GMHL Russell Cup: Third Round Preview
Thursday, 09 March 2017 17:04    PDF Print E-mail

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The Russell Cup Playoffs are now into the third round as the matchups for the Division Finals have been determined, we take this chance to preview the matchups and highlight some players and stats to watch out for as we head into round 3.

NORTH DIVISION

#1 New Tecumseth Civics vs. #2 Parry Sound Islanders 

Season Head to Head Record: Civics Lead 2-1-0

All Time Head to Head Record: Civics Lead 2-1-0

Each Teams Leading Playoff Scorers:

NTC F Aidan Parker (7 GP, 6G, 3A, 9 Points)

NTC F Cameron Cruickshank (7 GP, 5G, 4A, 9 Points)

PSI F Jan Vyoral (7GP, 4G, 7A, 11 Points)

PSI F Benjamin Linna (7GP, 4G, 4A, 8 Points)

Schedule:

March 9th in Tottenham (7PM)

March 10th in Seguin

March 11th in Tottenham

March 12th in Seguin

*TBA

*TBA

* TBA

*If Necessary

Matchup Preview: In what can only be describes as a sense of inevitability, the number 1 and number 2 seeds in each division will be facing off with a trip to the Russell Cup Finals on the line. The Parry Sound Islanders and New Tecumseth Civics will be going at it after facing near identical roads to this point, both teams swept their first round opponents. In the second round both teams needed four games to close out the series after each of them suffered a tough loss on the road. The 1st place Civics won the regular season matchup however the Islanders handed the Civics their first loss this season as well. The Leading scorer in this series coming in is Jan Vyoral who has 11 points in the playoffs while his teammate Benjamin Linna has also been producing consistently they will be matched up against a balanced Civics attack with 5 players having a point per game numbers so far in the playoffs including Game 4 Hero Aidan Parker, and Captain Dalton Anderson. On the back end the teams will be looking to their top blueliner to show up and shut down for the islanders this has proven to be Dominik Tuma while young defenseman and deadline addition Mackenzie O'Mahoney has proven to be an elite rearguard. The focus of this battle however will be in the pipes as Parry Sound will likely be looking for Tanner Fausnaugh, who has not lost a game in the playoffs yet and owns a .949 SVS% and a 1.67 GAA, to lead them against the Civics and current North Division Goalie of the year TJ Sherwood. This series is sure to have action from end to end the entire series and kicks off in Tottenham on March 9th at 7pm.


SOUTH DIVISION

#1 Niagara Whalers vs. #2 St. George Ravens 

Season Head to Head Record: Whalers Lead 4-2-0

All Time Head to Head Record: Whalers Lead 4-2-0

Each Teams Leading Playoff Scorers:

NIA F Manny Manns (6 GP, 6G, 16A, 22 Points)

NIA F Matt Hore (6 GP, 10G, 12A, 22 Points)

SGR F Scott Dorion (6 GP, 3G, 10A, 13 Points)

SGR F Miller Hatten (6 GP, 6G, 6A, 12 Points)

Schedule: 

March 9th in St. George (8PM)

March 10th in Port Colborne (7:30PM)

March 12th in Port Colborne (7PM)

March 14th in St. George (7:30PM)

*March 15th in Niagara (7:30PM)

*March 17th in St. George (7:30PM)

*March 19th in Niagara (7:30PM)

*If Necessary


Matchup Preview: Much the same as the North the South Division Final also features the top two seeded teams in the division, also like the North the top team owns the regular season advantage as the Whalers have won 4 of the 6 matchups with the Ravens, and finally exactly like the North both of these teams have advanced to the division final in the same amount of game, 6. 6 games 6 wins for both the Niagara Whalers and the St George Ravens as they have each swept their way through the first two rounds of the Russell Cup Finals. At least one of these teams will be taking their first loss of the playoffs during a series that has been on collision course since the all star break and even though the most recent meeting was a 11-3 win for the Whalers, the Ravens were the only team to beat them twice this season. These two teams lead the remaining playoff teams in goals for and you know that both teams will be looking to fire the puck. Niagara features the top 7 scorers remaining in the playoffs led by Manny Manns and Matt Hore with 22 points each in only 6 playoff games, while St. George will be leaning towards their leadership group of Scott Dorion and Miller Hatten, who lead the team in points, to provide opportunities against Niagara. Defensively the Ravens will be relying on Greg Christmas and Corey Flemington to shut down the Whalers elite weapons as they have proven they can do this season. The Whalers on the other hand have a back end led by Matt's twin brother and stud Defenceman Tyler Hore, a four year OHL vet, who has been a legitimate franchise defenseman dominating at both ends of the ice. This series like most will likely come down to a battle of the netminders St. George offers perhaps the most dynamic duo in the league this season with Southern Division Goalie of the year Ryan Purcell and his partner Tyler Lewis splitting time in net this postseason leading them to where they are now. At the other end of the ice will be Whalers deadline signee Joel Horodziejczyk has been playing like a man possessed, winning all 6 games for the whalers only allowing 6 total goals in the process and orchestrating 3 shutouts. This is the series that everyone in the south has been waiting for and it kicks off in St. George on Thursday March 9th at 8PM.