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AOHL Playoff Preview: Colts vs. Steelheads

Barrie's Kevin Labanc and Mississauga's Alexander Nylander

Barrie’s Kevin Labanc and Mississauga’s Alexander Nylander (OHL Images)

Season Series

If you’re going to judge this entire series by how these teams have played each other in the regular season, unfortunately for fish fans, they don’t stand a chance. Barrie has won 11 of its last 12 games against Mississauga and has scored at least three goals in every game against them this season. Missy did squeak out one win this year (6-3 at home on Dec.6/15), better than last season, when they lost all six times. Mississauga was also shutout twice by the Colts in 2015/16.

Players To Watch

Barrie: F – Kevin Lebanc

While both Kevin Lebanc and Andrew Mangiapane both hit the 100 point plateau this season, Lebanc will be the one to lead the charge against the Steelheads, at least if you look at the numbers. Lebanc tallied 17 of his team-leading 127 points against Mississauga and he did it in just five games. An honourable mention would go to Julius Nattinen, who had 12 points in four games against Mississauga.

Windsor: F – Alex Nylander

The younger Swedish sensation to hit the GTA hockey scene this season missed hitting 80 points in his rookie year by just five. One would think that’s going to push Alex Nylander to try and find another gear in the post season. Plus, you’d naturally lay your offensive hopes on your top scorer, against an offensive juggernaut like the colts. With that said, the guys on the back-end will be equally important.

By The Numbers

Barrie (43-22-0-3) – 89 pts, 2nd in East Conf., 1st in Central Div.
Mississauga (33-30-2-3) – 71 pts, 7th in East Conf., 4th in Central Div.

Goals For: Barrie – 295, Mississauga – 215
Goals Against: Barrie – 207, Mississauga – 229

Head to Head: 5-1 for Barrie
H-to-H Goals: 34-15 for Barrie

Goalies

Barrie: #29 Mackenzie Blackwood – (28-13-0-0), 2.72 GAA, .921 SV%, 3 SO
Mississauga: #32 Jack Flinn – (32-27-2-1), 3.07 GAA, .905 SV%, 7 SO

Who has the edge: Barrie

While you can’t judge the whole series on the regular season history (because, as they say, “it’s the playoffs and anything can happen”), Barrie will likely be too powerful for a young Mississauga team to handle. That – and the fact that the Hershey Centre isn’t always the most intimidating place to play, whereas fans at the Molson Centre have been known to make things pretty uncomfortable for opposing teams. The Steelheads best chance is to listen to Head Coach James Boyd and find a way to slow down Barrie’s top line and clog things up in the neutral zone. A shutout from Jack Flinn (who had seven on the year) wouldn’t hurt either.

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