East Final Preview: Petes vs Steelheads

Michael McLeod battles for the loose puck in front of Dylan Wells (Photo by Charles Warburton Photography)

The East final features arguably the conference’s hottest two teams heading into the playoffs, but it wasn’t always that way. There was a point in mid December when the Steelheads sat dead last in the Eastern Conference, and if it wasn’t for that dreadful start, they could have very well finished ahead of the Petes. To Peterborough’s credit, they didn’t have the hottest start to the season either. The Petes rattled off a ten game win streak in December to establish themselves as dominant team in not only the Eastern Conference, but the entire league.

The two teams have some similarities. Although Peterborough finished with eight more wins than Mississauga, The Stealheads actually scored more goals and allowed fewer than the Petes, albeit not by much.

The East leading Petes won the season series 3-1, with Mississauga’s lone win coming in their most recent meeting, a 10-1 laugher. Both coaches have said that game means essentially nothing, and neither are looking into the lopsided contest as any indicator for the series.

Another interesting story line is in net. In all three games where Peterborough won, Dylan Wells was in net against his former goalie partner Matthew Mancina. Jacob Ingham faced Scott Smith in Mississauga’s win.

With Matthew Mancina sidelined for their round one series, Jacob Ingham started in all six games against Ottawa. Mancina returned for round two as the Steelheads disposed of Oshawa in five games.  The overage netminder also spent the last two seasons in Peterborough, where he played with Dylan Wells, who will almost certainly start for the Petes.

Historically, Mississauga has won seven of the last ten meetings between the two teams at Hershey Centre. The Petes have won eight of the last ten games played at PMC.

Peterborough hasn’t been in the East final since they won the OHL Championship in 2006. In fact, until this year they hadn’t even won a game in the second round.

Their opponent however, hadn’t won a playoff series since making the switch to the Steelheads moniker. They did make it to the OHL final in 2011 while they were called the Mississuaga St. Michael’s Majors. They lost in seven games to Owen Sound, who just happens to be one of two teams remaining in the Western Conferences.

Playoff Scoring Leaders

Steven Lorentz – 8GP, 8g 4a 12pts +8
Jonathan Ang – 8GP, 7g 4a 11pts +11
Nikita Koroestelev – 8GP, 2g 6a 8pts+7

Spencer Watson – 11GP, 10g 7a 17pts +8
Michael McLeod – 11GP, 6g 11a 17pts +11
Owen Tippett – 11GP, 4g 7a 11pts +6

Head to Head leaders

Logan DeNoble 4GP, 3g 1 4pts +1
Kyle Jenkins 4GP, 3g 1a 4pts -1
*Nikita Korostelev 2GP, 1g 1a 2pts +1

Vili Saarijarvi 4GP, 5g 3a 8pts +2
Michael McLeod 4GP, 3g 5a 8pts +3
Spencer Watson 2GP, 2g 2a 4pts +3

*one of the two games was with Sarnia – scored no points

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