5 at 7:07PM
After deadlines have been passed, all unpurchased seats will be released for resale to the general public. Once season seat locations have been released and purchased, we do not have the ability to reacquire your seat for that game. For more information on Season Ticket Holder playoff options and pricing, visit our website (CLICK HERE).
If you purchased the playoff ticket package, your seats have already been secured for the entire 2017 Playoff run. You will be charged on a round by round basis and run no risk of having your seats released.
Every minute of the action this series will be covered LIVE on Rock 101.
Fans can tune into the action one-half hour prior to the opening face-off on 101.3 FM or via the online stream HERE.
Additionally, HOME and AWAY games will be broadcast on ShawTV starting at 7 PM.
A complete tv schedule can be viewed HERE.
PLUS don’t forget to bring the family, and join your friends, for ALL road games at our “Official Road Playoff Headquarters” – Boston Pizza (601 Great Northern Road).
You can enjoy the game along with some great food and drinks and have a chance at some specials and giveaways.
Photo courtesy of James Egan Photography