London to Battle Niagara in OHL Finals

Niagara Ice DogsJust over a week ago, we featured a look into the 2012 OHL playoffs as the conference finals were set to begin. After two quick series, the OHL Championship series is now set up and will feature the London Knights and Niagara Ice Dogs.

Both London and Niagara had each made a nearly flawless run this post-season, and the finals are sure to be an interesting match-up. The way it’s squared up, the loser of the series will have lost as many or more games in the finals than in the entire playoffs thus far.

Coming out of the west, the London Knights have been dominant all season long. They finished as the top team heading into the playoffs, and now have a record of 12-2 in the 2012 post-season. The only two losses were against the Saginaw Spirit in round two, but the Knights have completed sweeps of Windsor and Kitchener en route to the finals. Despite their success, the Knights only have three players in the top 20 post-season scorers. Seth Griffith and Ollie Maatta each have 19 points, while Austin Watson has 14 points.

In the East, the Niagara Ice Dogs have been just as good. They’ve compiled a 12-3 post-season record, losing two games in round one, and one game in the conference finals. Their only sweep came against Brampton in round two. The Ice Dogs, however, have been more dominant in the scoring department as they feature six players in the top 20 post-season scorers. Ryan Strome, Alex Friesen, and Freddie Hamilton are each tied with 21 points, good for fourth in post-season scoring. Beyond that, Dougie Hamilton, David Pacan, and Andrew Agozzino made the list with 19, 18 and 14 points, respectively.

In the goaltending department, both teams are coming in fairly equal. Michael Houser of the Knights has been good this post-season, posting a .919 save percentage along with a 2.42 goals against average. The Ice Dogs Mark Visentin has been just as good through an extra game. His .921 save percentage slightly tops Houser’s, but with a 2.43 goals against average, he’s slightly below.


The Ice Dogs and London Knights have both had incredible seasons, and great runs in the playoffs as well. Their matchup in the finals should be exciting, with lots of scoring. For that reason, my prediction will be the Niagara Ice Dogs winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup in seven games. The Ice Dogs potent offense from Strome, Friesen and Hamilton will turn out to be just a bit more than the Knights can handle.

What are your thoughts on the OHL finals? Who do you think will take home the J. Ross Robertson Cup? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

One comment

  1. I like the Ice Dogs in 5 or 6 games. They have it all, experience, depth and this team is now built to win. They might have had the home ice advantage in this series if they hadn’t run into injuries, World Junior Championships, key suspensions but, they are lohealthy, locked and loaded now and look to be on a mission. This team is that good. And good for St Catharines which used to be a junior hockey mecca years ago. Not to take anything away fron the Knights. They are a very good team but the Ice Dogs are just a little bit better.

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