All three CHL leagues are down to two teams, and the final round is set to begin this week. All three league powerhouses have advanced to the finals, but they’ll have to overcome some hot underdogs to advance to the Memorial Cup.
The OHL final is set now that the Erie Otters defeated the Owen Sound Attack in their six-game Western Conference final to set up a series against the East champion Mississauga Steelheads.
When the CHL playoffs began (and throughout most of the year), there were three clear favourites in every league: the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL), the Erie Otters (OHL) and the Regina Pats (WHL).
When I started this “Hot and Cold” column at the beginning of the playoffs, I had a feeling that it could get repetitive. Given that the Otters generally score twice as many goals as everyone else, they have four or five guys who will always be tearing up the stat sheet.
There are four teams remaining in the OHL playoffs as the Peterborough Petes, Mississauga Steelheads, Owen Sound Attack and Erie Otters have all earned their spot.
Time will tell if the Mississauga Steelheads’ gamble in the OHL Draft will eventually pay off. With the eighth overall pick, they chose Jack Hughes, who would have easily been selected with the first overall pick had he not declared his intentions of playing with the US National Team Development Program next year.
Hockey is a family sport, and over the years there have been too many great sets of brothers to count. Today, each junior league in the CHL has several pairs of brothers in its ranks. To satisfy geographic and logistic concerns, they often end up playing together on the same team.
It’s only a matter of time before the big four stars acquired right before the OHL trade deadline start making an impact with the Western Conference heavyweights.
A football, a few baseball gloves and a pile of tennis balls. Not the collection of sports paraphernalia you might expect at a typical minor hockey practice. But with a lengthy season that seems to get longer every year, a coach sometimes has to shake things up to prevent tired young players from suffering a case of “hockey burnout.”
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