By Fred Wallace
Erie Heads To Memorial Cup
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "
The Erie Otters won the Ontario Hockey League Championship going into last weekend, defeating the Mississauga Steelheads 4-3 in overtime to take the series in 5 games.
For the Otters, the Championship is their second, ironically having won the 2002 Championship also in 5 games over Barrie, also winning the deciding game in overtime.
I have no beef with the Otters Championship for a variety of reasons.
# 1, they earned it; most points in the regular season at 103, followed by a 16 & 6 playoff mark against stiff competition, and that includes the Steelheads who lost 3 one goal decisions in the final.
#2, in these parts we see Erie almost as much as the other divisional rivals, but somehow there's not the same level of grating that accompanies the others.
#3, while Erie's title climaxes a 4 year stretch of 50+ win seasons, let's not forget there were many, many dark nights in Pennsylvania from 2003 to the ascent of Connor McDavid, for arguments' sake in 2013.
And finally, while the Otters certainly benefited from the annual Eastern Conference gift giving spree, they did pay a healthy price to acquire key additions that served them well in their title run.
That run now stretches to Windsor this weekend for the start of the Memorial Cup.
I'm Fred Wallace