In the most shocking early outcome of the CHL playoffs, the 7th-seeded Sudbury Wolves swept the 2nd-seeded Ottawa 67's and Edmonton Oilers' prospect Ryan Martindale. The series was high-scoring from game one, a 8-7 overtime thriller that featured five special teams goals by the 67's, including a special teams hat trick by Martindale. Martindale scored two power play markers and a short-handed goal, but all of that special teams work wasn't enough to overcome Ottawa's enormous even strength deficiencies. Sudbury scored seven even strength goals with the line of Andrei Kuchin, San Jose Sharks' prospect Michael Sgarbossa and Josh Leivo finishing +7, +6 and +6, respectively. Martindale and Los Angeles Kings' prospect Tyler Toffoli were on the ice for three of those goals.
Game one was the high point of the season for the 67's as they lost game two 5-3 while being outshot 53-18. The 67's gave up four even strength tallies, but made it respectable with two more short-handed goals. Martindale was held scoreless. Game three saw the 67's lose in overtime once again with Martindale chipping in with a single power play assist.
Toffoli and Martindale finally managed an even strength point in game four, but it was too little too late. Martindale finished with five points in four games, with just one at even strength.
Sudbury outscored Ottawa 23-17 for the series and outshot the 67's 171-138.
I caught up with The Scouting Report's Scott Boulet, a Sudbury native who took in all four games and offered a breakdown of how Sudbury was able to stop the 67s top line:
[Sudbury Coach Trent] Cull did a great job coaching in this series. He got the team as a whole to buy into a system and play a good speedy game which was extremely hard for the Ottawa defense to contain. The line at the forefront of it all was of course Andrei Kuchin, Michael Sgarbossa and Josh Leivo. The majority of the time they were matched head-to-head with Ottawa's top line [Martindale and Toffoli] and just offered too much hustle and grit to contain. Sgarbossa, Leivo, as well as defencemen Justin Sefton were in Toffoli and Prince's face all night every game causing them to be extremely frustrated in general. Josh Leivo is actually a guy who I think is going to be a great value pick for someone this summer. Big lanky kid, plays physical, great hands and hockey sense, really came on strong in the second half of the year, at one point he was, if I recall correctly dead last in OHL +/- and he really worked on his game as the year went and is now seeing the benefits of it.
As far as Martindale goes with Toffoli contained 5-on-5 and on the powerplay outside of his hat trick he really never seemed to pose much of a threat. His effort was shaky at best most nights and he seemed to be content to simply play on the perimeter. He definitely needs to work on his compete level going forward.
Sudbury moves on to face the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference and top team in the OHL, after the Majors swept the Belleville Bulls.
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