GOJHL Playoff Preview – Round 2

GOJHL Playoff Preview by Jacques Teasdale

Western Conference

London Nationals vs LaSalle Vipers

First Game: March 20th, 7:00pm @Western Fair District Sports Centre
Season Series: 4-2 for LaSalle Vipers

London Nationals: Coming off their series against the Komoka Kings the London Nationals are looking to to continue their scoring streak of over 4 goals a game in their last 4 games. The Veterans of Lucas Chard, Riley Wood, Nolan Milne, and Colton Chipman remain the main point threats for them. The X-Factors for this series will be the young tandem of Carter Frogett and Hayden Sabourin, as they have a great team in front of them it will be up to them to clean up the rest. Matthew Downie and PJ Fagan should see the same heavy amount in minutes they played in the first round in what is expected to be a slower-paced defensive series for the second round. I expect them to come a lot stronger in this series, than the one against Komoka, as they now know what to expect.

LaSalle Vipers: Out of London’s 11 losses this season the Vipers handed them nearly half of their losses. There is potential for an upset in this series due, to the Vipers high powered scoring when playing against them. The X-factor for this series would be the Vipers’ ability to get shots on the net against London. As throughout the season they outshot them in every game except once this year. Players that have been heating up to keep an eye on would be Owen Findlay and Patrick McManus as they both have 9 points in their last 6 games played from the first series. This should be a close series as throughout the Chatham Maroons series all games were decided by one goal. Lastly, All-Star goalie Tre Altiman should continue to up his game as he has posted a .928 save percentage in the last 6 games played.


Strathroy Rockets vs St. Marys Lincolns

First Game: March 22nd, 7:30pm @ Pryamid Recreation Complex
Season Series: 3-3 Series tie

Strathroy Rockets: Ethan Facchina has continued his all-star year with a league-leading 8 goals in 5 playoff games. In the last 5 games, he has averaged about 22 minutes a game leading his forward group in minutes played. The X-Factor however remains Colin Androwlewicz he has a .962 across 4 games, against a strong-scoring St.Thomas Stars team. This goaltending will be needed against the Lincolns. This exciting young team should begin to pick up even more against the only regular season tie series in the second round.

St Marys Lincolns: With Brandon Abbott playing all four games over their sweep over Sarnia, we should continue seeing him start the 2nd round. He has been one of the hottest goalies so far posting a .930 save percentage. Nonetheless, the X-Factor is Chase MacQueen-Spence with 12 points and 7 goals in his last 4 playoff games. His sheer dominance has put him in the front spot for most playoff points. Adam Barkley and Josh Cornfield continue to be the driving force on the back end making this one-two 3 punch unstoppable. In the first series the Lincolns averaged 8.5 goals a game, how much will that drop in the 2nd round?

MidWestern Conference

Listowel Cyclones vs Ayr Centennials

First Game: March 22nd, 7:30pm @ Steve Kerr Memorial Complex
Season Series: 5-1 for Listowel

Listowel Cyclones: With a dominant defensive sweep over the Caledon Bombers Riley Arts and Dixon Grimes, are yet to let in a goal. They have both split the series 2 and 2 games. This dynamic tandem should be a frustrating feat, as they both seem hot. This tandem has been one of the highlights of GOJHL goaltending all season! As a team, however, they only let up a total of 87 shots over 4 games. X-Factor remains, Wylie Birkett and Luke Eurig as they have controlled the pace of the game with their combined 22 points over 4 games. Expectations are high for them, however, so far they have not been disappointed stopping in no team’s way.

Ayr Centennials: Most of the games throughout the season have been decently close except for one. AYR is coming off a taxing close series against the Kitchener-Waterloo Siskins. A deep defensive core for AYR remains their strong suit with the likes of Ryan Mckellar, Charlie Barnes, and Reid Forster. Rookie Daniel Berehowsky has elevated his game to another level and he has stepped up to 5 points in 6 games, which is a lot better pace than his regular season stats show. To many they are coming off an upset series win, however, they were the season series favourite against the Siskins, hopefully, for them, they can carry this confidence to the next series.


