GMHL Playoff Update
A look at the second-round matchupsFebruary 27th, 2019 at 9:46PM February 28th, 2019 3:51AM
After an unexpected and exciting game three in Bradford on Wednesday, the second-round matchups are set. The Bradford Bulls 4-2 loss at the hands of the Ville-Marie Pirates in the final game of round one locked the second round series into place. The first round was an exciting one, with five series going to an elimination game three, and plenty of overtime action. There were a couple of upsets too, with the South’s sixth place Whalers knocking out the third place Windsor Aces, and the North’s sixth place Lynx knocking out the Temiscaming Titans. Now lets take a look at the second-round matchups:
Bradford Rattlers (1) vs. West Nipissing Lynx (6)
The Rattlers and Lynx will meet for the second time in the playoffs. They met in the playoffs last season where the Rattlers swept the Lynx 2-0 in a three game series. The Rattlers swept the first round this year, beating Meaford two games to none, and the Lynx surprised the Titans, upsetting them two games to one. The Lynx regular season record, and overall history versus the Rattlers, is certainly a concern, with the Rattlers winning every game against the Lynx. The Rattlers certainly pose a challenge to the Lynx, however, the Lynx showed that they are capable of causing an upset last series, so the Rattlers can’t take them lightly. The starting date to this series will be announced shortly.
Ville-Marie Pirates (2) vs. New Tecumseth Civics (4)
Both the Pirates and the Civics went to three games in their previous series, which included an overtime game for both teams. While the Civics played a tough Spartans squad, the Pirates going to three games against the seventh place Bradford Bulls came as a surprise to many across the league. The Pirates have been one of the most dominant teams in the league this year, enjoying a fourteen game win streak at the beginning of the season, however, that was snapped by the New Tecumseth Civics. The Civics have been one of the teams that has been a pain to play against, and have been one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season, showing they can beat any team in the league on any given night. With a season record of 2-2 against each other, this should be an exciting series to watch. The starting date to this series will be announced shortly.
St. George Ravens (1) vs. Niagara Whalers (6)
This will be the fourth time in six years that the St. George Ravens and the Niagara Whalers will be squaring up in the playoffs. The past two years they met in the Division Finals as powerhouses in the South, each winning once and advancing into the Russell Cup Finals. The Whalers haven’t been as strong as they were in recent years, however, they just recently upset the Windsor Aces, and maybe igniting this old rivalry will put a spark under them, and they’ll make a push against this Ravens team. With that being said, the Ravens have now won thirty-two straight games, and don’t look like they’ll be stopping anytime soon. If they can keep rolling the way they have, it’ll be a tough series for the Whalers. Either way, it’s nice to see this rivalry continue into the playoffs again. This series will begin Friday, March 1, 2019 at 8:00 PM in Niagara.
Tillsonburg Hurricanes (2) vs. Kingsville Kings (4)
Last round, one of these teams swept the series, and one of these teams went to game three. Surprisingly, it was the Hurricanes that ended up going to a game three, and the Kings were the ones to sweep their series. However, when you take a look at the Hurricanes first round opponent, the North York Renegades with one of the best defences in the South, it comes as maybe less of a surprise. Looking on to this series, the Hurricanes have done extremely well against the Kings, sweeping the regular season series, and outscoring the Kings 33 to 16 in four games played. Will the Hurricanes continue their regular season dominance over the Kings in this series? Or will the Kings continue to play hot in the playoffs? We’re looking forward to seeing the answers to those questions. This series will begin Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 7:30 PM in Tillsonburg.