Game Day Previews for Saturday February 11 2012
Guelph at Belleville
Guelph was at Ottawa last night where they were ahead at one point 5-2 and held on to defeat the 67’s 5-4. Garlant with 2 goals, Kosmachuk with a goal and 2 assists (after going scoreless in the last 4 games), Gaskin with 2 assists and a game high +3 rating. The Storm cling to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are 2 points ahead of the Greyhounds and trail the Spitfires by 2 points.
Belleville was pushed to overtime last night vs. the Fronts – Jake Worrad scoring the game winner only 26 seconds into the extra frame. Gaunce and Brassard with the other goals. The team had a good offensive output with 45 shots on goal. Last time Guelph and Belleville met was back in November when the Bulls demolished the Storm 6-0. Foote was pulled early in the 2nd period after letting in the 3rd goal. Judson with a fight vs. Tanner (Judson has one fight every month except for January – Tanner has 2 fights this year). Belleville needs to keep the wins coming as they are currently 1 point out of the playoffs. Their record of 3 wins and 7 losses in the past 10 needs to change for them to have any postseason activity. Subban started his second game of this calendar year and made 29 saves. Fans are encouraged to wear white tonight – will this be a weather whiteout or will we need to use some correction fluid to change our predictions?
My prediction Guelph 4 Belleville 3
Kingston at Oshawa
The Fronts come to town after a tough 3-2 overtime home loss to the Bulls. The game featured 2 shorthanded goals (Gaunce and Stokes). Stokes’ goal was his sixth of the year. Bobkov with 43 saves. The Fronts have a record of15-32-3-2 in this rebuilding season.
Oshawa had a tough time last night at Mississauga’s Pink in the Rink night to support Cancer research dropping a 5-2 decision. The Generals were able to stay close into the second period until Riley Brace went on a rampage. He scored the game’s next 3 goals (#26,27 & 28 on the season) to earn the victory. Oshawa’s Laughton has a 5 game scoring streak (4 goals and 4 assists). Today the Generals are in 7th place – things will change for sure by the end of the weekend. Petes have 54 points, Gens have 53, Majors have 53 and the Bulls have 51.
My prediction Kingston 2 Generals 4
Kitchener at Plymouth
The Rangers were solid last night against the Battalion – erupting with 4 goals in the opening period. The Battalion outshot the home Rangers team 27 – 10 in the remaining 2 periods. Faksa had a goal and an assist to continue his solid offensive season leading all OHL rookies with 50 points. Catenacci continues his 10 game scoring streak. Murphy has 15 assists in his last 13 games (and 7 goals).
The Whalers travel down the 401 highway after being edged out 8-6 by the top ranked London Knights on Friday night. Both teams had the offence going as Plymouth directed 45 shots at Houser (career leader in franchise wins – 85) and London peppered Wedgewood and Mahalak with 53 shots. Plymouth had an early first period lead (2-1) but couldn’t match the firepower of the Knights. Both teams were 2/3 on the powerplay. Bathgate and Schmitz each had 3 assists – Vanderwiel had 2 goals and second star honours. Plymouth leads the Rangers by 2 points – both teams have 35 wins on the season – Whalers have played one more game so far this season. Should be a beauty!
My prediction Kitchener 4 Plymouth 3
Sarnia at Sudbury
Sarnia had the day off yesterday to enjoy the sights of the Nickel City. A wicked storm took grip of Central and Southern Ontario last night and this morning so it was good planning on getting into the 705 when they could. They played on Thursday night at Barrie working out a 3-2 overtime win. Hottot and Boucher with the regulation goals – Boucher with the lone shootout goal for the victory. Anderson played a steady game in the nets (stopping 40 of 42 shots). The Sting have now won 3 in a row and are in 4th place in the Western Conference just 1 point ahead of the Owen Sound Attack (Sting have played 2 fewer games). Yakupov is eligible to return after his 2 game suspension for not playing in the Prospects Game in B.C. (he was medically advised to sit out).
Sudbury had won 3 straight road games before the contest in Barrie last night. They are dealing with injuries and suspensions but have found ways to be successful regardless (missing 8 regulars in last night’s game). Last night in Barrie (same opponent as Sarnia the night before) they played hard but were sent home with a 4-3 loss. Sgarbossa had 2 goals and an assist and hit a post late in the third period. Shoenmakers had a good game as well with 1 goal and 1 assist. Sudbury sits 5th in the Eastern Conference just 2 points behind Barrie and 3 points behind the sinking Battalion.
