Now the games are even more important for the Oshawa Generals.
The Generals finished their regular season on Sunday, April 17 with a 5-4 shootout win over the North Bay Battalion.
Oshawa finished in sixth place in the OHL Eastern Conference with 67 points. The team’s record was 30 wins, 31 losses, two overtime losses and five shootout losses.
The Generals now turn their attention to the Kingston Frontenacs, the third-place team in the East.
Oshawa’s general manager, Roger Hunt, said: “It doesn’t matter but wins now. There’s no more jockeying. It’s all about getting wins.”
The playoff schedule is:
Game 1, Friday, April 22 at Kingston 7 pm
Game 2, Sunday, April 24 at Kingston 4 pm
Game 3, Tuesday, April 26 at Oshawa 7:05 pm
Game 4, Thursday, April 28 at Oshawa 7:05 pm
Game 5, Saturday, April 30 in Kingston 7 pm *
Game 6, Sunday, May 1 in Oshawa 6:05 pm *
Game 7, Tuesday, May 3 at Kingston 7 pm *
As for how the Generals match up against Kingston, Hunt said: “The East is the toughest of the two conferences now. Realistically, we’re in a situation where we’re playing against a team with the greatest player in the world of his age.
“It’s a team that’s been put together to win. They’re various NHL draft picks and older team, but with that being said, the game is played on the ice and I think our guys have a lot to prove. As an organization, we have a lot to prove. It would be no better way to win the series with a win on Friday night in Kingston.”
The player Hunt referred to is Shane Wright, an 18-year-old out of Burlington, Ontario, who could be the number-one draft pick in the NHL draft this summer. Wright was granted ‘exceptional player status’ so that he could join the Frontenac when he was 15. Others who have been granted the status include John Tavares and Connor McDavid.
Wright was the second-leading scorer for Kingston during the regular season, with 94 points on 32 goals and 62 assists.
Hunt said Oshawa isn’t dealing with any injury concerns going into the playoffs.
Over the weekend, Hunt said: “We did everything. We lost up in North Bay on Thursday, then we lost in overtime (against the Mississauga Steelheads) and then we won in a shootout (against North Bay).”
He noted both teams gave players a rest for the Sunday game, as both had clinched their playoff seedings. North Bay finished third in the East and are playing the Ottawa 67’s in the first round.
“The guys that played are all trying to prove they can be in the playoff lineup, no different than North Bay. So guys had a lot to play for for our team certainly. To get a bit more ice time or exposure. I think both teams were in that same boat,” Hunt noted.
He said the fans are “a big factor moving forward.”
Having a big crowd “can be a huge factor in this series. I think we’re a team, on most nights, plays in front of a big crowd. Kingston’s crowd is certainly growing. The crowd in either rink could play a huge factor in who wins and loses this.
“I know the last couple of times we’ve been in Kingston, they’ve had a large contingent of university students and they can get involved in the games.”
For ticket information, visit oshawagenerals.com/playoff-tickets-2/