Are you ready for some hyperbole? This is a HUGE weekend for the hounds. Not only is it the first week with Sheldon Keefe behind the bench but he gets to start against 3 division rivals. Windsor on Thursday and Saginaw on Saturday two teams tied with the Hounds for 7th in the West. As we know from narrowly missing the playoffs last year these proverbial “4” point games have a big impact on the final standings. It is a great time for the Hounds to pick up their first points against the spits this year and improve upon their 2-0-1-0 record against the Spirit. Sunday’s game against the Sting is equally important for the same reason. While the Sting have put some space between themselves and the Hounds it has mainly been on the back of Alex Galchenyuk. With the World Juniors upcoming and progress with a new NHL CBA who knows how long he will be around Sarnia. Now is a great time to start reeling them in. After all Hounds fans saw firsthand what kind of team the Sting are when he is out with the flu.
Windsor Spitfires Thursday December 6th
2012-12 Record Overall/Home (11-12-1-5)(8-4-0-3)
- 16th in the OHLwriters.com power rankings
- Enter the week in a 3 way tie for 7th in the Western Conference with the Hounds and Spirit
- PP is league average coming in at 10th with a 20% success rate. PK they come in at 10th just like their PP. Stopping opponents 79.2% of the time.
- Sheldon Keefe’s first game behind the bench for the Hounds.
Draft Eligibles and Others to Watch
Patrick Seiloff: Calgary Flames 2nd round draft pick and US U20 invitee. He has made a name for himself this year with crushing open ice hits and sending multiple players to the press box with concussions.
Jordon DeKort: The Spitfires backup goalie is one of the better draft eligible goalies in the O this season. Currently winless for the spits he is carrying a .911 save %
Saginaw Spirit Saturday December 8th
2012-13 Record Overall/Home(12-14-2-2-)/(7-4-1-1)
- 14th in the OHLwriters.com power rankings
- The Hounds will be catching the Spirit on the tail end of a 3in3 weekend.
- Goalie Jake Paterson has been named to Canada’s U20 camp which starts next week. While I don’t think he will make the team it will be a nice opportunity for the hounds to make some ground on Saginaw without their star netminder.
- Power Play is struggling this year 17th in the league clicking 17.1% of the time. PK comes in at 14th with a rating of 76.7%
Draft Eligibles and Others to Watch
Vincent Trocheck: Recently selected to the US U20 Selection Camp. Saginaw’s leading scorer this year 21-24-45 in 30 games played.
Eric Locke: After a strong rookie campaign as a 17 year old Eric struggled a bit last year between Barrie and Saginaw. He seems to have righted the ship this year though as he has 33 points in 30 games to sit 2nd on the Saginaw point list.
Sarnia Sting Sunday December 9th
2012-13 Record Overall/Home (16-11-0-2)/(6-7-0-1)
- 10th in the OHLwriters.com power rankings.
- 2 players Alex Galchenyuk and Conner Murphy have been invited to the USA selection camp.
- Enter the week on a 4 game winning streak
- Start the week as the leaders in the OHL’s West Division although as I write this Plymouth has passed them with their win over Owen Sound.
- PP ranks 3rd in the league, successful 27.4% of the time. 5th best PK working 83.1% of the time.
- 4th worst home record in the OHL
Draft Eligibles and others to watch
Reid Boucher: Passed over for the USA U20 evaluation camp. He has been a point per game player and is a draft pick of the NJ Devils.
Bold Prediction of the Week
Im leaving it all out there this week 6 Points for the Hounds on this road trip.