Game Day Previews for Friday November 12 2012
Pictured is Brett Ritchie who was busy at the Subway Super Series last night in Guelph, ON. He is coming off a memorable weekend where he would notch an incredible 10 goals in 3 games and pushed his point total to 29 points – second on the team (Strome leads the team with 33 points).
Peterborough at Erie
Peterborough (4-11-2-1) and Erie (4-11-1-2) have almost identical records and they sit in the basement in the OHL. Things haven't gone well for the Petes this season, as they have had a multitude of illness and injuries, and one player leave the team because of lack of playing time. Slater Koekkoek played last night in Guelph in the OHL's loss, 2-1, to Team Russia. Francis Menard is having a terrific overage season for the Petes. He leads the team with 11 goals and 10 assists. The next goal scorers on the team, Zack Lorenz, and Brett Findlay, have only 4 goals each. The recent return of Alan Quine, from mono, should help the offense. Veteran goalie, Andrew D'Agostini continues to search for his first win of the season, in what would be his 10th start, if he gets the nod tonight in Erie.
The Otters too had a player representing them at the Subway Super Series in Guelph, as 15 year old phenom, Connor McDavid played, as well. Defenseman, Adam Pelech will represent the Otters in Monday's Super Series game in Sarnia. McDavid continues to lead the team with 21 points in 18 games. Teammate, Connor Brown is tied for the top spot, with 21 points of his own. The Otters will be looking for their 3rd home ice win of the season tonight, in their 10th home game.
My prediction Peterborough 4 at Erie 5 (in OT)
Belleville at Kingston
The Belleville Bulls (9-5-2-0) are visiting K-Rock Centre for the first time this season. Malcolm Subban and the Bulls shut out the Fronts in Belleville, on October 27th, 1-0. Austen Brassard scored the only goal of this game in the first period. That was Kingston's 5th consecutive loss. The Bulls are playing well right now, especially on the road. They won in Windsor in a shootout in their last game. Belleville's PK ranks fourth in the OHL, and their PP has dropped to 15th.
Kingston (8-9-0-0) is coming off of an impressive 7-4 victory at Scotiabank Place on Tuesday night. The Fronts' veterans showed signs of life in this one. Ryan Kujawinski scored his first goal in a month, in this one, and Cody Alcock and Darcy Greenaway scored, as well. It's no secret that Kingston needs offensive production from these players if they hope to make the playoffs. The Fronts have run into a little injury/illness problem, of late. They finished their last game with only 4 defensemen, as rookie, Dylan DiPerna was sick. Ryan Hutchinson suffered a concussion in their last game, and Jean Dupuy was sick, as well. Recently acquired OA defenseman Ryan Hanes may be ready to make his Frontenac debut on Friday night, as he is coming off of a shoulder injury.
My prediction Belleville 2 at Kingston 4
Windsor at Plymouth
The spits are in seventh place – but that sounds worse than it really is. Their record is 8-7-0-4 which gives them 20 points. The division leading Whalers have 1 more point than them. They have played really good hockey, and then not shown up for the next game. Their record of 4-4-0-2 in the past ten games attests to that. They have surrendered 70 goals this season – almost the worst in the league.
After this game, the Spits do not play again until Nov 15 when they host Saginaw. The winner of this game gets second place in the Western Conference (unless Sarnia wins).
In the Election Day game, the Whalers would push past the Saginaw Spirit by a score of 4-1. Noesen tallied 2 goals and Rackell had a goal and 2 assists. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as the Whalers will host the Knights on Saturday night.
My prediction Windsor 3 Plymouth 4
Owen Sound at Brampton
The Attack are looking to get back in the win column after they were pushed off 3-0 vs. the up and down Guelph Storm squad. They are the #1 team in the OHL now with a record of 12-3-1-2. They are also ranked # 4 in the CHL this week. Jordan Binnington was solid in his 1.5 periods in the Subway Series in Guelph last night.
Brampton’s Barclay Goodrow was also in action last night in Guelph where he played a responsible offensive and defensive game. Recent news of the team moving to North Bay will probably be a popular story for the rest of the season. The Battalion are trying to stay in touch with the top end of the conference - their record is 6-7-3-2. Brampton is the least penalized team in the league with only 197 PIM (Icedogs are the next highest with 219 PIM and the Owen Sound Attack have the most with 369 PIM).
My prediction Owen Sound 4 Brampton 1
Sarnia at Guelph
Last weekend the Sting split their games with Plymouth last weekend before they would edge past the Saginaw Spirit by a score of 5-4. Sarnia is in sixth place in the Western Conference, but could jump up to second in the standings if they are able to get one point from this game and if Plymouth loses. The Sting will host Sudbury on Sunday to complete their weekend schedule.
Guelph is coming off a strong 3-0 victory at Owen Sound on Wednesday night. In that game goalie Sparks was more than adequate in stopping all 39 shots sent his way to earn the shutout (5 shutouts in 97 OHL games). Matt Finn also had a good game with a goal and an assist. Guelph is nipping at the heels of the Owen Sound Attack – they are 2 points behind them in the standings for the top spot in the OHL. The Storm will play at Brampton on Sunday to conclude their weekend action.
