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SERIES PREVIEW: Ottawa 67’s (1) vs Sudbury Wolves (7)

BY: Kathryn Jean

Radio: Team 1200 (Ottawa), 95.5 KFM (Sudbury).
TV: Rogers 22 (Ottawa)

The last time these two teams met, the Ottawa 67’s easily cruised past the Sudbury Wolves to a 7-3 victory.  Tyler Toffoli was the player of the game as he put on a 5-point performance including 4 straight Ottawa goals and adding an assist on another.  The Ottawa 67’s were only playing with 15 forwards and for the second straight game, lost a player for the game in the early moments of the first period.  Veteran leader Travis Gibbons caught a slapshot to the face and as broke his ankle as he fell to the ice.  Gibbons had surgery early this week and a timeline is not determined.

Perhaps the 67’s won too easily.  Don’t be surprised to see a much closer series than the regular season series has indicated.  The first time these two teams met was back in September in the second game of the season.  Ottawa skated to a 4-2 win, but the teams both had a much different make up.  In the second and final regular season meeting, the playoff round matchups were already determined.  One can argue that the teams were taking it easy – though the players and staff would disagree.

The Wolves are one of the more improved teams in the league since the second half of the season.  In the first half of the season they were only able to mustard up 8 wins in 25 games, however since after Christmas break, the Wolves have been over .500 with help from veteran leaders Marcus Foligno and Eric O’Dell.

The 67’s boast one of the best top lines in the entire OHL (Prince, Toffoli & Martindale) combining for 116 goals and 279 points.  That being said, Shane Prince has been sidelined with a head injury and is hopeful to return for game 2.  The 67’s have missed 3 of their top 5 scorers for the last couple of games including Prince, Thomas Nesbitt (knee) and Cody Lindsay (jaw).  The 67’s will welcome back both Nesbitt and Lindsay to the lineup this afternoon.  Also expected to return is Steven Janes who scored two goals vs the Wolves in the 4-2 win back in September.

Some would tell you that Petr Mrazek has been the MVP for the Ottawa 67’s over the last season.  He leads the league in the save percentage category with 0.920 making timely saves in the clutch moments of the game.  After being sidelined for several games with a groin injury, the 67’s called upon Shayne Campbell to fill in his duties.  Campbell played on his head while facing some of the top teams in the league.

The Wolves are led by Captain Marcus Foligno who appeared in the World Juniors tournament earlier in the season and is drafted by the Buffalo Sabres.  The undrafted Michael Sgarbossa has emerged this season after being traded from the Saginaw Spirit.  Since the trade he has 62 points in 37 games including a plus/minus rating of +16 on a bottom feeder team.  Another Wolves player having a career year is defenceman, Josh McFadden who has 72 points in 67 games.  Out of those 72 points, 44 of them come on the powerplay.

The Sudbury Wolves have the top powerplay in the OHL with Michael Sgarbossa leading the way netting 15 on the season.  Meanwhile, the 67’s will try to counter that as being the least disciplined team and having the top 4 penalty kill in the OHL.

Sudbury 3 @ Ottawa 7 (Mar 20 2011) Final
Ottawa 4 @ Sudbury 2 (Sep 25 2010) Final

Ottawa 67’s

44-19-3-2, 93 points
2nd Eastern Conference
HOME:  24-5-3-1

Leading scorers
Tyler Toffoli – 57 goals, 108 points
Shane Prince – 25 goals, 88 points
Ryan Martindale – 34 goals, 83 points

Top Performers vs Wolves
Tyler Toffoli – 5 goals, 7 points in 2 games
Sean Monahan – 1 goal, 3 points in 2 games
Ryan Martindale – 0 goals, 3 points in 2 games

NHL Picks
Tyler Toffoli (Los Angeles Kings round 2, #47 overall, 2010 NHL Entry Draft)
Ryan Martindale (Edmonton Oilers round 3, #61 overall, 2010 NHL Entry Draft)
Dalton Smith (Columbus Blue Jackets round 2, #34 overall, 2010 NHL Entry Draft)
Petr Mrazek (Detroit Red Wings round 5, #141 overall, 2010 NHL Entry Draft)
Eligible 2011:  Shane Prince (35th in CS’ North American Skaters midterm ranking)

Lineup changes
Thomas Nesbitt, knee, week-to-week   **expected to return to line-up this afternoon
Cody Lindsay, jaw, day-to-day    **expected to return to line-up this afternoon
Julian Luciani, upper body, day-to-day   **expected to return to line-up this afternoon
Steven Janes, shoulder, day-to- day   **expected to return to line-up this afternoon
Shane Prince, concussion & whiplash, day-to-day
Tyler Graovac, fractured arm, indefinite
Travis Gibbons, lower body, indefinite
Jon Carnevale, concussion, IR
Cosimo Fontana, concussion, IR

Sudbury Wolves

29-35-2-2, 62 points
7th Eastern Conference
AWAY:  13-19-1-1

Leading scorers
Michael Sgarbossa – 36 goals, 82 points
Josh McFadden – 19 goals, 72 points
Marcus Foligno – 23 goals, 59 points

Top performers vs 67’s
Josh McFadden – 2 goals, 3 points in 1 game
Michael Sgarbossa – 1 goal, 2 points in 1 game
Marcus Foligno – 0 goals, 2 points in 1 game

NHL Draft Picks
Marcus Foligno  (Buffalo Sabres round 4, #104 overall, 2009 NHL Entry Draft)
Eric O’Dell (Anaheim Ducks round 2, #39 overall, 2008 NHL Entry Draft)
Ben Chiarot (Atlanta Thrashers round 4, #120 overall, 2009 NHL Entry Draft)

Lineup changes

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