Game Day Previews for Friday November 16, 2012
Pictured is Nick Ritchie who came back from an early season illness to explode for 3 goals. His team would win vs. the 67’s 5-2 last night. Tonight they play at Kingston.
Peterborough at Kingston
The local Peterborough newspaper highlight on Thursday read that for the first time in 344 days, the Petes would ice a fully healthy lineup against the 67s. Not only have they missed multiple players at a time, the Petes have missed top end players. Nick Ritchie scored a pair, his 2nd and 3rd in his 7th game of his second year, in his first game back from a separated shoulder. Former Frontenac Alan Quine is finally healthy, after a bout with mono and has tallied a point a game since his return. The Petes played a smart game last night, and stayed out of the penalty box. They took the play to the 67s for much of the night, and kept their big guns silent. The final was 5-2 for the Petes, snapping their 7 game losing streak.
The Kingston Frontenacs (10-9-0-0) are feeling good about their game right now. They have won their last three games. They have climbed over the .500 mark, and sit 5 points behind the Division leading Belleville Bulls, with a game in hand. The Fronts are the only OHL team not to lose a point in extra time, winning twice in overtime, and twice in shootouts. The team is playing an exciting brand of hockey, and the city of Kingston isstarting to turn out in greater numbers to support their young, hardworking team.
Rookie Spencer Watson, just chosen to represent Team Ontario in the U17 tournament, along with three of his teammates, leads the team in scoring with 17 points. Defenseman, Michael Moffat has a goal and 16 assists. Last year's team point scoring leader, Darcy Greenaway, and top NHL Draft prospect, Ryan Kujawinski are one point behind the leaders. It's been the balanced attack that have the young Fronts just 3 points behind the Battalion, with 3 games in hand, for 6th in the Eastern Conference.
On October 11th, the Frontenacs scored a 4-3 overtime victory in Peterborough, in the teams' first meeting of 8 this season. Sam Bennett scored the overtime winner, and Darcy Greenaway had two in regulation. Nick Ritchie had a pair of assists for the Petes.
There is something special about this East Division rivalry, as many avid Petes' fans make the trek to K-Rock Centre to support their team so the place should be alive.
My prediction Peterborough 3 at Kingston 4
Brampton at Sault Ste Marie
The Battalion continue their 705 area code road trip with a stop in to visit the Greyhounds. On Wednesday they would play in a close game at Sudbury. The game was tied up 2-2 after two periods, then the Battalion would pot 2 goals to escape with a 4-2 victory. Brampton has won three in a row and are nicely tucked into the middle of the Eastern Conference with 23 points (2 behind the slumping Generals).
The Greyhounds have been struggling of late. Last weekend they ran into some trouble in the 519 area code and came out with 0 points out of 6. They lost at Kitchener, Owen Sound and finished up in London. This recent dive has sent them near the bottom of the Western Conference only 4 points ahead of the dismal Erie Otters. Goalie Matt Murray is #12 in wins for goalies this season, but ranks #18 and #20 in save percentage and GAA in the OHL.
This game is the BMO Ultimate Fan night – so get your face painted and take your rowdy friends to the rink! The Greyhounds will host the Sarnia Sting on Sunday to close out their weekend action.
My prediction Brampton 3 Sault Ste Marie 5
Mississauga at Guelph
The Steelheads have won their last three games and 8 of their past 10. Leading scorer Riley Brace has only 1 goal in the team’s past 6 games, so he is due for a break out game soon. Defencemen DeMelo and Carrick are # 3 and #4 in team scoring this year. After this game the Steelheads will travel East for games at Peterborough and at Oshawa.
Guelph continues their see-saw performance this season and currently have a record of 12-8-0-2 and have only won 3 of their last 10 games. Last weekend they would collect 1 point in three games with losses vs. Sarnia and Brampton – they would lose in a shootout vs. Belleville. The Storm will play at Erie on Saturday night and then a rematch of this game next Wednesday.
My prediction Mississauga 4 Guelph 2
Erie at Kitchener
The last place Otters started the season with a lot of promise, but haven’t been able to find the winning column very often this season (6 wins). Last weekend they showed a hint of what this team has the potential to produce as they would rack up the goals in wins against Peterborough on Nov 9 (6-3) and then embarrass Oshawa 6-1 on Nov 10. Two days ago the experienced team from Niagara would visit and play that familiar tune – another 5-2 loss for the Otters. After this match, Erie will host Guelph on Saturday night.