My prediction Sarnia 3 Guelph 5
Sault Ste Marie at Kitchener
The Greyhounds start their busy weekend action with a stop in to the newly polished Auditorium in Kitchener. Currently they sit in the #8 spot in the tight Western Conference (5 teams within 6 points). Their record in the last ten games has been a mediocre 4-5-1-0. After this game the team will travel to Owen Sound for Saturday’s game and then finish up with a Sunday afternoon stop to tangle with the tough London Knights squad. If they can escape this road trip with points against 3 of the top 5 teams in their division, it will be a successful tour.
Kitchener has played much better of late compared to the way that they season started off. Coach Spott has directed the team to a record of 8-1-1-0 in their past 10 games including a tidy 3-0 record last weekend. Puempel (13G, 5 A) continues to lead the team in offence with Tobias Rieder close behind (6G, 11A). John Gibson is tied for the league lead in save percentage with a solid .937 mark.
My predication Sault Ste Marie 2 Kitchener 5
Sudbury at London
The Wolves start their weekend schedule with a visit to the loud Budweiser Gardens in London. Josh Leivo played well in the Subway Series game at Guelph – he continues to lead the team offensively with 20 points. D-man Frank Corrado has 16 assists so far this year (his career high is 30 for a season). The Wolves have a winning percentage of .474 and but are still keeping in touch with the conference leaders – 9 points separate them from the #1 spot. After this stop the team will visit Sarnia to play the Sting (just ahead of the Subway Series that Sarnia is hosting on Monday night).
London won their last 2 games after being run over by the Windsor Spitires last week 6-3. The Knights rebounded with a tight home win over the Bulls 3-2, and then finished up with a convincing 3-0 win at Guelph. Seth Griffith continues to have a solid season – he has 3 goals and 5 assists in the past 5 games.
After this game the Knights will take a gaunt across the border to play the Whalers and then return to host the Greyhounds on Sunday afternoon.
My prediction Sudbury 1 London 4
Niagara at Mississauga
The Icedogs are still buzzing about last weekend’s action. They exploded for 9 goals against a top rated Guelph squad and then engineered an entertaining 6-4 comeback win to extend their winning streak to 3 games. Brett Ritchie, Ryan Strome and Mitch Theoret erupted for a bucket full of points in those games. Niagara now sits 2 points behind the Barrie Colts for top spot in the Eastern Conference – and were ranked at #10 in the CHL this week.
Mississauga has quietly kept pace with the Eastern Conference upper echelon amassing 11 wins and 23 points this season. Spencer Martin has the lowest GAA in the league with 2.00 and a sparkling .937% save percentage. Riley Brace leads the team with 21 points this season – Dylan Smoskowitz has scored in bunches this year – tallying 7 goals in the first 5 games of the year and more recently with 4 goals in his last 4 games.
My prediction Niagara 3 Mississauga 2
Saginaw at Ottawa
The Saginaw Spirit (6-10-2-0) are starting their roadie of 3 games in 3 days in Ottawa. They will play in Belleville on Saturday night and in Kingston on Sunday afternoon. The Spirit have lost their last two games, and sit last in the West Division of the Western Conference, just 3 points out of the Conference basement. They have given up the same number of goals (69) as the 67's, but have scored 10 fewer goals, 57 to Ottawa's 67. The Spirit are 2-7-1-0 away from home, this season. The Spirit have 3 top scorers, each with 10 plus goals, 11 for Eric Locke. Vincent Trocheck, and Garret Ross each have 10. These three forwards have scored 54% of the team's goals.
The 67's (6-9-0-2) are coming off of a disappointing 7-4 home ice loss to the Kingston Frontenacs, on Tuesday night. Ottawa could have leapfrogged the Fronts into 3rd in the East Division but instead stay 9th in the Conference, just 3 points ahead of the Petes. Ottawa has won just 2 of 9 games at Scotiabank Place, since moving there, at the beginning of the season. Despite their slow start, the 67's remain very dangerous on their powerplay, close to the top of the OHL. Their PK has been middle of the road in the league. Defensive mistakes in their own zone, when playing 5 on 5 has been the primary reason that the 67s have lost so many games this season. When they tighten up, and play smart hockey, the 67s can compete with most teams in the league. A pleasant surprise for the 67s has been Tyler Graovac, who leads the OHL with 18 goals in 17 games. Highly touted draft eligible Sean Monahan, leads the team with 28 points.
My prediction Saginaw 3 at Ottawa 5
Barrie at Oshawa
The Barrie Colts (13-4-0-1) are the best team in the Eastern Conference, and perhaps the entire OHL. They are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games, and have scored the most number of goals in the Conference, behind only the Guelph Storm in the OHL. Their powerplay, led by Mark Schefeile, Zack Hall, and Anthony Camara, are one of the best in the league. They sit near the bottom of the league on the PK, however. Mathias Niederberger has carried the load in goal with a record of 12-2 and a 0.926 Save %.
The Oshawa Generals (11-6-0-2) easily lead the East Division, and sit comfortably third in the Eastern Conference, behind the Colts, and Ice Dogs. The Generals have scored one fewer goal on the season than the Colts who lead the Eastern Conference in that category. Daniel Altshuller has played in all but two of Oshawa's games this season, and is much more confident in his second full season in the league. Booner Jenner continues to lead the team with 30 points (15g & 15a). Rookie's Tyler Biggs, and Michael Dal Colle have been pleasant surprises for the Gens, as they sit 3, 4 in team point scoring. Matt Petgrave is one best offensive defensemen in the league, as he has 17 assists, only one back of Dougie Hamilton of the Ice Dogs.
My prediction Barrie 4 at Oshawa 3