It will be a battle between two rivals that could be the most competitive matchup of the first round.
Sunday afternoon, a London win coupled with an Owen Sound loss, would’ve meant the Knights would finish 3rd in the Western Conference and face the Rangers in the 1st round. But neither game went their way as London lost 6-4 in the Soo, and the Attack took down the Storm 8-5.
So instead, the Green and Gold will head into the postseason as the 4th seed, and faceoff against a much tougher Windsor team.
In 6 games this season against the Memorial Cup hosts, the Knights are 3-2-1, with all 3 of their wins coming on home ice. This is compared to a 6-0 record they earned against Kitchener.
If postseason history is any indication of how this series will play out, London certainly has the advantage— going back to the 2012 playoffs, the Knights have won 8 straight postseason games against the Spitfires.
The last time Windsor came out on top was in an epic 2009 Western Conference finals. It was only 5 games (Windsor taking the series 4-1) but it was special because every game was decided in overtime. The Spits would go on to win their first ever Memorial Cup that year, then followed it up with another in 2010.
There are definitely a few players the Knights will have to keep their eye on if they hope to advance to the 2nd round. Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco leads the team in points, and centre’s Gabriel Vilardi and Aaron Luchuk add some more firepower up the middle.
But the biggest game-changer could be Spits goaltender Michael DiPetro. The top ranked netminder in this year’s NHL entry draft is in the top 5 of save percentage, goals against average, wins, and he leads the league with 6 shutouts.
Game one between these two will go Friday night from the Budweiser Gardens.
GAME ONE at London: Friday, March 24th (7:30)
GAME TWO at London: Sunday, March 26th (2:00)
GAME THREE at Windsor: Tuesday, March 28th (7:05)
GAME FOUR at Windsor: Thursday, March 30th (7:05)
GAME FIVE at London: Friday, March 31st (7:30)
GAME SIX at Windsor: Sunday, April 2nd (2:05)
GAME SEVEN at London: Tuesday, April 4th (7:00)