Kitchener has rebounded after a slow start to the season. They are in the midst of a 5 game winning streak and have won 8 of their last 10 games. Part of their winning formula is the fact that they have the lowest number of goals scored against them. Unfortunately they also have the second lowest number of goals for, so very few of their games have been blowouts (either way). Matt Puempel carries the hot hand with six goals in the past 4 games. After this game the Rangers will travel to Owen Sound on Saturday and then host the London Knightson Sunday.
My prediction Erie 1 Kitchener 3
Owen Sound at London
The top ranked team in the OHL (Owen Sound) plays the hottest teams in the league (London). Owen Sound and London both have similar records and are separated by only 1 point in the standings. The Attack have allowed the fewest goals in the league and the Knights are tied for the most goals scored this season. Daniel Catennacci is ninth in league scoring with 14 goals and 18 assists. After this game, Owen Sound will host the tough Kitchener squad and then the hot and cold Windsor Spitfires.
The Knights played with fire last night and almost got burned. They were struggled through the first and second period trailing by a 3-0 score after 2 frames. The Knights would get 3 straight third period goals from Domi (2) and Horvat to send the game to overtime. Seth Griffith would finish things off at 2:40 of overtime while on the powerplay for a 4-3 final in favour of London. He is now in third place in league scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists.
My prediction Owen Sound 3 London 2
Belleville at Oshawa
The Belleville Bulls (11-6-3-0) took over top spot in the East, with their 2-1 shootout victory over the Guelph Storm. Malcolm Subban took the first star, and his brother, Jordan took the third star, in a game in which Brendan Gaunce returned to the lineup from a separated shoulder. Newly acquired defenseman, Jake Cardwell recorded his first assist on a Bulls' powerplay. Cardwell has recorded the most number of points on the season of any Bull (17), which is two more than Subban. Gaunce is a distant third with 10 points, and became thefirst Bulls' forward to record double digits in points this season in the win over Guelph.
Not only have the Bulls given up the fewest goals in the OHL (47), they've also scored the fewest (48), they have taken the fewest penalties, and have drawn the fewest penalties, as well.
The Oshawa Generals are coming home after a third period road collapse in London last night. The Gensjumped out to a 3-0 first period lead. They held the Knights off the scoresheet until just past the 7 minute mark of the 3rd when Max Domi and Seth Griffith took over. Domi tallied twice, and Bo Horvat tied it up with Jake Patterson on the bench for an extra attacker in the last minute of regulation time. Seth Griffith, who has assists on the first three goals, scored the overtime winner for the Knights. Three of the four goals that the Gens gave up were on the PP.
With the single point, the Gens moved into a first place tie with the Bulls, setting up tonight's game. This will mark the 4th of 8 meetings between the two teams already. Oshawa won the first two 5-2 in Belleville, and 4-3 in OT in Oshawa. Belleville won the most recent game 4-1 at home. In this last meeting, the Bulls played a very physical, team oriented, defensive game, which is how the Bulls will need to play tonight, to hand the Gens their 5th consecutive loss.
My prediction Belleville 3 at Oshawa 4
Sarnia at Sudbury
The Sting have played steady hockey of late with 7 wins in their last 10 matches – they are currently in second place in the Western Conference. They have the third best powerplay in the league (28.9%) and the fewest PIM in the Western Conference. Alex Galchenyuk continues his scoring prowess as he is now tied for fifth in league scoring. Saturday will be a travel day for the Sting as they venture to Sault Ste Marie for a Sunday afternoon contest.
Sudbury hosted the Battalion on Wednesday night. Many fans were in attendance from North Bay (where the Battalion are moving to next season) so the visitors had plenty of support in that game. The score was tied after 2 periods – but the Wolves could not respond to Brampton’s 2 goals to finish the game. The Wolves are now winless in their last 5 games and have only collected 2 wins in their last 10 games. They continue their slide to the lower levels of the conference and have 18 points (4 more than Ottawa, and 5 more than Peterborough). Tocomplete their weekend, the Wolves will be hosting the Colts on Sunday.
My prediction Sarnia 6 Sudbury 2