If the London Knights get their way in the OHL Western Conference Finals, a little payback will be in order.
The Knights and Erie Otters, the OHL’s two best teams, square off Wednesday night four wins away from reaching the OHL Finals.
For the Knights, it’s chance to turn the tables on the Otters. Erie bounced London from the playoffs last year in four games.
The two teams don’t have much playoff history, the last time they met in the playoffs aside from last year was in 2009, and the time before that was in 2004. London won both those previous series.
The season series between the two teams was evenly split, each team took three games in a regular season that went down to the wire.
Erie edged out London by virtue of a tiebreaker. Both teams finished the regular season with 105 points, the only teams in the league to crack the 100 point barrier.
Knights head coach Dale Hunter said he expects it to be a tight series.
“We know them very well, we had a mini playoff at the end of the season to see who could get first. We know them, we played them last year, both teams are built the same way. Very skilled teams and very hard working teams, so it should be a very interesting series.”
The Knights haven’t played in nearly a week since they swept the Kitchener Rangers out of the playoffs and will have plenty of time to rest after the series starts on Wednesday. Game two won’t be until Sunday in Erie.
Knights co-captain Mitch Marner said he thinks the two teams are evenly matched.
“It’s going to be a great series, there’s a lot of skill, a lot of talent. I think a lot of people underestimate both teams defensive ability, every line on Erie can play defence and I think the same goes for us. It’s going to be a hard fought offensive battle, both teams are very good defensively and both teams have very good goalies.”
The Knights haven’t made it this far in the playoffs since they won the OHL Championship in 2012-2013. While they made the Memorial Cup the next year as hosts, they were eliminated by Guelph in the second round.
Series at a glance:
Game One — London at Erie — Wednesday, April 20, 7:00pm
Game Two — London at Erie — Sunday, April 24, 7:00pm
Game Three — Erie at London — Tuesday, April 26, 7:00pm
Game Four — Erie at London — Wednesday, April 27, 7:00pm
Game Five — London at Erie — Friday, April 29, 7:00pm *if necessary
Game Six — Erie at London — Sunday, May 1, 2:00pm *if necessary
Game Seven — London at Erie — Monday, May 2, 7:00pm *if necessary