Playoff Round 1 Preview

COBOURG, ON - FEBRUARY 26: Aidan Puley #44 of the Milton Menace celebrates the goal with teammates during the third period at the Cobourg Community Centre on February 26, 2024 in Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Shawn Muir / OJHL Images)

Menace Analyst – Mikayla Guarasci

Milton Menace 2024 Playoff Preview: First Round vs Burlington Cougars

After losing out in the second round last year, the Milton Menace are back in the playoffs and are ready to make a run. The Milton Menace will kick off their quest for the 2024 Buckland Cup with a first-round series against the Burlington Cougars beginning on Friday.

After a franchise record-breaking regular season, the Menace finished second in the West Conference, setting them up for a first-round against the number seven team. Their 41-12-1-1 record was enough for 85 points. The Cougars finished the season with a 29-20-1-6 record, putting them in seventh.

The Cougars are a familiar opponent for the Menace as they played against one another four times in the regular season. The teams split their season series. Milton won the first game 4-3 before Burlington took the next two 5-2 and 4-3. The Menace claimed the final meeting 6-1, which was also the last game of the 2024 regular season for both teams. Since they played each other just days ago, the teams can look at the game and make the appropriate adjustments ahead of the series. Although Milton came out victorious on Sunday, four more wins against the Cougars will not be a small feat and will require their best in all areas.

Special teams are always a factor in a playoff series because games are that much tighter. Every opportunity matters. The Cougars had the third-best power play in the West Conference during the regular season, right above the Menace, who sat fourth. The big difference between their special teams is Milton’s penalty kill led the conference at 83.8%, while the Cougars sit third last at 68.8%. A disciplined game is key in stopping the Cougars’ power play.

Although Milton only outscored Burlington 15-13 in the season series, their season-long goal differential was almost 70 goals better than the Cougars. The Menace finished at +90, the third highest league-wide, while the Cougars finished at +21. Milton has proven they can be an offensive threat in every game while protecting their net and limiting their opponent’s dangerous chances.

A positive for Milton heading into the playoffs is their ability to bounce back. This season, they never lost more than two straight games. They found a way to win even if things didn’t always go their way. This confidence is important in the playoffs when the series moves fast. It is critical to focus on the game rather than letting a setback get to you. The Menace did a great job at this all season long.

Game one of the series comes on Friday as Milton looks to start things off on a high note. Tickets for the Menace’s guaranteed home games are on sale now. The Menace need your support at the Milton Memorial Arena to win the series and advance to the second round. The series will be streamed on FloHockey. Stay tuned for game-day pre-game reports for each game of the series.

Full Series Game Schedule:

Game 1: Fri. March 8 at 7:30 p.m. – Burlington at Milton

Game 2: Sun. March 10 at 3:00 p.m. – Milton at Burlington

Game 3: Wed. March 13 at  7:30 p.m. – Burlington at Milton

Game 4: Fri. March 15, 7:30 p.m. – Milton at Burlington

Game 5: Sun. March 17, 6:30 p.m. – Burlington at Milton*

Game 6: Tue. March 19, 7:30 p.m. – Milton at Burlington*

Game 7: TBD*


* if necessary