Oshawa - April 2, 2014 - OHL Eastern Conference Semifinal Preview
One of the most storied rivalries in the history of the Ontario Hockey League begins a new chapter on Friday night as the top-ranked, Oshawa Generals host the sixth-ranked Peterborough Petes at the General Motors Centre in one of two OHL Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The Barrie Colts (second-ranked) will host the North Bay Battalion (third-ranked) in the other Eastern Conference semifinal series.
What to expect?
Many OHL followers assumed that the high scoring, Oshawa Generals would have no problem beating the scoring-challenged, Mississauga Steelheads in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Mississauga made the four-game series a real nail-biter for many of the Oshawa faithful, taking two of the four games to overtime.
Gennies’ veteran goaltender Daniel Altshuller did not play at the top of his game in two of those first four contests against the Steelheads. Combine that comment with the fact that the Steelheads managed to muster much grit, determination and a ‘never-say-die’ attitude against a seemingly more rounded and overall highly offensive talented Generals squad; David almost beat Goliath.
The Petes, riding high on the coattails of a hot netminder in Andrew D’Agostini, managed to win their seven-game series against the Kingston Frontenacs, coming from behind in a 3 – 0 series deficit on Tuesday night in Kingston. The Petes collectively could show up on Friday night in Game 1 versus the Generals, expectedly exhausted from their first round battle over the Frontenacs.
The Generals’ possess much fire power on their team and it shows with 4 of the top 10 skaters in playoff scoring, coming from Oshawa (Michael DalColle (10 points), Hunter Smith (10), Cole Cassels (9) and Josh Sterk (9)). Peterborough forward, Nick Ritchie rounds out the top 10 in scoring with 8 points.
The Petes deserve the utmost respect deserving to any team in these 2014 OHL Playoffs as Peterborough was not expected to up-end the Kingston Frontenacs. Oshawa did manage to win five of eight games against Peterborough in the 2013 – 14 OHL regular season, but always seems to have difficulty winning at the Peterborough Memorial Centre and for that reason alone, this series will last longer than just four games.
Oshawa has been resting, scoreboard watching and has not played a real game in more than a week. Head Coach D.J. Smith had his team skating earlier today to get the lactic acid out of the Generals’ legs and will continue to do so until the Generals faceoff against the Petes on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
Expect this series to go back and forth for a total of six games, with the Generals coming out on top as their team size, skill, physicality and potent power play will be just too much for the Petes to handle.
Oshawa / Peterborough 2nd Round Series Schedule
Game 1 Friday, April 4, 2014 in Oshawa at 7:05 p.m.
Game 2 Sunday, April 6, 2014 in Oshawa at 6:05 p.m.
Game 3 Tuesday, April 8, 2014 in Peterborough at 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Peterborough at 7:05 p.m.
x Game 5 Friday, April 11, 2014 in Oshawa at 7:05 p.m.
x Game 6 Sunday, April 13, 2014 in Peterborough at 7:05 p.m.
x Game 7 Tuesday, April 15, 2014 in Oshawa at 7:05 p.m.
(x = if necessary)
For the love of the game, I remain, Dean Eastman.