May 10, 2005

OHL Finals Pre-Game 3 News And Notes

So, how many games does Ottawa have to win in order to ‘prove’ themselves to the worshippers of the Knights? I mean most of them wrote off the entire series as an irritating nuisance that would have to be dealt with before the more important, more challenging, more ‘worthy’ teams arrived. ’Cause, you know, Ottawa didn’t really earn it, right? Right? Wrong! The best thing the 67s have done so far, is show everyone exactly why they are the Eastern Conference Champions. They e-a-r-n-e-d it. They have forced those who (worse than doubted them) wrote them off to give them their due.

Look, no one doubts that London has a very strong team – their season record shows that. And of course they are still the team to beat. But. But what Ottawa did – winning in their rink – it was oh so sweet. And it gave all of us anti-Knights a couple days to dream about what if? What if Ottawa does beat London? What if the Knights lose the OHL after such an amazing season? What if they then go on to the Memorial Cup and lose there? Whatever happens next, thank you Ottawa for giving us that.

I find it funny that the LON/OTT Game 2 thread on NOOF dissolved into (1) an argument between Knights fans over who is the better G-tender for London: Dennis or Coleman (‘Coleman never let in 6 goals’), and (2) Kitchener Ranger fans coming on to diss the Knights fans (themes: ‘who’re the goons now’ and ‘we want a ref chants obviously not beneath London fans’). And it’s interesting to see that Petes fans are cheering for London – I know that if Peterborough had beat Ottawa, I would certainly be hoping they would then go on to beat London.

Also from NOOF (heard on CJBK), Dennis to get the start and Rodney and Kell made the trip to Ottawa but won’t necessarily play tonight.

From the London Free Press Jim Cressman writes, These guys are for real. Snippets:

Knights forward Rob Schremp said the 67's showed with their 6-3 win on Sunday that they're just not content to be here, they want to win the OHL championship.

Duh! And it only takes a sound loss to understand that? The 67s have been saying it over and over and over . . . we want to win the OHL championship. More:

"I think everybody just expected them to roll over and for us to kick the crap out of them, but they're a good hockey team," Schremp said yesterday before the Knights left for Ottawa and the next two games.

"I think we realize what we have in front of us, now that we actually lost a game. They played a pretty intense game and stuck with it after they could have died out easily when we went up 3-2."

He went on to say that they couldn’t come back because they lost it, of course due to the ‘unfair’ calls against them. Okay. When London wins it’s because of their super-duper abilities; when London loses it’s because it was an unfair playing field.

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's want no part of goon show. Quote:

"They were just coming out and they were trying to maybe set the tone or let guys know that if they're not winning, they're going to goon it up or fight," said Ottawa winger Mark Mancari.

"But we're not here to do that. We're here to play hockey and win games. Fights aren't going to win playoff games, that's for sure."

[. . .]

After Sunday's game, London centre Danny Fritsche said the 67's would have to play at 150% to beat the Knights.

"If we're going to have to play 150% every game and we're going to win, then we're going to do it," said Mancari.

"If he thinks that's what we're going to have to do, then that's what he thinks.

"We're going to come out and work hard every game, and we outworked them in Game 2 and beat them.

"So what's that saying for them? What are they going to have to do to beat us? They're going to have to come out and work hard as well."

Campbell writes that McGinn had both a shoulder and a wrist injury.

"I don't think the shoulder's separated," he said. "I sure hope not."

Yikes! He’s questionable for tonight.

Barre Campbell also writes, Whining Knights on edge. Oh no. Changes to a goaltender’s equipment. The superstitious part of me is feeling a little dread at the moment.

And from the London Free Press Jim Cressman writes, Goaltenders are centre stage. More on the equipment, plus a bit on both goalies. Cressman also writes that Beaulieu will be back from suspension tonight.

And this from the Peterborough site, a final word by Flood. His OHL career ended with the loss in Ottawa in the Eastern Conference championship. This is always the hard part:

As you all know, the season didn't end quite the way we wanted. Any time you don't meet your goals in anything you do it's disappointing but for us this was heartbreaking. We wanted to play in the Memorial Cup so bad but it luck and faith were not on our side. It was tough watching those guys celebrate and shake their hands. After the game we all sat in the room with our heads down, some shedding tears. I remember sitting in the corner, where I always do in Ottawa beside Pat Kaleta and Trevor Hendrikx and not wanting to take my jersey off. I thought to myself this is the last game I will ever play in junior and the last time I will take this jersey off. Dick came in and said a few words as did Jeff. Slowly we all showered up, said hello to some family and climbed on the bus for the last time [Sic].

Enjoy every moment that’s left . . .

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