By Fred Wallace
A Dozen OHL West Questions
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with Off the Wire.
This is neat....the Ontario Hockey League contacted Western Conference media people and asked them a dozen questions about the Conference.
Here are the questions along with the answers from the Owen Sound Attack announcer;
1) Which team will win the Midwest Division?
I said the Erie Otters because they're deeper and more gifted than London.
2) Which team will win the West Division?
The Sault Ste Marie Greyhound. I said so last year when I saw they only needed to fill about 3 holes in what was a good lineup then.
3) Which Western Conference team was the biggest surprise of the first half?
- in the beginning, Flint.
- of late, Saginaw who might overcome a 2 & 13 start
4) Which Western Conference player was the biggest surprise of the first half?
I went with Joseph Garreffa of Kitchener. I knew he had lots of zip, but he's been a significant contributor in almost every Rangers game I've seen.
5) Who will finish the season as the Western Conference’s leading scorer?
- Taylor Raddysh. He has the lead now and plays centre on the league's best line.
6) Who has been the Western Conference’s most outstanding player?
Remember, I see Petrus Palmu EVERY NIGHT and it's hard for me to imagine any player being more exciting and more significant to their team than Palmu.
However, if I'm disqualified for my bias to Palmu, then I'd say Alex DeBrincat of Erie for style and Robert Thomas of the Knights for substance
7) Who has been the Western Conference’s most impressive goaltender?
- again, I see Michael McNiven on a regular basis, so it's hard for me to believe there's a better netminder out there.
- however, if you blank 3 teams on consecutive Teddy Bear Toss night like Michael DiPietro did for Windsor- that's impressive.
Is this foreshadowing ?
8) Who has been the Western Conference’s most impressive defenceman?
I know Victor Mete the reluctant Attack first rounder was the only OHL D-man invited to Hockey Canada's camp, but I'm going to go against the traffic and say Kevin Spinozzi of the Sarnia Sting
9) Who has been the Western Conference’s most impressive rookie?
- Watching Ryan Merkley stretch his wings as the season has unfolded is remarkable to watch..until you remember your team has to play him 8 times a year for the next few seasons.
Honourable mention to Collingwood's Allan McShane at Erie.
10) Who has been the Western Conference’s best coach?
- on the road, it's Drew Bannister of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 15 & 3.
- Kris Knoblauch in Erie is the obvious choice.
11) Who will win the Western Conference title?
- Not Windsor.
- I'll say the # 1 seed based on the easier route to the Final, so I'll say Erie finally.
12) Who will win the OHL Championship?
- The Western Conference entry..... In a sweep.
There's a dozen midseason OHL questions and the Owen Sound answers.
I'm Fred Wallace