Despite a few make-up games still on the regular season schedule, the 2023 NLU18MHL post-season gets underway January 26 – 28 with a best-of-three series between the Tri Pen Osprey and the Western Kings. The Osprey finished fourth in the league standings giving them the right to host the series.
This has all the makings of a fantastic series. The Western Kings won the season series 5 games to 3. Over their eight head-to-head match-ups, the kings tallied 43 goals while the Osprey put up 42. 7 of the 8 head-to-head games the teams played were one or two goal games, the only exception was a 7 – 3 Osprey win on October 14.
Both teams have dangerous weapons more than capable of carrying their squad to a series win. Of the NLU18MHL's top five scorers over the regular season, four play in Western red and black or Tri Pen black and yellow. Western's Spencer Caines led the way with 34 goals in 30 games, as well as a league leading 61 points. Just behind was Tri Pen's Nick Crosbie with 59 points. Crosbie had just 10 goals but led the league by a country mile in the assist category with 49. The Osprey's Alex Crane was third in league scoring, putting up 30 goals and 56 points in 31 games, and the Kings' Liam Dutcher was fifth in league scoring with 17 goals and 46 points in 27 games.
The Osprey ranked fourth in both power play (20%) and penalty kill (79%). The Kings ranked fifth in both power play (17%) and penalty kill (71%).
The series begins Thursday, January 26 at 7:30pm, and continues Friday, January 27 at 8:30pm. If necessary, game three will be played Saturday, January 28 at 12:30pm. All games at the Danny Cleary Community Centre in Harbour Grace. Tickets are $7 and available at the door.