Game Day Previews for Thursday March 1 2012
Saginaw at Niagara
Saginaw last won on Feb 19 vs. Owen Sound. In their last 3 games they have lost twice in regulation (6-4 to Sudbury and 6-4 to Plymouth) and lost once in a shootout to Oshawa. In the last 2 games the team scoring leaders for Saginaw (Trochek, Shalla and Saad) have a combined 1 goal and 2 assists. The Spirit are insixth place and have 62 points. They are 4 points ahead of Windsor and 6 points ahead of the teams tied in eighth place (Sault Ste Marie and Guelph). In their last 10 road games they have a record of 6-1-1-2.
Niagara is atop the Eastern Conference with 81 points and a record of 9-1 at home in their last 10 games. Last weekend they won big over Kingston (9-3) and Sault Ste Marie (7-1). Sandwiched between those wins was a 3-2 road loss at Mississauga. Captain Agozzino had 8 assists last weekend – Dougie Hamilton had 3 goals and 4 assists. The Icedogs continue to boast the top powerplay in the league with a success rate of 28.7% at home.
My prediction Saginaw 2 Niagara 6
Brampton at Windsor
The Battalion are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference just one point behind the Barrie Colts and 6 points ahead of Sudbury. Their record has been up and down – losing and winning in streaks. They did win their last game 3-1 vs. the Greyhounds where Stan Butler picked up his 500th win (and was fetted with the first star of the game). The defensive play of this team has been their ‘hallmark’ for years – to be successful in this game they will have to keep the Spits under control early and then chip a few in on against one of their less than perfect goalies.
Windsor is trolling in 7th place of their conference just 2 points ahead of both Guelph and Sault Ste Marie. Last weekend they were shutout by Sarnia 5-0 before they were involved in a high scoring 8-6 win vs. the gritty Wolves team. Kerby Rychel is the point scoring team leader but he was held scoreless all weekend and hasn’t scored in the past three games. Alexander Khokhlachev erupted in this game with 2 goals and 3 assists. In the month of February John Cullen is 2-2 with a GAA of 4.33 – Import Goalie Pavelka is 3-3-1-0 with a GAA of 3.68.
My prediction Brampton 3 Windsor 2 (OT)
Kitchener at Barrie
The Rangers are on a 2 game losing skid and have just been average in their past 10 games compiling a record of 5-5-0-0 in their past 10 games. In their last 2 road games they were outscored by Owen Sound and Guelph to a tune of 13-4. Tyler Randell had 1 goal and 1 assist in those games. Kitchener is nestled in third place in the Western Conference with 78 points. They will not catch London (11 points ahead) and should be able to stayahead of the Sarnia Sting (9 points back) so desperate is not in their vocabulary these days.
Barrie has played solid hockey recently – their 10 game record of 7-2-0-1 is currently second best in the league. On Wednesday they defeated the Attack in Owen Sound by a score of 3-1. In the 12 games last month Ivan Telegin had 13 goals – Scheifele had 11 points – Pearson had 10 points. Niederberger continued hisstrong play with a February record of 8-2-0-1 and a GAA of 1.72.
My prediction Kitchener 2 Barrie 4