Pictured is Guelph’s Brock McGinn. He has set career highs this season in goals (28) and assists (24). Brock has 4 goals and an assist in 4 games this month. Nine of his goals have been on the powerplay – second highest on the team. He will be in action tonight vs. the Saginaw Spirit in Guelph.
Saginaw at Guelph
The Spirit are still in need of a single point to officially eliminate the Windsor Spitfires from the #8 spot in the Western Conference. Last night they were in Kitchener where they took care of the Rangers in the shootout. After building up a 3-1 advantage late in the second period, Saginaw was able to survive two powerplay goals by the home side to get to overtime (no scoring) and then the shootout. The suddenly scrappy Spirit were booked for 12 penalties producing 8 powerplay chances for Kitchener. Jake Paterson was good in this game turning aside 40 of 43 pucks fired his way. Goal scorers were Trafford, Lodge and Strong. After this game, the Spirit will scurry back to Plymouth for a 2:00 game on Sunday.
Guelph is settling into the #5 spot in the Western Conference standings. They are 4 points behind Kitchener and 5 points ahead of Sarnia and Sault Ste Marie. If the standings stay put until the end of the regular season, they will draw the Kitchener Rangers in the first round. Their last action was an impressive 6-2 home win over the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. They rattled off 4 straight goals in the heart of the game and had 6 different goal scorers on the scoresheet when the dust settled. Tomorrow the Storm are in Sarnia for a 2:05 start against the revved up Sting squad.
My prediction Saginaw 2 at Guelph 4
Belleville at Barrie
This is pegged as the game to watch this evening as the #1 and #2 teams in the Eastern Conference do battle. The Bulls still have a three point lead despite 3 recent losses against Ottawa (3-1), Niagara (5-3) and Kingston (3-1). Last night they played a much better game and were able to defeat the Wolves in Sudbury 6-2. Thanks to two powerplay goals in the first period, they would build up a 4-0 lead at the first intermission. After two periods, they would have an almost insurmountable 6-0 lead. Two powerplay goals by the home side rounded out the third period scoring for the 6-2 result. Gaunce, Quine and Zharkov swept the three stars selections.
The Colts have an impressive home record of 24-5-1-1 and are riding a 4 game winning streak heading into this contest. Barrie’s last action was Thursday night when they handled the Wolves easily 5-1. Scheifele had a big game with 2 goals and an assist – pushing him to 71 points in 41 games played this season. He has 9 multigoal games this season. After this game, the Colts will travel to Niagara for a Sunday afternoon tilt.
My prediction Belleville 2 at Barrie 5
Erie at Owen Sound
The Otters and Attack continue their doubleheader today. In yesterday’s action Owen Sound were not gracious hosts as they would trounce the lackluster Erie squad by a 9-1 score. The Attack banged in 4 goals before the visitors would respond (Cairns scored his 12th of the season). Both Erie goalies were in the nets, but neither had the answer on this night – Devin Williams let in 4 goals on 24 shots and Oscar Dansk only stopped 13 of his 18 shots. Owen Sound’s Gavrus gathered three goals, Milne had 4 assists and Chiarlitti collected 3 assists as well.
Owen Sound gained some breathing room ahead of the Kitchener in the standings with the win. They are in third place with a precarious 3 point lead on the Rangers who gained a single point against Saginaw in a shootout last night. Erie is in last place in the Conference, but should finish ahead of Ottawa this season – and thus have the #2 pick in the OHL entry draft in a few months time.
My prediction Erie 3 at Owen Sound 6