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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Semifinals & The Search


By Fred Wallace


Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".

The Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Semifinal series between the Owen Sound Attack & the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds commences tonight at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste Marie.

The Greyhounds are the favorite heading into the series coming off a franchise record 116 point regular season and a somewhat lopsided 4 game sweep of the Saginaw Spirit in the opening round.

The Attack are riding a 10 game win streak heading into the series, having won their last 6 regular season games, including a 6-5 shootout win over the Greyhounds, plus a 4 game sweep of London in the first round with all 4 victories being narrow 1 goal affairs.

The Greyhounds are the popular pick by most to win the OHL Championship this year and I understand that.

But, if Owen Sound should eliminate the Soo for a second straight post season, where would that propel the Attack in the minds of the predictors ?

The series with the Greyhounds isn't the only " game " the Attack are involved with.

In 2 days time the Ontario Hockey League priority selection will be staged with Owen Sound holding the 15th pick overall, plus Erie's pick early in the 2nd round.

It's cliche, but the Attack stance is that they'll take the best player available, that is, they have no say in what transpires with the 14 picks in front of them, so the best player at 15th will be their call.

What they're really hoping for ( again ) is for a better player than expected will be available at # 15; similar to the last 3 years when Markus Phillips at #9, Aidan Dudas at # 10 and Mitchell Russell at # 20, were all available somewhat to the surprise of the Attack who anticipated those players would be off the board.

I'm Fred Wallace


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