Knights and Otters Battle for Top Spot

The London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Tonight in London features a showdown between two of the top teams in OHL, as the Erie Otters visit the London Knights in a game that could have huge ramifications on the playoff picture.

As it stands now, the Otters and Knights both have 103 points in the standings, with Erie holding the tiebreaker, meaning London currently sits in third place, and Erie in first (with Sarnia taking the second seed as the West Division winner).

While it may seem inconsequential, as both teams will get home-ice regardless, the seeding of these teams going into the playoffs could be significant. The team that ends up in first will have to play the 56 point Saginaw Spirit, as opposed to playing the 73 point Owen Sound Attack. In fact, it was Owen Sound that handed the Otters their worst loss of the year, an 8-0 game on January 16.

Photo by Matt Mead Photography

Photo by Matt Mead Photography

A first place finish would also guarantee home ice throughout the playoffs, while the team that falls short may forgo their home ice advantage as early as the second round.

Of course there is something for NHL fans here too, with top prospects all over the place. From recent draftees Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner, to future first-rounders Matt Tkachuk and Alex DeBrincat, talent evaluators will have themselves a busy night.

The two teams head into the game on winning streaks, with Erie winning their last three, and London winning their last eight. With both teams rolling, and playoff positioning at stake, tonight’s game will go a long way in clearing up the playoff picture.

Chris Croucher will be at Friday’s game, follow him on twitter for updates.

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