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‘Battle of the East’ looms for the 67’s this weekend

The 67’s host two Eastern Conference opponents this weekend with four huge points up for grabs in a tight playoff race.

The two teams they will face are at the opposite ends of the spectrum in the standings. Up first for the 67’s are the East-leading Hamilton Bulldogs, followed by the Peterborough Petes, whom Ottawa leapfrogged in the standings with a win Wednesday night.

The Barber Poles put on a strong showing during that rare mid-week tilt with a decisive 6-2 win over the Mississauga Steelheads at The Arena at TD Place. With two more home games on tap for the weekend as part of Ottawa’s current extend home stand, the 67’s will be hoping to ride the momentum and make another move up the standings with Oshawa just four points up in fifth place as of Thursday.

THE OPPOSITION

Hamilton Bulldogs (27-10-3-3)

The Bulldogs are the top team in the East and have won 11 out of their last 15 games. They have scored 158 goals so far – only four other OHL teams have hit the back of the net more times this season. The 67’s have been in tough against Hamilton this year, the Bulldogs having won all five of their previous five encounters. The 67’s will have to be wary of Bulldogs centre Brandon Saigeon who has scored 13 goals on the powerplay to lead the OHL in that category. Another hurdle for the 67’s will be Bulldogs’ goaltender Kaden Fulcher, who is fifth in the OHL with a GAA of 2.74. He has had three shutouts this season.

Peterborough Petes (18-21-2-2)

The Petes had registered two consecutive wins, including one over the 67’s, before a shootout loss against the North Bay Battalion in their last game. They are currently holding down the final playoff spot in the East, nipping at the heels of the 67’s. The Petes managed to pull off a 6-2 win over the 67’s the last time these two teams met, though the two opponents have exchanged wins in their last four games. The 67’s will have to watch out for Petes’ right winger Nikita Korostelev who scored twice against the 67’s in the last encounter and has six points in the previous five games.

GAME NOTES

  • Travis Barron scored a hat trick against the Steelheads including his 50th career OHL goal.
  • Merrick Rippon, acquired recently from Mississauga, has scored five points in the six games he has played for the 67’s.
  • Sasha Chmelevski, who has six points in the last three games, recorded his 100th career OHL point – an assist on Travis Barron’s third goal on Wednesday night.
  • Tye Felhaber needs four points to equal his previous OHL career high of 38 points set with Saginaw in 2015-2016.
  • Kody Clark leads the 67’s with four game-winning goals this season.

HOW TO TUNE IN

Saturday, January 20 vs Hamilton Bulldogs – 2:00PM

TV: Rogers TV | Online: OHL Live

Radio: TSN 1200 | TSN1200.ca

Sunday, January 21 vs Peterborough Petes – 2:00PM

TV: Rogers TV | Online: OHL Live

Radio: 580 CFRA | CFRA.com

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