With the OHL Cup set to kick off this evening, three Alliance teams will be given the chance to step up on the big stage and try to upset the tradition of GTHL dominating this tournament.
After the Kitchener Jr. Rangers lost in double overtime to the Don Mills Flyers, the three teams challenging for the title will be Alliance champion Waterloo Wolves, the London Jr. Knights and the Windsor Jr. Spitfires. All three teams are in tough with some very talented squads in each division. Luckily, no Alliance teams are in the same division so fans will be able to see some fresh matchups.
Toronto Red Wings
Windsor Jr. Spitfires
Kingston Jr. Frontenacs
The team from Windsor is in the only division at the OHL Cup to feature two wild card teams with both Mississauga and Kingston gaining entry with the extra win. Windsor is coming into this tournament playing their best hockey of the season and they showed some great heart in their final game of the Alliance season, coming from behind to take down Kitchener in their four point mini series.
The top seed in the Alliance this year, the London Jr. Knights, will do battle with the only team to score an upset based on the standings in the Windsor Jr. Spitfires.
In their first round series, London relied on an unstoppable offense to blast their way past Chatham-Kent while Windsor used their tight defense and some surprising offense to get by Elgin-Middlesex in four games. You could consider this series as London’s offensive power against Windsor’s defensive prowess and that is one reason I absolutely love this series.
When you look at the season series, it’s easy to look at the fact that London went 3-0 and think that this series would be no different. In those three games though, Windsor was never actually out of a game and were always just a goal away from changing the game. Their first meeting in November had Windsor battle back from being down 3-0 early to close the gap to 3-2 at the flood. Same results in December with the exact same score at the flood. The one thing you can look at is the fact that Windsor was never out shot by London, which you would expect to happen at least once with the multiple weapons the Jr. Knights have.
2014/15 Minor Midget Record – 5-23-5 (10th overall)
Final Result – Did not qualify for Minor Midget Playdowns
2014/15 Major Bantam Record – 19-7-6 (2nd overall)
Final Result – Lost in 6 to Waterloo in Finals
Following a disappointing season last year, the Windsor Jr. Spitfires are poised for a huge bounce back year and are legitimate contenders for the Alliance Championship.
After a five win season last year, the Minor Midget program was down in the lower tier of the Alliance. But there had to be a sneaking feeling of excitement just looking at what the Bantams were doing last season. The bantam Jr. Spitfires assembled one of the best records in the league and went six games in the finals before losing to the Waterloo Wolves. It shouldn’t come as a shock to expect more big things from the minor midget team this year because nearly every player from the bantam team last season has returned.