Exactly when the Soo Greyhounds will have forward Nick Cousins back in the lineup is still up in the air but in the meantime, the team still has a major opportunity as they open a three-game homestand on Wednesday night at the Essar Centre.
When the Greyhounds take to the ice against the Sudbury Wolves, the team needs just a single point to clinch a spot in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs, something the team hasn’t done since the 2009-10 season when they Greyhounds fell in five games in the first round of the playoffs to the Plymouth Whalers.
On top of clinching a playoff spot, the Greyhounds have an opportunity to move into a tie with the Guelph Storm for fifth in the Western Conference standings. The storm, who will have a game in hand on the Greyhounds after tonight. Guelph doesn’t play until they face the Greyhounds on Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Storm are one of five teams in the Western Conference to have clinched playoff spots. London, Plymouth, Owen Sound and Kitchener are also guaranteed playoff spots. The full Western Conference standings are as follows:
- *London Knights – 90 points (9 games remaining)
- *Plymouth Whalers – 77 points (8 games remaining)
- *Owen Sound Attack – 80 points (9 games remaining)
- *Kitchener Rangers – 78 points (8 games remaining)
- *Guelph Storm – 73 points (9 games remaining)
- Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – 71 points (9 games remaining)
- Sarnia Sting – 69 points (7 games remaining)
- Saginaw Spirit – 64 points (8 games remaining)
- Windsor Spitfires – 55 points (8 games remaining)
- Erie Otters – 42 points (7 games remaining)
The Wolves find themselves in a battle with the Brampton Battalion for home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference with just two points separating the two teams in the standings.
In the Eastern Conference, three teams have clinched playoff spots:
- *Belleville Bulls – 82 points (10 games remaining)
- *Barrie Colts – 78 points (8 games remaining)
- *Oshawa Generals – 74 points (8 games remaining)
- Brampton Battalion – 65 points (9 games remaining)
- Sudbury Wolves – 63 points (8 games remaining)
- Niagara IceDogs – 58 points (8 games remaining)
- Mississauga Steelheads – 55 points (9 games remaining)
- Kingston Frontenacs – 53 points (10 games remaining)
- Peterborough Petes – 49 points (8 games remaining)
- Ottawa 67’s – 34 points (8 games remaining)
The 67’s and Otters have been officially eliminated from post-season contention.
The OHL schedule on Wednesday sees two other games, one of which the Wolves will be keeping an eye on as Brampton is in Belleville to take on the Bulls. The other game features the Kingston Frontenacs hosting the Oshawa Generals.
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