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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Preview - Eastern Conference

Mississauga Vs Niagara

This series is considered by many to be the League Final. But there is a chance both could appear in the Memorial Cup. Mississauga is guaranteed to be involved as the host team. For Niagara to make it, they would have to win this series and the League Final. But don't expect the Majors to take it lightly, they don't want in through the back door.

Mississauga comes in having won 18 straight games dating back to the regular season. They dispatched of the Belleville Bulls in four games in round one and followed that up with a four game sweep against Sudbury.

Niagara is almost equally as hot through the sweeping Brampton and dispatching Oshawa in 5 games.

Mississauga was the OHL's most prolific offensive team in the regular season while Niagara was tied for 5th. Mississauga also the leagues best defensive team allowing 27 fewer goals than second place Niagara. Both teams are strong in goal with JP Anderson guarding the net for Mississauga and Mark Visentin for Niagara.

Mississauga is loaded with depth and experience. Niagara is led by two players expected by many to be top 10 picks in the NHL Entry Draft in Ryan Strome and Dougie Hamilton.

Mississauga won the regular season series 7-1 winning one of those games in overtime. But the most convincing win was a 10-1 victory at home on February 20th.

As for the key draft eligible players in this series for Niagara we have Dougie Hamilton who went pointless in the 6 games and was a non-typical minus 6. Ryan Strome had 0 goals and 3 assists through the 6 games. For Mississauga Stuart Percy had 0 goals and 5 assists and was a plus 7 in the 6 games.

Hard to predict how the regular season domination by the Majors will affect this series, and the key will be how the experienced and deep leadership on the squad keeps everyone focused. It should be a lot closer that the regular season showed.

Prediction: Mississauga in 7 games

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