Stratford Warriors vs Elmira Sugar Kings

First Game: March 22nd, 7:30pm @ William Allman Memorial Arena
Season Series: 4-2 for Stratford

Stratford Warriors: Coming off a competitive series with the Brantford Bandits, the Warriors ended up putting it away in 5 games with an electric triple-overtime winner from Cole Lewis. With a plethora of young contributors such as Brayden Stumpf, Michael Denney, Carson Harmer, and Joey Brehmer this youth should be their major strong suit. Their X-Factor remains the edge they have played with in every game so far, it seems each game is played like their last with extreme physical play and competitiveness.


Elmira Sugar Kings: Also coming off an exciting close series against the Cambridge Redhawks the Sugar Kings found a way to get it done in 5 games. Liam Eveleigh has upped his game to another level with 8 points in 5 games played while averaging 31 minutes a game over that span. He has controlled the game at all levels of the ice and even on special teams. Physical play from Joey Martin and 4 Brady Schwindt should be an important factor against this younger team. The X-Factor for this series will be young scoring threat, Brendan Gerber. If he can find a way to start scoring like the regular season as he had 3 goals in their regular season series.

Golden Horseshoe Conference

Caledonia Corvairs vs Hamilton Kilty B’s

First Game: March 22nd, 7:30pm @ Haldimand County Caledonia Centre
Season Series: 5-2 for Caledonia

Caledonia Corvairs: Caledonia is coming off a long rest, nonetheless over February and March they won 11 of their last 13 games. After a 4th place run to the Golden Horseshoe Finals, they look to win it all this year as regular-season champions. Jayden Lammel is coming off a Player of the Month award, with 24 points in his last 13 games. Jayden Lammel, Tyler Savard, and Marcus Dempewolf all combined for 68 points in those last 13 games. They have forward threats everywhere, however, the X-Factor is All-Star defenseman, Sami Douglas, he led all defensemen in scoring with 22 goals, with 9 of them coming from the powerplay. Keegan Jackson will most likely get the start after playing a majority of their games this year with a save percentage of .925. Even in those 2 losses, Keegan Jackson was not in the net. Against Hamilton, he averages a .945 save percentage.

Hamilton Kilty B’s: This a repeat Golden Horseshoe finals matchup that Hamilton is hoping to get the better of again. Nonetheless, Hamilton was the only team to go to a 7-game series in the 1st round and Caledonia was the only team with a first-round bye. There is a large discrepancy in time off between the two teams. They still have been one of the only teams to give Caledonia trouble, giving them 2 of their only 9 losses. Their X-Factor is red hot, Luca Campolo who has 6 goals throughout the series. Not known for his overly scoring touch he had been a threat from everywhere so far this playoffs. I expect Evan Krell’s minutes to shoot way up to as a reliable defenseman on the backend to stop and slow down a high-power offense in Caledonia.


Fort Erie Meteors vs St. Catharines Falcons

First Game: March 23rd, 7:00pm @ Fort Erie Leisureplex
Season Series: 5-2 for Fort Erie

Fort Erie Meteors: The Meteors’ defensive based play style remains their identity after only allowing 2 goals in 4 games against the Port Colborne Sailors. Their one-two punch of RJ Schmidt and Rylan Masterson is the biggest threat to any team as their physical play and puck control have been frustrating to other teams. Their X-Factor would be Nik Passero as he has this team playing perfectly with edge and motivation. He is not afraid to make mid-series adjustments, that are a pain for other teams to adjust to. He finds a way to get the most out of his players every game. I expect Liam Beamish to start to score as he tends to play better when the competition rises throughout the series.

St. Catharines Falcons: An overpowering offense, best describes the Falcons as they have found a way to beat teams with all four of their forward lines. They have scored at least 4 goals in all games against the Pelham Panthers. Tyler Hunt, Caleb Thompson, and Brendan Anderson had a combined 12 goals in that 5-game span. Their offense does get all the credit, defensemen such as Mitch Dmytrow have found ways to distribute cleanly tallying 8 assists. Their X-Factor however is their depth on the front end, players such as Dylan Pergentile, Matthew Hlcar, Nathan Kelly, and Grayson Gare are frustrating two-way players that should help them through this what I expect to be a competitive series.