67's winger Chris Hulit has more incentive than most of his teammates to beat the Petes in their OHL Eastern Conference championship.
The 19-year-old spent his first three OHL seasons with the Oshawa Generals, arch-rivals of the Petes, before being traded to the 67's earlier this season for Peter Tsimikalis.
"It's a tough place to play," Hulit said of the Peterborough Memorial Centre. "The ice is small and the fans are right on you, right behind the bench."
Hulit participated in many spirited games with Oshawa against the Petes.
His favourite memory of those matchups was scoring a game-winner late in regulation during an opening-round playoff series against the Petes two years ago. Oshawa went on to beat the Petes in seven games before bowing out of the post-season to the 67's.
Tonight in Peterborough, Ottawa will try to open its third straight playoff series with a win on the road, but it won't be easy.
The 67's were winless in four trips to the Memorial Centre this year.
The last three of those Petes wins came with goalie Jeff MacDougald in net, including a 38-save performance on Feb. 10 during a 2-1 decision.
"He's had a fantastic year for them," said Ottawa coach Brian Kilrea. "You don't end up challenging for first place over the course of 68 games without having a good goalie."
The Petes' home rink features boards that are more square than rounded in the corners, which can make things tough for visiting defencemen.
"It's different and they certainly know their rink well," said Kilrea.
67's defenceman Elgin Reid, who has an ankle sprain, will likely miss the entire series.
BIG BEN NABS AWARD: St-Isidore native and Wolves C Benoit Pouliot, a top prospect for the next NHL draft, was named the OHL rookie of the year yesterday. The 18-year-old led the league in rookie scoring with 29 goals and 67 points. Pouliot got the nod for the award over Marek Kvapil of Saginaw. Meanwhile, Kingston D Ben Shutron of Orleans was named to the league's second all-star rookie team.