Newspaper article The Canadian Press

McDavid's Otters Face Domi's Knights in Second Round of OHL Playoffs

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

McDavid's Otters Face Domi's Knights in Second Round of OHL Playoffs

Article excerpt

It's McDavid vs. Domi in OHL playoffs


ERIE, Pa. - Connor McDavid heard plenty about Max Domi growing up because they played hockey a couple of years apart in the Toronto area.

McDavid got to know Domi more when they won gold together on Canada's world junior team.

Familiarity is nice, but now it's up to McDavid and the Erie Otters to try to stop Domi's London Knights in an Ontario Hockey League second-round playoff series beginning Thursday.

"Obviously it's never a lot of fun to play Max," McDavid said with a laugh. "He's obviously an unbelievable player and he's tough to chase around the ice."

The Otters-Knights Western Conference semifinal features some scintillating top-end talent. Beyond McDavid, Erie has OHL scoring leader Dylan Strome and rookie of the year Alex Debrincat, and London has top-10 draft prospect Mitchell Marner along with Arizona Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak.

All five of those players finished in the top 10 in scoring, including Marner, who was second to Strome. Marner has an OHL-best 15 playoff points from six games in the first round against Kitchener.

Otters coach Kris Knoblauch has to worry about the matchup difficulties Dale Hunter's Knights present. Still, he can appreciate the entertainment value of this series.

"I think for the fans it's a great experience to come and watch these games," Knoblauch said after practice Wednesday at Erie Insurance Arena. "You've got Domi, who was so good at the world juniors and has been so good in this league for four years, Marner, the season he's had, and then on our side Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid. All those players are going to be in the NHL."

The Otters dominated the Knights in the regular season, going 5-0-1 with the only blemish a shootout loss in October. Knoblauch expects the playoff version of London to present a different and more difficult challenge, and his players seem to understand that. …

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