Bulldogs-Spitfires OHL Championship a ‘unique situation’

The puck drops on the Ontario Hockey League Championship Friday night as the Hamilton Bulldogs host the Windsor Spitfires in a battle of the top two teams in the province.

The OHL final offers a unique twist this season as the Bulldogs (52-12-0-5) and Spitfires (44-17-0-7) not only finished in first place in the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, they haven’t played each other since the preseason.

With the COVID-19 pandemic front and centre, league officials constructed this season’s OHL schedule by having teams square off against their conference opponents only.

“It’s a unique situation when you meet a team that you haven’t seen since, I think, our first exhibition game,” said Hamilton head coach Jay McKee.

Read more: Hamilton Bulldogs take perfect playoff run into OHL Final

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As for providing a scouting report on the Spitfires, McKee didn’t reveal too much about what he thought about the Western Conference champions. “We’ve got a good amount of video and they are a great hockey team.”

Windsor head coach Marc Savard admitted that despite the Bulldogs much publicized exploits, especially since the turn of the calendar, he doesn’t know much about Hamilton’s club.

“We obviously don’t know a lot about Hamilton,” said Savard, admitting that the only person he knows in the organization is McKee, who he called “a good lad.”

The rookie head coach said the Bulldogs also have “nice jerseys… they have the Bruins colours.”

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Savard spent his last five of his 13 seasons in the NHL with the Boston Bruins from 2006-2011, while McKee played 14 years in the NHL from 1995 to 2010 primarily with the Buffalo Sabres.

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Savard acknowledges that his team is the underdog in this best-of-seven series.

“They are on quite a run and we’re going to have to be at our best to have an opportunity.”

Hamilton has won all 12 of their games this post-season after sweeping Peterborough, Mississauga and North Bay in rounds 1-3.

Read more: Hamilton Bulldog takes home top honours

The Bulldogs’ stats don’t end there, having won 22 consecutive games going back to the regular season and sporting a record of 52 wins and only four losses, including playoffs, in 2022.

By comparison, Windsor won 30 of its 41 regular season games in 2022 and is 12-and-6 in the playoffs, adding up to a 42-17 record since the new year.

OHL Championship Schedule

Game 1, Fri., June 3 at Hamilton, 7:00pm
Game 2 , Sun., June 5 at Hamilton, 2:00pm
Game 3, Mon., June 6 at Windsor, 7:00pm
Game 4, Fri., June 10 at Windsor, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sun., June 12 at Hamilton, 2:00pm*
Game 6, Mon., June 13 at Windsor, 7:00pm*
Game 7, Wed., June 15 at Hamilton, 7:00pm*
*if necessary

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