ERIE OTTERS @ WINDSOR SPITFIRES
The Western Conference fourth and fifth seed series match-up has been one of the most exciting to start the entire Canadian Hockey League playoffs. Windsor jumped to a 3-1 series lead after splitting the first two games with the Erie Otters. Then Erie pushed back. Back to back 6-5 over time victories for the Otters pushed this series to a final seventh game set in Windsor on Tuesday night.
Otters Series Breakdown
Highly touted Greg McKegg has only two goals for the series and no assists. He leads the top line with Mika Cazzola and, so far, have been shut down by Windsor’s top defensive unit of Ryan Ellis and Saverio Posa. The main reason Erie is still alive is Anthony Luciani who has 7 goals and 10 points in the first 6 games of the series including a 4 goal game and the overtime winner in Game 5. Another top forward, Phil Varone, was brought in from London earlier in the season. Varone’s past playoff experience has pushed the Otters’ forwards and now leads the team in playoff scoring (3g-10a-13pts) skating with Luciani.
Big goalie(6’4, 220 pounds) Ramis Sadikov will challenge the Spitfires shooters as he has all season, and will need a confident approach to take on the vastly experienced Windsor team. Defensive coverage will be hard pressed for the entire group…the Otters defense will need to show some fire to get in the lanes and challenge the Windsor shooters.
Spitfires Series Breakdown
Eight players on the Spitfires have averaged a point per game for the series and six players have scored 3 goals or more in the first six games. Those type of playoff numbers for an experienced Windsor team should mean more confidence for the group knowing they can score at any time. Little known defenseman Adrian Robertson leads the team in playoff scoring with 9 points so far, but the best indicator for success in Game 7 would be their depth players putting the puck in the net.
Jack Campbell had an uneven regular season, and lost twice in overtime the last two games…but he has something to prove as Campbell made 61 saves as the losing goalie in Game 6. His international experience allows his team the belief that they’re always in the game and I would bet on him to continue that success for a Game 7 win.
Erie Otters Game 7 Hero – Phil Varone
Windsor Spitfires Game 7 Hero – Ryan Ellis
Windsor 5 – Erie 4 (Windsor wins series 4-3)
About the Author
Written by Wes Ranger