Hockey

Hamilton Bulldogs crowned OHL Champions

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In a seven-game series, the OHL finals come to the end with the Hamilton Bulldogs winning their second championship in history.

In a 6-1 victory of the Windsor Spitfires, the Bulldogs have crowned the J. Ross Robertson Cup recipients and are headed to the Memorial Cup in Saint John, NB.

Two minutes into Game 7, Anaheim Ducks first-round draft-pick Mason McTavish scored his 15th goal of the postseason. The game was 1-0 with both teams battling it out end-to-end. The score finally changed in the second period when the Bulldogs doubled their lead with Avery Hayes’ 12th of the postseason.

Hayes then scored again in the third period to keep the score further from the Spitfires. Assistant Captain and Montreal Canadiens draft-pick Jan Mysak scored later in the third period to make it four unanswered goals for the Bulldogs. The Spitfires finally got one on the board with Alex Christopoulos’ 15 goals of the postseason. But it was too late for the Spitfires to rally back and with a late, open-net goal by McTavish and another one to make a hat trick for Hayes, the final score was 6-1.  

Logan Morrison would win the OHL MVP award. He had the second-most points in the postseason with 39 and had 17 goals.

The Bulldogs had one of their best seasons since joining the OHL in 2015. At the beginning of the season, the team struggled to get their footing as there were injuries and covid-19 issues. But once all that was behind them and they acquired McTavish from the Peterborough Petes, they moved up in the standings and beat out the Mississauga Steelheads for the regular-season winners with 107 points.

In the playoffs they swept every opponent they faced in the East. First, it was the Petes, then it was the Steelheads, in the Eastern Conference Finals they were against the North Bay Battalion. But like opponents before them, they were also done in four games. The only time the Bulldogs lost in the playoffs was to the Spitfires.

This will be their first Memorial Cup since 2018 when they came in third place. In Regina, SK, the team was eliminated by QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Now they are in New Brunswick as the last team to qualify. They will face the host, Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL champion, Shawinigan Cataractes, and the WHL champion, Edmonton Oil Kings.

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