BARRIE, Ont. -- Stefan Della Rovere flashed a big grin -- a telling symbol of the excitement his Barrie Colts are feeling.
"They're the defending champs and we want to beat them," the 19-year-old Colts captain said, as the Canadian Hockey League's top-ranked team prepared for the best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League final against the Windsor Spitfires. The series begins Tuesday at 7:35 p.m., at the Barrie Molson Centre.
"Everyone thought it was going to be us two in the finals," Della Rovere said. "I guess everyone was right.
"It'll be exciting."
The Colts watched game footage of their opponents prior to the start of Monday's practice, and concluded that the Spits "look good."
The Colts will turn to their fresh legs, having rolled through the post-season with a 12-1 record.
Meanwhile, the Spits have lost just three times in 15 playoff games, but those losses came in the first three games of the Western Conference final against the Kitchener Rangers. Windsor won the next four, wrapping up the series Sunday.
"They fought through a lot of adversity and they're coming off a real high right now," said Della Rovere, a fourth-year Colt. "They're definitely going to be a hard team to play against."
That's the plan, said Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner.
"We're like any team at this part of the season," the coach said. "We've got a lot of guys banged up and bruised up and tired and sore, but when you're four wins away from going to the Memorial Cup, guys find ways to overcome that and battle."
Chris Carrozzi of the Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors has been named the Ontario Hockey League's goaltender of the year.
Carrozzi had a 19-10-5 record and finished tied atop the OHL with five shutouts.