My prediction Sarnia 5 Sudbury 2
Erie at Windsor
The Otters were back and forth in their game vs. the Spirit last night but ran out of steam in the 3rd period . The Spirit scored 3 goals in the last frame on 8 shots (ouch). Devin Williams (born in Saginaw) has started in 3 of the last 4 games. He has 1 win, 1 shootout loss and 2 regulation losses. Betz and Cairns with the goals tonight.
Windsor was decimated by the strong Knights squad on Thursday night to the tune of 5-0. Pavelka had another shaky start giving up 5 goals on 8 shots. Cullen, Bowen, Devlin and Marchese are eligible to return tonight after taking 2 game suspensions for their actions in a match vs. Plymouth. The Spitfires are in 7th place in the West leading Guelph by 2 points and Sault Ste Marie by 4 points.
My prediction Erie2 Windsor 5
Sault Ste Marie at Saginaw
The Greyhounds last played on Wednesday at home vs. the understaffed Wolves team. The Wolves scored 3 in the second period and then 3 more in the third period. The Greyhounds were trailing 5-0 before they started a late comeback but ran out of time – final score was 6-3. Their leading scorer Cousins has not tallied any points in the last 2 games. Bring out your axioms and phrases about ‘do or die’ ‘pedal to the metal’ etc.. here as the Hounds are desperate to keep pace in the ever tightening playoff race. The Greyhounds are in 9th place and trail Saginaw by 8 points. After tonight’s game they could trail by as many as 10 points or as few as 6 points. Sounds like Schumacher will be a game time decision due to a hand injury.
Last night Saginaw was back and forth with the Otters until the 3rd period. The Spirit exploded with 3 goals on 8 shots in the final frame to defeat the improving Otters squad. Ross and Shalla with 2 goals each – Archibald with a strong defensive game and first star honours. Shalla needs 11 more goals to tie the franchise record for career goals. The Spirit have won 7 of their last 8 games – 25 wins on the season and 55 points good for 6th place in the Western Conference.
My prediction Sault Ste Marie 3 Saginaw 4 (OT)
Niagara at Barrie
The Icedogs are riding high after a home victory on Thursday night where they humiliated the St. Mike’s Majors 11-0. Twelve different players earned points in that game – Strome with 2 goals and 2 assists in his first game back after a facial injury, Agozzino with a hatrick (two SH goals) and the number one star was Jamie Oleksiak with 1 goal and 3 assists and a +7 rating. The Niagara team is pushing for the top spot in the East – trailing the once infallible Ottawa squad by 1 point (Ottawa has one game in hand). The Dogs are on a 4 game winning streak and have won 6 of their 7 last games.
Barrie topped a pesky Wolves team last night at home 4-3. Telegin with a goal and 2 assists to go with his +3 rating and first star honours. Pearson, Beyers and Scheifele with the other goals. By winning that game the Colts were able to stay ahead of the Wolves by 2 points and now trail the Battalion by 1 point. Barrie has won 5 of their last 6 games including 2 shutouts.
My prediction Niagara 3 Barrie 1
Peterborough at Owen Sound
The #6 Petes (24-23-3-3) sneaked by the #1 Ottawa 67’s in overtime 5-4. They were outshot 46-22 firing exactly 7 shots each period and scored on their first shot in overtime. D’Agostini with the solid game in net and #1 star honours. Quine, Martschini, Plerog, Ritchie and Yogan with the goals. The Petes sit in 6th place in the East just 1 point ahead of Oshawa, 2 points ahead of Mississauga and 3 points ahead of Belleville.
Owen Sound eked out a 2-1 shootout victory at Erie on Wednesday and then went into Brampton on Thursday and dropped the Batalion 4-2. In those games D Catenacci, Cutting and Halmo had 1 goal – Gavrus with 2 goals against Brampton. They were badly outshot by the Battalion 47-22 but still managed to get the ‘W’. Binnington stopped 45 of 47 shots directed his way against the Battalion.
My prediction Peterborough 3 Owen Sound 4 (OT)