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AOHL Playoff Previews: Sting vs Greyhounds

Sarnia-Soo-round1

Sarnia’s Travis Konecny and Sault Ste. Marie’s Zachary Senyshyn (OHL Images)

Season Series

Sarnia won all but one regular season games between the Sting and Greyhounds. To Sault Ste. Marie’s credit they became a better team as the season progressed and Brandon Halverson stepped up his game in the Soo crease. This is a much tighter match up than the standings suggest as Sarnia was one of the OHL’s top teams in the second half and will be a handful for a Greyhounds team that was expected to be on the rebuild.

Players To Watch

London – Travis Konecny
Since joining the Sting in a Jarnuary trade from Ottawa, Konency has scored 23 goals and 56 points in 31 games.  The PHiladelpha first rounder has a knack for the dramatic, picking up a hat trick in his Sting debut and scoring a penalty shot OT winner on his 19th birthday. He had 10 points in five playoffs games with the 67’s last year, Sarnia’s post season relies heavily on Konecny’s ability to create offence for the players around him.

Owen Sound – Zachary Senyshyn
Many question Boston’s decision to take Senyshyn in the first round after he scored 26 goals in a support role with the Greyhounds last season. The Ottawa native silenced those critics by following it up with 45 goals this year. He will be relied on heavily up front for Sault Ste. Marie if they hope to upset Sarnia, who gave up the third fewest goals in the Western Conference.

By The Numbers

Sarnia (42-19-5-2) – 2nd in West Conf., 1st in West Div.
Sault Ste. Marie (33-27-7-1) – 7th in West Conf., 3rd in West Div.

Goals For: Sarnia 254, Sault Ste. Marie 342
Goals Against: Sarnia 192, Sault Ste. Marie 233

Head to Head: 5-1 for Sarnia
H-to-H Goals: 25-14 for Sarnia

Goalies

Sarnia: Charlie Graham (24-18-3-0)  2.93 GAA, 0.903 sv%, 1SO
Sault Ste. Marie:  Brandon Halverson (20-17-4-0) 3.00 GAA 0.907 sv%

Who has the edge – Sarnia

The Sting finished the season as one of the leagues hottest teams in the second half, with a 23-8-0-2 record since the OHL trade deadline. Sarnia was on of the league’s better teams defensively, allowing less than 200 goals for the second time in franchise history, while sporting the OHL’s top penaly kill at 84.3%. The first two games will play a major role in the length of the series. If the Sting can take both that may be enough to calm the nerves and dispense of the Greyhounds in the timely manner. However, if the visitors can take one of the two games, that would make things awfully interesting heading up to the Soo for games three and four.

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