The end of February is crunch time in the OHL. With the playoffs on the horizon – just over three weeks away – the margin for error is reduced as teams near the completion of their 68-game campaign and looking to extend their season well into the month of May. While the 67’s didn’t end the first half of the season with a record they wanted, the young hockey club has turned a page in 2018 boasting an impressive record of 13-4-4-1 – winning 8 of the last 11 games to re-insert themselves in a battle for home ice in the first round.
The magic number for Ottawa is seven. Seven points needed to punch their ticket to the playoffs for a fourth straight season. These seven points can be accumulated by Ottawa claiming points or Peterborough dropping points. And while that magic number focuses on clinching a spot in the top-eight, the Barber Poles have pushed themselves to within three points of the Niagara IceDogs for fourth in the Eastern Conference standings in the battle for home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
When the 67’s began the 2017/18 season, from GM James Boyd to Head Coach Andre Tourigny to the players, the buzz word around the team was resilient. That core value has served as the driving force behind the hockey club’s play in 2018 – erasing deficit after deficit and going toe-to-toe with some of the top-ranked teams in the nation proving that the Barber Poles are playoff ready.
Ottawa will conclude their five-game road trip Thursday/Friday with a grueling 1300km trip from Ottawa to North Bay (Thursday) to Hamilton (Friday) before returning to the friendly confines of The Arena at TD Place on March 4 when they face the London Knights for the second time in a week, you can get your tickets here.
The 67’s will have Kevin Bahl back in the line-up Friday in Hamilton with his suspension reaching its conclusion and the red-hot trio of Sasha Chmelevski, Tye Felhaber and Mitchell Hoelscher who have combined for 44 points in the last 11 games and goaltender Olivier Tremblay has a record of 8-2-0 in the last 11 games turning aside over 300 shots helping backstop the 67’s to one of the best records in the OHL during that time.
Tickets for the 2018 OHL playoffs are currently on-sale at Ottawa67s.com starting at $12.