Just some quick thoughts, including Round 2 predictions. I went 6/8 in my actual predictions, missing out on Guelph/Kitchener (Had Guelph in 7) and Sudbury/Brampton (had Brampton in 6). Others I missed on the number of games it took to vanquish the opposition, but I did nail Owen Sound in six over Sault Ste Marie and Barrie to sweep Kingston.
As I am somewhat IceDog-centric, I will a post more comprehensive season in review at a later date, perhaps waiting until Saturday's draft to see how the IceDogs fill out their roster. Marty Williamson has already made a smart move, grabbing a couple of 3rd round picks for the upcoming draft in return for some futures down the road. Having four picks in the first 53 will add some depth that should come to fruition just in time for the new arena.
2ND ROUND WESTERN CONFERENCE
LONDON IN KITCHENER IN 6
Make no mistake about it, Kitchener was very impressive in round one in dispatching a very good Guelph team in five games, as John Gibson played very, very well in net. He could steal a game, or perhaps even a series. London looked equally good in their four game sweep over Saginaw. They survived a real scare in Game 2 when they won in double overtime and took care of business in Games 3, and 4. While the edge may go to the Rangers in net, I like London's depth and experience over all.
PLYMOUTH OVER OWEN SOUND IN 6
Gotta stick with my pick to win it all in what should be a raucous affair. Plymouth had little trouble with Sarnia, romping 11-2 in game one and essentially coasting from there while Owen Sound had a real battle on their hands with a talented Soo team. Owen Sound has that mix of talent and aggression, while Plymouth has great team defense and a wealth of offensive talent. This will be a great series and it would surprise to see it go 7. I still like Plymouth though.
2ND ROUND EASTERN CONFERENCE
BARRIE OVER OSHAWA IN 7
Almost wrote Oshawa down as talent wise they do match up well with Barrie. Oshawa had their hands full with a young IceDog team and it was no coincidence that the one game they lost was the one game they came unglued in terms of team discipline. They got a dominant performance from Scott Laughton in round one, and Boone Jenner came alive in Game 5 versus the IceDogs. The only real disappointment was Tyler Biggs who was held goalless versus the IceDogs. Barrie easily took out Kingston in four straight and are at the top of their offensive game, though they will miss Ryan O'Connor, their captain who received a 10 game suspension in a decision that left many scratching their head. Give it to Barrie over a long and grueling series.
BELLEVILLE OVER SUDBURY IN 5
The Bulls got a legitimate scare from Mississauga in their series, prevailing in 6 games. After a dominant 8-1 thrashing in Game 1, the Bulls might have taken the foot off the pedal before righting the ship in Games 5 and 6. Sudbury looked very good in beating Brampton and sending the moving vans off to North Bay, but they were aided by some divine PP help in Game 2 that led to Stan Butler getting tossed and suspended. In a year in which the Wolves traded away more established talent than they got back, they are doing awfully well for themselves. Belleville is a team built for this year and in the second round they will show it.