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- Created: Thursday, 26 January 2017 17:06
In the final preview for the Alliance Playoff Series, regional scout Andrew Sykes breaks down the matchup between the Cambridge Hawks and Elgin Middlesex Chiefs - two teams who have been neck and neck all season long.
4. Cambridge Hawks
Players to Watch: Ryan Campbell F, David Anderson F, Steven Grant F (INJ), Nathan Yeck F, Mark Cooper D, Jagger O'Toole D, Jet Greaves G
5. Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs
Players to Watch:
Navrin Mutter F, Hunter Monkhouse F, Jake Weston F, Jakob Marche F, Russell Oldham F, Mark Woolley, Michael Van Loon D, Robert White D, Liam McCarthy G, Brent Galbraith G
Regular-Season Record: 1-1-1
Friday, September 23: Elgin-Middlesex 3 vs. Cambridge 2 (Alliance Showcase)
Friday, September 30: Cambridge 4 at Elgin-Middlesex 2
Sunday, January 15: Elgin-Middlesex 3 at Cambridge 3
How Cambridge Will Win:
As the seeds and season split would suggest, this is the most evenly matched quarterfinal series. The Hawks won home-ice by virtue of a shutout win over Hamilton on the second-last day of the regular-season, but there is still no real favourite here. The teams are pretty well even from the forwards right down to the goaltenders but the Hawks boast the two most talented forwards in the series in David Anderson and Ryan Campbell and will look to them to be the difference in tight games. They also get production and stability from two of the better defensemen in the Alliance in Mark Cooper and Jagger O’Toole. One of the most athletic goaltenders in the age group, Jet Greaves gives the Hawks the slight edge between the pipes. On paper Cambridge is probably the third-best team in the Alliance. They didn't always play up standard in the regular season, but if they are able to bring their best game in the palyoffs they won't be an easy out for anyone.
How Elgin-Middlesex Will Win:
Playing a high-paced, aggressive style, the Chiefs are very hard to play against. They have the ability to play with any team on any given night, demonstrated by the tight game they played with the Toronto Marlboros at the Silver Stick tournament in November. Offensively they get things done by committee with a forward group who blend speed, skill and grit. Top prospect Mark Woolley is a gamebreaker on the backend as opponents have to be leery of his ability to engage himself into rushes and finish off plays. They have struggled a bit in the last month and a half of the season but are a team who seem perfectly suited for playoff hockey. They are an extremely hard-working team who will relish the grit and grind that is sure to arise from such a tightly contested series.
Preview written by Andrew Sykes (Alliance Scout)
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