It took 84 minutes but Tim Gettinger and his Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are headed to the OHL finals. The Greyhounds Jack Kopacka scored at the four-minute mark of the second overtime giving the Greyhounds a 4-3 win over the Kitchener Rangers in game 7. The Greyhounds win the Wayne Gretzky trophy as OHL Western Conference Champions.
WATCH THIS: Winning West in 2OT 🚨@AnaheimDucks prospect @Jack_Kopacka is @OHLHoundPower’s hero scoring the Game 7 winner clinching the #OHLPlayoffs Western Conference title #SSMvsKIT pic.twitter.com/FvqSqzKjoj
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) May 1, 2018
Tim Gettinger did not score but he was even and was one of four Greyhounds who had a six-shot night. Gettinger was also a perfect three for three on faceoffs.
It is a feel-good moment for the Greyhounds and their fans as they head to the OHL finals for the first time since 1993. It was also the last time the Greyhounds would hoist the Memorial Cup championship.
Next up for the Greyhounds will be the Hamilton Bulldogs the OHL’s Eastern Conference Champions. The Greyhounds will have home ice advantage but the Bulldogs who knocked off Sean Day’s Kingston Frontenacs are playing excellent hockey. The Greyhounds have struggled in the playoffs after breezing through the OHL regular season.
After sweeping the opening round the Greyhounds have had to go to seven games twice in a row. Hamilton has only lost three games total in their three playoff series. They will be well rested and healthy when the finals open on Thursday night.
Disappointed to see that the OHL finals schedule will have games six and seven on back to back nights. The CHL needs to take a hard look at perhaps cutting back a couple of regular season games to not cram the playoffs into a condensed schedule. It cheapens the product and sometimes you get the team that survives not the best team who wins.
You did not ask me but
If the Rangers can’t hire Sheldon Keefe as their next coach, then I can live with either Jim Montgomery of Denver College or David Quinn of Boston University. Either guy would make excellent NHL coaches. Both have proven track records as teachers as well as motivators who get the best out of their talent.
More importantly is that either would be guys looking to make an NHL rep not live off one.