After sneaking by round 1 with an above .500 record (5-3), round 2 provided a more favorable result for me. I went 3-1 on the round, missing on Plymouth over Owen Sound (big time). That brings my overall record for the playoffs to 8-4.
So bring on the Conference Finals!
1. Mississauga Majors vs. 3. Niagara IceDogs
Season Series: Majors 7-1
My Analysis: OK, so Mississauga dominated the season series. This includes a 10-1 embarrassment at the end of February. But this is the post season and I think it's fair to say in this regard that you can throw the regular season series down the drain. Both teams are firing on all cylinders and haven't been seriously tested as of yet. While Mississauga has the advantage defensively, both for their system and their players, I truly believe Niagara's forwards are deeper and stronger, and that Mark Visentin has larger potential to steal games. So it comes down to this...can Niagara penetrate Mississauga's defense (something they had trouble doing in the regular season), and if not can Mark Visentin be the difference maker? I truly believe the Dogs can pull this one out, which jives with my original playoff prediction of their victory in the OHL finals. Either way, I just hope this one is a close series, as the East really hasn't provided us with one yet.
Prediction: Niagara in 7
1. Owen Sound Attack vs. 4. Windsor Spitfires
Season Series: Attack 3-1
My Analysis: This should prove to be one heck of a series. The Attack (much to my surprise) absolutely ran through the Plymouth Whalers, while the Spitfires had a slightly tougher time with Saginaw. Owen Sound has definitely benefited from the return of Scott Stajcer in net, as not only has he been playing well, but the team seems more confident in front of him. Meanwhile, Windsor is really rolling right now and are starting to get better goaltending from Jack Campbell, on top of their offense clicking very well. I feel like a lot of people (including myself) have underestimated this Attack team, not only in the regular season but also the playoffs. I think that these teams match up very well offensively, with two deep and balanced scoring attacks. But I do believe Owen Sound to be the superior defensive team. The key will be staying out of the box and limiting Windsor's (and Ryan Ellis') powerplay chances. Honestly flip a coin. My gut says Owen Sound, so that's what I'm going with.
Prediction: Owen Sound in 6
Would absolutely love to hear your predictions as comments!