Well fans, we are down to the final weekend of regular season play. There are 16 games this weekend.
Each of the matchups this weekend is the team’s final games against their opponents.
Friday, February 26
Elmira vs. Brampton, 7:30 Victoria Park
Brampton leads the season series 3-2.
Last weekend, Elmira went to overtime in both games. On Friday night, they tied Stratford 2-2 and on Sunday they took a 4-3 DOT win over Waterloo. Elmira is finishing the season in 5th place. They are 9 points behind Guelph and 12 points ahead of Waterloo.
Brampton had tough competition last weekend. They lost 7-3 to Listowel Friday night and 6-1 to Stratford on Sunday. Brampton is finishing the season in 7th place. They are 6 points behind Waterloo and 4 points ahead of Brantford.
Cambridge vs. Listowel, 7:30 Listowel Memorial
Listowel has won the season series. They have taken all 5 previous meetings.
These teams just met last Saturday. Listowel won the game 6-1. With the loss, Cambridge was officially knocked out of the play-off picture. They are in 9th place, 5 points behind Brantford.
Listowel was in Brantford last night, taking a 5-2 win. With the win, the Cyclones officially locked up 3rd place and will face Waterloo in the first round. This is their last game and they have a record of 32-17 and 64 points.
Cambridge has officially been eliminated from the play-offs. Their last game was against Listowel on Saturday, losing 6-1.
Guelph vs. Stratford, 7:30 Allman Arena
Stratford has won the season series 3-1-1.
Last weekend, Guelph hosted Waterloo, defeating the Siskins 5-1. They are in 4th place, 4 points behind Listowel. With Listowel’s win Thursday night, Guelph will finish in 4th place and will face Elmira in the first round.
Stratford picked up 3 of 4 points last weekend. They tied 3-3 with Elmira and defeated Brampton 6-1. The Cullitons are in 2nd place. They are 17 points behind Kitchener and have an 8 point lead over Listowel.
LaSalle vs. St. Thomas, 7:30 Timken Centre
The Vipers have won the series 3-1-1.
LaSalle hosted Strathroy Wednesday night, downing the Rockets 7-3. The Vipers are entering the weekend with a 29-14-3-2 record and 63 points. They are still 4 points behind London for 2nd place.
St. Thomas was in Lambton Shores Tuesday night, dumping the Preds 7-2. On Thursday, the Stars were in Leamington. They lost a heartbreaker as the Flyers scored with just 0.5 second left on the clock to take a 2-1 win. This is the Stars final game of the regular season. They are in 5th place with 58 points, just 4 behind Chatham. The best the Stars can do is 60 points, which the Maroons have 62 going into the weekend.
Leamington vs. St. Marys, 7:30 Pyramid Rec Centre
Leamington has won all 5 previous meetings.
The Flyers hosted St. Thomas last night. The teams were tied 1-1 and looking at overtime until Mark Manchurek scored with 0.5 seconds left for a 2-1 Leamington win.
St. Marys picked up 2 much needed points Tuesday night as they defeated Strathroy 6-4. This gives them a 4 point lead over Lambton Shores for the last play-off spot. On Wednesday, the Lincolns were in London, losing 4-1.
London vs. Lambton Shores, 8:00 Shores Rec Centre
London has won the season series 4-1.
This is the makeup game from February 13.
London hosted St. Marys on Wednesday, defeating the Lincolns 4-1. They are entering the weekend with a 31-12-4-1 record and 67 points.
Due to make up games, Lambton Shores has 3 games this weekend. Heading into the weekend, they are just 4 points behind St. Marys for the last play-off spot. They will need to win all 3 games, and hope that the Lincolns don’t pick up any points, in order to make the post-season. This past week, the Preds hosted St. Thomas on Tuesday and lost 7-2.
Saturday, February 27
Brantford vs. Cambridge, 7:00 Galt Arena Gardens
Brantford has won the series 4-1.
As I mentioned in the preview on Tuesday, Brantford has made the play-offs. They lead Cambridge by 5 points. Brantford hosted Listowel last night , losing 5-2. They are entering their final 2 games with a 12-31-3-2 record.
