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ROUND 3 PLAYOFF PREVIEW; Greyhounds vs Rangers

After sixty-eight games of the Ontario Hockey League regular season the Soo Greyhounds (West) and Kitchener Rangers (Midwest) both finished as division champions.
They both ended the year recognized as members of the CHL Top 10’s final rankings as well.

And now after two rounds of the 2018 Playoffs, they will meet in the Western Conference Championship for the first time since 2008, in a highly anticipated match-up for the the Wayne Gretzky Trophy.

Game 1 is set for TONIGHT (Friday, April 20), 7:07 PM inside the Essar Centre.

Here’s a look at some of the notable numbers, statistics and information heading into the Best-of-Seven series:

COMPLETE SERIES SCHEDULE
• Game 2 Saturday, April 21 @ SSM – 7:07 PM
• Game 3 Monday, April 23 @ KIT – 7:00 PM
• Game 4 Wednesday, April 25 @ KIT – 7:00 PM
• Game 5* Friday, April 27 @ SSM – 7:07 PM
• Game 6* Sunday, April 29 @ KIT – 2:00 PM
• Game 7* Monday, April 30 @ SSM – 7:07 PM

HOW THEY GOT HERE
• SSM Defeated SAG (4 games) in Round 1;  Defeated OS (7 games) in Round 2
• KIT Defeated GUE (6 games) in Round 1;  Defeated SAR (6 games) in Round 2

PLAYOFF STATS COMPARISON BEFORE THIS SERIES

SSM KIT
GF 52 50
GA 39 36
SF 376 434
SA 333 409
PP 16/53 (30.2%) 10/35 (28.6%)
PK 36/46 (78.3%) 40/48 (83.3%)

TOP 3 GREYHOUNDS PLAYOFF SCORERS
• Boris Katchouk;  11-8-19;  4PPG, 1SGH, 1GWG
• Taylor Raddysh;  8-9-17;  3PPG, 1GWG
• Morgan Frost;  5-11-16;  2PPG;  1GWG

TOP 3 KITCHENER PLAYOFF SCORERS
• Logan Brown;  (3-18-21);  1GWG
• Kole Sherwood (10-7-17);  2PPG, 1GWG
• Adam Mascherin;  (6-11-17);  1PPG,  2GWG

ROSTER NOTES:
• The Greyhounds are expected full-strength heading into Friday’s Game 1.  Forward KEEGHAN HOWDESHELL has completed his 2-game OHL imposed suspension.  The Brighton, MI native has 5 goals and 2 assists (7 points) in 9 playoff contests.
• Kitchener will be minus two veterans on the blueline to start the series.  Defending Memorial Cup Champion Austin McEneny is expected to out atleast Game 1 with an upper body injury while fellow blueliner Connor Hall had his season cut short due to shoulder surgery.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING IN THE MEDIA
Sault Star
How about Hounds over Rangers in six? – RUICCI COLUMN
Frost looks to heat up
It’s go time for Soo, Kitchener

Kitchener Record
Playoff scare made Soo ‘a better team’
Rangers goalie right at home in the Soo
Rangers ready for OHL’s top dogs

SSM/KIT PLAYOFF HISTORY
• 2008;  Greyhounds lost in 5 games to the Rangers in Western Conference Championship
• 2003;  Greyhounds lost in 3 games to Rangers in Round 1
• 2000;  Greyhounds defeated Kitchener in 5 games in Round 1

2017-18 REGULAR SEASON SERIES ** only met once following the OHL trade deadline
W 4-3, Mar. 9 @ KIT
Hounds built up 3-0 by scoring the trio of goals in a span of 3:43 in first half of first period (Katchouk, Howdeshell, Verbeek);  KIT put one on the board in 1st and then after scoreless second added two more in third to tie game;  Katchouk notched GWG at 11:25 of third period;  KIT was 2-for-4 on PP while SSM outshot Rangers 43-34

W 4-3, Dec. 15 @ KIT
Scoreless first period before Kitchener took a 2-0 lead by twelve minute mark of the second perod;  Hounds then scored two of the periods last 3 goals (N. Carroll, Howdeshell) to trail 3-2 after two periods of play;  Mac Hollowell tied the game with 6:50 to play before in perhaps the most dramatic finish this season, Keeghan Howdeshell scored the GWG with just over a second to go;  Hounds were 1-for-1 on PP

W 8-2, Nov 24 vs KIT
Joe Carroll scored his 1st-career OHL goal to open scoring and Hounds led 2-1 after first period;  Kitchener got within a goal in the second period (3-2) before Hounds scored five unanswered goals in the victory;  Morgan Frost (4 pts), Ryan Roth and Joe Carroll (3 pts) led offense;  Hounds held Kitchener to 21 shots;  SSM 2-for-4 on PP

W 3-2, Oct. 13 vs KIT
Morgan Frost scored lone goal of first before Connor Bunnaman tied it with only goal of second period;  Hayton and Verbeek scored six minutes apart in third for 3-1 lead before eventual 3-2 victory;  Hounds were held to 25 shots for

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