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Feature Post

2016.04.12, Tuesday

OHA Sutherland Cup Semi-Finals

We are finally to the Sutherland Cup play-offs.  We have the Golden Horseshoe Champion Caledonia Corvairs against the Wildcard Waterloo Siskins and the Midwest Cherrey Cup Champion Stratford Cullitons against the Western Bill Weir Champion London Nationals.


My predictions have taken a bit of a hit this year, thanks to Waterloo and London, but entering the Sutherland Cup I am 10 for 14.


(1) Caledonia Corvairs vs. (4) Waterloo Siskins


Caledonia has been the powerhouse this year.  They’ve also had a swirl of controversy around them due to having 17 20 year old players on their roster this season, 19 if you include affiliate players.  Due to this, the league has voted in a new rule for next season that each team will have 9 cards for 20 year old players.  If they were on a CHL card at the age of 19 as of January 11, they will take 2 of those cards, unless they previously played in the GOJHL.  I’ve also been told that you cannot AP a 20 year old, unless it’s a goalie in an emergency situation only.


Regardless of all that, Caledonia has earned their right to the Sutherland Cup play-offs.  Let’s take a look at their road to get here.


In the regular season, the Corvairs went 43-4-1-2 for 89 points and 1st in the Golden Horseshoe Conference.  The 4 losses were to St. Catharines (2), Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, the tie was to Ancaster and the OTLs were to Ancaster and Niagara Falls.


In the play-offs, they are a perfect 12-0 having swept Pelham, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines.  In their 12 games, they scored 99 goals and only allowed 19.


Leading the Corvairs is Corey Pawley with 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points.  Behind him is Mitch Fitzmorris at 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points and Matthew Hore with 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points.


In goal, Mark Sinclair has played 11 games while Liam Conway and Stephen Tierney split 1 game against Pelham.


38 Sinclair, Mark 11 670:17 11 0 2 19 1.70 221 .921
1 Conway, Liam 1 29:54 1 0 0 0 .00 8 1.000
35 Tierney, Stephen (APJ) 1 30:06 0 0 0 0 .00 2 1.000
TOTALS: 12 12 0 3 19 1.58 231 .924



I’ve pointed it out in the last 2 previews, Waterloo has had a magical play-off run this year, and absolutely nobody, including myself, saw them making it this far.  I got a message from a Siskins Assistant Coach saying that his team needs a little confidence going into this Sutherland Cup Semi-Final.  Personally, they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and should not be hanging their heads today.  All the pressure is on Caledonia to win it all, there is absolutely no pressure on the Siskins and they need to just go out there and play their game and have a little fun while doing it.


Waterloo ended the regular season with a 20-27-0-3 record and 43 points for 6th place in the Midwest Conference.  They struggled in the first half of the season and went into the Christmas break with a 8-22-0-1 record and 17 points.  I don’t know what happened over Christmas, if they bought into head coach Todd Hoffman’s systems and they gelled, but they finally came together and came out in the second half with a new attitude.  They stunned everyone with a 7-3 record in the month of January.


In the play-offs, they took on 3rd place Listowel, sweeping the Cyclones.  In the second round, they took on Kitchener, who had the best record in the entire GOJHL after the regular season, and took the Dutchmen out in 5 games.  In the Cherrey Cup finals, they played rival Stratford, losing in 5 games.  Due to their play-off winning percentage, they are the Wildcard with a record of 9-5 and 0.643.  In their 14 games, the Siskins scored 44 goals and allowed 51.


In the play-offs, the Siskins are led by Conner Jean with 12 goals and 9 assists for 21 points.  Rookie Nate Schnarr, who is my favourite, missed 3 games in the Kitchener series, but has 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points.


In goal, Mitchell Datz got the nod in 13 of 14 games.  He ended up getting pulled in Games 2, 3 and 4 against Straford which earned Bailey DeGasperis the start in the last game.