This is Cambridge’s last game of the season. As I’ve mentioned a couple times now, they’re the odd team out this year. I read a couple weeks ago that this is the first time they’ve missed the post-season since the 1992-93 season.
Kitchener vs. Guelph, 7:30 Sleeman Centre
Kitchener has won the series 4-1.
This is Kitchener’s last game of the regular season. They are heading into this game with a 44-4-0-1 record and 89 points.
This is also Guelph’s last game of the regular season. The Hurricanes entered this weekend with a 26-14-1-7 record and 60 points.
Brampton vs. Waterloo, 7:30 Waterloo Memorial
Waterloo leads the series 3-2.
This is Brampton’s last game of the regular season. The Bombers are in 7th place and entered the weekend with a record of 14-29-2-3 and 33 points.
Waterloo had 2 games last weekend and picked up 1 point. They lost Saturday night to Guelph 5-1 and then to Elmira Sunday 4-3 in double overtime. The Siskins are in 6th place with 39 points.
Sarnia vs. Lambton Shores, 7:30 Shores Rec Centre
Sarnia has won the season series 4-1.
This is Sarnia’s last game. Last night they hosted Chatham, losing 6-3 in a potential first round matchup. This is Sarnia’s final game. They have a record of 22-22-2-3 and 49 points
This will be the Predators second game this weekend.
Chatham vs. Strathroy, 7:30 West Middlesex Memorial
Chatham won all 5 games so far.
Chatham was in Sarnia last night, taking a 6-3 win. They are heading into the weekend in 4th place, just 1 point behind LaSalle. They have a record of 30-16-1-1 and 62 points. They are 4 points ahead of St. Thomas, but the Stars only have 1 game left, which is the night before this game, and can’t catch the Maroons.
Strathroy has had a rough week, dropping both games. They lost on Tuesday 6-4 to St. Marys, and then 7-3 on Wednesday in LaSalle. They are in 7th place with 35 points.
Strathroy is encouraging their fans to wear purple for this game. Purple is the colour of the Ontario Rett Syndrome Association and it’s in conjunction with a special guest that will be at the game.
Sunday, February 28
Brantford vs. Waterloo, 1:30 Waterloo Memorial
Waterloo leads the series 3-2.
This game most likely will have no effect on the standings. There is potential that Brantford could tie Brampton, but I don’t think that will happen.
Brampton can’t catch Waterloo, so the Siskins are safe in 6th place.
London vs. LaSalle, 2:30 Vollmer Rec Centre
London leads the series 3-2.
Depending what the standings look like on Sunday, this game could have huge implications. These teams are fighting for 2 and 3 in the standings and this game could determine who plays Strathroy and who gets Sarnia. There’s also potential that LaSalle could drop into 4th behind Chatham.
Stratford vs. Elmira, 7:00 Dan Snyder Arena
Stratford has won the series 4-0-1.
This game as no effect on the standings, both teams have their play-off spots secured. Stratford is finishing in 2 and Elmira in 5.
St. Marys vs. Chatham, 7:00 Chatham Memorial
Chatham has won the series 4-1.
Every team wants every point that’s available, but this game could be huge for both teams. St. Marys is entering the weekend just 4 points ahead of Lambton Shores. The Preds have 2 previous games in the weekend, and also play on Sunday.
Chatham is in the hunt for 3rd with LaSalle, who’s in the hunt for 2nd with London.
Strathroy vs. Lambton Shores, 7:30 Shores Rec Centre
Strathroy has won the series with 4 wins and 1 tie.
Depending what they’ve done in their previous 2 games, the Predators could be tied with St. Marys heading into this game. I’m not 100% on the tie breakers, but I think that if the teams are tied, St. Marys is in.
So that’s your games this final weekend! Friday night, I like Guelph and Stratford as well as LaSalle and St. Thomas. For Saturday, Kitchener and Guelph has some potential. I will be in Strathroy because it is a special night that I don’t want to miss. For Sunday, I think London and LaSalle could end up being the game of the weekend. I’m probably taking Sunday off because I still have to write my Western Conference play-off preview for Tuesday, and Monday will be the final set of rankings for this season.
I hope everyone has a great hockey weekend. It’s going to be a fight to the finish and it’s going to be exciting to see how the final standings end up.
Photo Credit: SarniaSports.com