Mississauga at Brampton
As the season winds into the home stretch, the battle of the GTA turns in another chapter. This time the Battalion are playing stronger hockey. The Steelheads are reeling with only 2 wins in their last 10 games. They did win their last game but it was a 5-4 shootout victory over the last place Ottawa 67’s. After a tough game coming up on Friday their competition becomes easier with contests against the Icedogs twice and the Fronts once.
The Battalion have collected points in their last 4 games – all were one goal victories or defeats. Blake Clarke continues his phenomenal rookie season (3rd in league rookie scoring) with 15 goals and 24 assists.
These teams will tangle once more in each other’s rink once in February and once in March.
My prediction Mississauga 2 Brampton 3
Sudbury at Niagara
The Wolves were one of the hottest teams in the league last month, but have cooled down a little recently. They have won 6 of their last 10 games and have collected points in their last 5 games. They are in fourth place only 4 points behind Oshawa. Matthew Campagna is having the best year of his 3 season career with 15 goals and 38 assists this season. He scored in every game for Sudbury in December and 9 of 10 games this month.
The Icedogs have Ryan Strome and Brett Ritchie back from their brief NHL stints. Ritchie recently completed a 17 game scoring streak. The last few games have been close, but Niagara has lacked the push to ‘get over the hump’ to find victory. Their last 4 games have been one goal defeats (one in overtime) with only 1 win in their last 10 games. They have tailed off to sixth place in the conference only 2 points ahead of the equally anemic Steelheads.
My prediction Sudbury 4 Niagara 3
Peterborough at Windsor
The Petes and the Spitfires are both in 9th place in their respective Conferences, and both would be on the outside looking in if the playoffs were to start today. Peterborough were sellers at rhe trade deadline, dealing their captain Slater Koekkoek to Windsor, Alan Quine to Belleville, and Francis Menard to Brampton. Koekkoek has suffered a season ending injury and won’t be in the lineup tonight to face his former team.
The Spits will also be without forward Ryan Verbeek, and defenseman Patrick Sanvido, who were suspended for 5 and 2 games respectively for incidents in Sudbury in a game against the Wolves. They were already playing two players short of a full bench, so this will really hurt Windsor. Michael Clarke, Brandon Devlin, and Nick Czinder started the season with Windsor and will be making their return tonight. The Petes. Defenseman, Graeme Brown will most likely be recalled from the LaSalle Vipers for the next two games to fill in for Sanvido. The Gananoque native and former Kingston Frontenac Minor Midget player has played in 5 games for Windsor this season.
The Petes are playing decent hockey in their last 10 games, losing only 3 times in regulation. They have accumulated 11 points in those games. The team they are chasing in the standings, the Kingston Frontenacs, have accumulated only 4 points in their last 10 games, and are just 9 points ahead of the Petes now. Each team has 20 games left to play.
My Prediction Peterborough 3 at Windsor 4