30 Datz, Mitchell 14 739:54 9 4 0 40 3.24 404 .910
1 DeGasperis, Bailey 4 109:41 0 1 0 11 6.02 64 .853



Here is their schedule


Date Visitor Home Score Arena
Wed. Apr. 13 Waterloo Caledonia 2-5 Haldimand Centre
Sat. Apr. 16 Waterloo Caledonia 5-6 Haldimand Centre
Sun. Apr. 17 Caledonia Waterloo 5-1 Waterloo Rec Centre
Tues. Apr. 19 Caledonia Waterloo 5-2 Waterloo Rec Centre


Caledonia wins the series 4-0


Predication: As I mentioned, I got a message from a Siskins coach telling me that his team needs some confidence going into this round.  Caledonia has been a powerhouse, and have swept through the Golden Horseshoe play-offs.  I’d like to give Waterloo 1 game, but there’s no way they’re going to string together 4 wins over Caledonia, when no one else has been able to do that.  Use that as your motivation to keep going.  Caledonia in 5.



(2) Stratford Cullitons vs. (3) London Nationals


This is Stratford’s 1st Cherrey Cup Championship since 2003-2004.  That’s also the last time they won the Sutherland Cup.  They’ve spent the last 5 seasons in search of the Cherrey Cup and have finally been able to capture it.


In the regular season, the Cullitons finished in 2nd with 73 points and a 33-10-4-3 record.  They were 17 points behind Kitchener.


In the play-offs, the Cullitons took out Brampton, in a sweep, Elmira, in 6 games, and Waterloo in the finals in 5 games.  In 15 games, Stratford scored 94 goals and allowed 35.


The linemates of Zander Pryor, Zach Van Louwe and Jack Scanlan are leading the Cullitons.  The 3 of them have 10 goals each with Pryor and Van Louwe with 16 assists and Scanlan with 15.  On their heels is Hayden Broomhead with 14 goals and 9 assists.


Alex Brooks-Potts earned the start in all 15 Stratford games.  Here are his stats heading into the Sutherland Cup.


1 Brooks-Potts, Alexander 15 906:39 12 3 3 35 2.32 432 .925



London are the Bill Weir Cup Champions for the 3rd time in 5 years.  This is the first time they will participate in the new Sutherland Cup format.  At the start of the season, everyone expected Leamington to 3-peat, but the Nationals completed the upset.


In the regular season, London finished in 2nd place with 67 points.  They were actually tied with LaSalle, but the Nats won out due to the goal differential tie breaker.  London’s record in the regular season was 31-14-4-1.


In the play-offs, London had Strathroy in the first round, taking them out in 5 games.  In the semi-finals, they faced LaSalle, and took them out in 6 games.  The finals was against Leamington and they defeated them in 6 games.  London has scored 58 goals and allowed 47.


The Nationals are led by Brenden Trottier and John Adams.  They both have 16 points, Trottier has 6 goals and 10 assists while Adams has 3 goals and 13 assists.  Kyle Robinson is right behind them with 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points.


In net, Connor Hughes has gotten the nod 14 of 17 games, and Zack Weir got 3 games against Strathroy in the first round.


1 Hughes, Connor 14 866:42 10 4 0 33 2.28 421 .927
30 Weir, Zack 3 184:46 2 1 0 11 3.57 84 .884


Here is their schedule


Date Visitor Home Score Arena
Sat. Apr. 16 London Stratford 1-3 Allman Arena
Sun. Apr. 17 Stratford London 4-5 DOT Western Fair
Tues. Apr. 19 London Stratford 3-7 Allman Arena
Wed. Apr. 20 Stratford London 4-7 Western Fair
Fri. Apr. 22 London Stratford 3-2 Allman Arena
Sat. Apr. 23 Stratford London 2-6 Western Fair


London wins the series 4-2


Of these 2 matchups, Stratford and London have played each other this season.  They met at the Showcase in each other’s first game.  London won the game 4-3.


Prediction: London is representing the Western Conference and being RG, they should have my support, but I have never been a London fan.  I go through periods where I prefer them over another team, but at the end of the day, I’ve just never been a Nats fan.  Stratford on the other hand is my Midwest team.  I’ve gotten on board with the Cullitons and I have respect for their organization.  Now when it comes to this series, this is Stratford’s first time since 2004.  London hasn’t played in this format either, but they have Scott Dorion, who played for Caledonia in the 2013-2014 season, their first Sutherland Cup win.  He knows what it takes to win the ultimate prize.  It was pointed out on the forum the difference between the Allman Arena and Western Fair.  Stratford’s fans are very loud and can be very intimidating while London’s fans are the complete opposite.  The Western Fair is Olympic size ice, 200×100 while the Allman is only 190×85.  This series is going to be close and it’s going to be hard and it’s going to go the distance.  My gut is telling me London in 7.




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