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Weekend Recap: West much tighter than the East

With 17-games completed in the first round of the 2011 OHL playoffs, it seems that the Western Conference has a much tighter race than the Eastern Conference.

Three of the four Western series are tied at one game a piece as follows:
Owen Sound Attack, 1 - London Knights, 1
Saginaw Spirit, 1 - Guelph Storm, 1
Windsor Spitfires, 1 - Erie Otters, 1

The only uneven series in the West is the Kitchener/Plymouth battle, as the Whalers have a 2-0 series lead with home and road victories against the Rangers. Many thought Kitchener would be the favourites in this match-up, but if I recall correctly, our own Brandon Sudeyko had Plymouth winning the series; looks like his prediction is solid thus far, but it ain't over until it's over.

The Eastern Conference, on the other hand, seems to be much more lopsided. Three of the four match-ups have the favoured powerhouse teams with a concise series lead. The only upset so far is the Sudbury Wolves' 1-0 series lead over the Ottawa 67's. The game between the two teams was as close as it gets as the Wolves took an 8-7 win over the 67's in the high-scoring thriller. Sudbury currently leads our In the O Poll (scroll down, right side) as the underdog team who will be the biggest surprise in the post-season, and I also had thought the Wolves would be a dangerous team to face in the playoffs.

The rest of the battles go along with what many predicted prior to the start of the playoffs:
Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, 3 - Belleville Bulls, 0
Niagara IceDogs, 2 - Brampton Battalion, 0
Oshawa Generals, 3 - Kingston Frontenacs, 0 

The only question now is will the teams with a 3-0 series lead complete the sweep.

The remaining games this week are as follows (not including the if necessary games):

Eastern Conference:
Game 2 - Mon Mar 28 7:30 PM Ottawa at Sudbury
Game 3 - Tue Mar 29 7:00 PM Brampton at Niagara
Game 4 - Tue Mar 29 7:00 PM Oshawa at Kingston
Game 4 - Tue Mar 29 7:05 PM Mississauga at Belleville
Game 3 - Tue Mar 29 7:30 PM Ottawa at Sudbury
Game 4 - Thu Mar 31 7:00 PM Sudbury at Ottawa

Game 4 - Thu Mar 31 7:00 PM Niagara at Brampton

Western Conference: 
Game 3 - Mon Mar 28 7:00 PM Plymouth at Kitchener
Game 3 - Mon Mar 28 7:05 PM Erie at Windsor
Game 3 - Mon Mar 28 7:11 PM Guelph at Saginaw
Game 3 - Tue Mar 29 7:00 PM London at Owen Sound
Game 4 - Wed Mar 30 7:00 PM Windsor at Erie
Game 4 - Wed Mar 30 7:05 PM Kitchener at Plymouth
Game 4 - Thu Mar 31 7:00 PM Owen Sound at London

Game 4 - Thu Mar 31 7:00 PM Saginaw at Guelph
Game 5 - Sat Apr 2 7:11 PM Guelph at Saginaw

Game 5 - Sat Apr 2 7:30 PM London at Owen Sound
Game 5 - Fri Apr 1 7:05 PM Erie at Windsor

Look for the first round to last longer in the Western Conference, but many teams in the East still have a chance to bounce back. 
Click here for expanded playoff brackets.

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