Sounding the Attack on Knights

RYAN PYETTE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

"They better hope they don't get us in the playoffs, because they won't survive a seven-game series with us."

So said Owen Sound Attack scoring star Bobby Ryan after being booed mercilessly by London fans and physically punished by Knights players in his most recent JLC visit Dec. 1.

Well, "they" did.

Welcome to the 2007 OHL playoffs.

The Knights (50-14-1-3) -- fresh off a fourth straight regular-season championship and OHL records for a fourth straight 100-point campaign and 29 road victories, plus an unprecedented third 50-win season in the last four years -- face the Attack (31-30-3-4) in a best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final starting Friday at the John Labatt Centre.

The quote provides the context for the entire series.

Owen Sound, whose talent on paper suggests it is better than its eighth-place finish, is a team to fear.

It knocked out heavily favoured Kitchener in a first-round upset last year and took the Knights through six hard-fought second-round games before succumbing.

"Last year, we were down 2-1 to them . . . It could've gone either way," said London general manager and acting head coach Mark Hunter.

This year? The Knights start the playoffs without suspended head coach Dale Hunter, who's gone until Game 4 for failing to control his bench during a March 8 game against Kitchener.

The Knights know Ryan -- who has watched his archrivals top the league in each of the four years he has played -- doesn't like them.

And they know he'll stop at nothing to ice their playoff hopes.

But it's unlikely they've forgotten his fighting words.


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