The final two teams have been decided for the Ontario Hockey League championship series and for the first time since 2012, it will be the London Knights and Niagara IceDogs competing again for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
Back in 2012, when these two clubs met in the Ontario Hockey League finals, the London Knights defeated the Niagara Ice Dogs in five games, as they went on to capture the J. Ross Robertson cup in a 2-1 victory in game five at the John Labatt Centre.
Then, one year later, the Knights captured their second consecutive J. Ross Robertson Cup, defeating the Barrie Colts in seven games during the 2013 Ontario Hockey League finals.
And, how’s this for a finish?
During that seventh and deciding game in the 2013 Ontario Hockey League finals, Bo Horvat’s goal with just 0.1 seconds to go in the third period broke a 2-2 tie and was reviewed a good goal by the referees after being waved off the first time.
Former London Knights forward Bo Horvat, not to mention, who was a first round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2013, like former Soo Greyhounds forward Jared McCann was in 2014, both ended up earning full time roster spots in the National Hockey League as nineteen year olds.
So, now let’s look ahead to this year’s Ontario Hockey League finals matchup between the London Knights and Niagara IceDogs!
This will not only be the first time these two clubs meet again in the finals since 2012, but let’s see some facts on paper!
This season, the London Knights finished third in the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference, were ranked fifth in the Canadian Hockey League’s top ten preseason rankings, but ended up finishing third in the country’s top ten rankings at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Niagara IceDogs, who came into this year as the No. 3 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League’s preseason rankings, ended up finishing fourth in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.
Three out of eight players who had at least one hundred points in the Ontario Hockey League were on the London Knights. This trio included Christian Dvorak (121), Mitch Marner (116) and Matt Tkachuk (107).
The Niagara IceDogs have five players on their roster who hit twenty or more goals this season, but forward Josh Ho-Sang, who found the back of the net only nineteen times this season, had a thirty two goal campaign during 2013-2014 with the Windsor Spitfires and still led the IceDogs in points this season with eighty two.
Then, there’s some Sault ties on this Niagara IceDogs squad!
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Brendan Perlini finished fourth in team scoring this season and is a 2014 first round pick of the Arizona Coyotes.
Perlini, now in his final Ontario Hockey League season, will look to become the first Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native to win a J. Ross Robertson Cup since Jake Patterson did back in 2012-2013 with the London Knights.
Toronto, Ontario product Nick Pastorious, who is in his third Ontario Hockey League season, split time with the Soo Greyhounds, Barrie Colts and is now a member of the Niagara IceDogs.
Pastorious, who is capable of returning to the Ontario Hockey League as an overage next season, also played for the Soo Thunderbirds during the 2012-2013 season.
The Ontario Hockey League finals officially get underway with game one taking place on May 5th at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario.
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