Game day predictions are brought to you by John Duncan (@frontsfocus) and Dwayne Williams (@notsoheavyd). We are two ‘normal’ Ontario guys with real jobs and real families who happen to be rabid fans of the OHL that enjoy talking hockey. We are not paid by the OHL nor do we have an affiliation with the league offices or any team in any way. We hope that you are enjoying our offering of ‘wisdom’ and statistical commentary. On to today’s action !
Saginaw at Brampton
The last two games for the Spirit have been high scoring tilts. On Thursday at Barrie, the Spirit would score5 times but lose 8-5. They trailed 4-1 after the first period. Garrett Ross would notch 2 goals in the game. On Friday they would invade Sudbury and chase the Wolves all over the ice en route to a 6-1 victory in front of 4200 disappointed Sudbury fans. A strong first period lead (4-1) would allow the team to cruise to victory. Trocheck (15) and Ross (14) lead the team in scoring so far this year. The Spirit are near the bottom of the Western Conference standings with a record of 3-4-2-0
During Brampton’s recent 4 game winless streak, they have scored 5 times and surrendered 13 goals. On Monday the Battalion would lose a heartbreaker by allowing a shorthanded – game tying goal to the visiting Steelheads with only 31 second remaining in the game. In overtime, the Battalion would not be able to push one past Martin before Brett Foy would snap the game winner by Machovsky. Their last 2 games were both losses at the hands to the steady Belleville Bulls squad. Scores in those games were 2-1 (shootout) and 2-0. Newly promoted Captain Barclay Goodrow leads the team with 7 points in 9 games.
My prediction Saginaw 4 Brampton 2
Peterborough at Guelph
Peterborough (2-5-1-1) lost last night in Owen Sound, in a shootout. The Petes held the lead until the Attackpulled their goalie in the final minute of the 3rd. Daniel Catenacci would score his 2nd of the night, and 6th on the season with just 47 seconds left in regulation. The Petes had battled back in the 3rd to tie and take the lead, at 3-2 on goals by Steven Trojanovic, and Stephen Nosad. 19 year old, veteran, Andrew D'Agostini stopped 42 of 46 shots to force a shootout.
The Guelph Storm (5-2-0-1) downed the Otters in their last start 6-3. Tyler Bertuzzi scored his first two goals of the season in this one, as he and his linemates, Patrick Watling, and Ryan Horvat did an excellent job of cycling the puck low in the Erie end. Scott Kosmachuk and Jason Dickinson scored "highlight reel" goals in this game, as well. Tanner Richard has 11 assists in 8 games this season.
The Petes showed resilience last night to battle back in the third, but they should be tired, after losing their last two games in extra time. On Thursday evening, the Kingston Frontenacs beat the Petes in overtime.
My prediction Peterborough 2 Guelph 5
Kitchener at Ottawa
The Kitchener Rangers (3-3-0-1) find themselves sinking in the Western Conference standings, due to lack of goal scoring production. They have managed to score, an OHL low, 15 goals on the season. This is a puzzlingstat since the Rangers have a number of proven OHL point producers, including Matt Puempel, Tobias Rieder, Radek Faksa, and defenseman, Ryan Murphy, who has but one assist in 7 games.
The Ottawa 67's (2-6-0-0) have been a disappointment so far this year, sitting dead last in the OHL. Goal scoring hasn't been Ottawa's problem. They just have to keep the puck out of their own net. Only the Erie Otters have given up more goals. Ottawa's powerplay has been very good, scoring at a 35% clip, the best in the OHL, so Kitchener will need to stay out of the box to be successful. However, the Rangers sport the 3rd best penalty killing unit in the OHL, killing off 88% of opponent's powerplays, so far this season.
The Rangers have been in Ottawa stewing over their first loss to the Kingston Frontenacs in 6 years, as they left the Limestone City immediately after the game, on Friday night. I expect that coach Steve Spott put them through a tough practice on Saturday at Scotiabank Place, in preparation for this afternoon's matchup. It's been close to 5 years since a Kitchener team has beaten the 67's, so this year's team would surely love to get that monkey off their back.
My prediction Kitchener 5 at Ottawa 4
Sault Ste Marie at Sarnia
The Greyhounds are coming off an emotionally charged overtime game with Plymouth last night. The game was tightly contested all the way with shots on goal even at 33 – the game was tied at 1-1 and 2-2 before Andrew Fritsch was able to get one by Matt Mahalak 1:50 into overtime. Fritsch had one of the other goals and earned a +2 rating. Nick Cousins was also buzzing with a goal, an assist and a +2 rating. The Greyhounds record of 6 wins and 3 losses puts them into second place in the Western Conference.
Last night the Sting would eke out a 4-3 overtime win at home vs. the Niagara Icedogs. Craig Hottot would notch the overtime winner thanks to a powerplay opportunity which carried over from regulation time. Nikandrov, DeAngelo and Dundas would score the other goals. Sarnia was 2/3 on powerplay chances. Only 4 players on this squad have positive on ice ratings – the top seven scorers do not have positive ratings. Alex Galchenyuk leads the team in scoring with 4 goals and 6 assists – he had 2 goals and 2 assists vs the Greyhounds last week as part of the 6-3 victory in Sault Ste Marie. Sarnia’s record is 4-3-0-1 as they ‘battle it out’ in the middle of the Western Conference standings.
My prediction Sault Ste Marie 4 Sarnia 2
Niagara at Windsor
The Icedogs finally complete a very challenging part of their schedule with a stop in to Windsor. Last night they were able to chip their way back into the game only to have an untimely penalty foil the comeback attempt. In the final moments of the game a linesman called a boarding penalty on Brett Ritchie. The 5 minute majorwould carry over into overtime where Craig Hottot would finish things off with a rare overtime powerplay goal. Ryan Stome and Mitchell Theoret both had a goal and an assist in the 4-3 loss. The single point helped the Dogs stay in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference with 11 points, but their 4 game winless streak continues.
Windsor has not played since their home match on Thursday vs. Sault Ste Marie. In that game the Spits never trailed en route to a 7-4 win. They were 2/5 on the powerplay (Greyhounds were 2/6 on their powerplay chances). Top scorers were Derek Shoenmakers (2G, 1A), Matt Clarke (2G, 2A), Kerby Rychel (1G, 1A) and Brady Vail (1G, 1A). Windor’s record of 4-3-0-2 also puts them in the middle of the pack of the Western Conference.
The question for this game is whether the Dogs have any energy left to compete – or if the Spits will have some cobwebs to clean off their game in the early stages of today’s contest.
My prediction Niagara 3 Windsor 2
London at Oshawa
The London Knights (5-2-0-0) are coming off of a strong winning effort Friday night against the Plymouth Whalers. Seth Griffith, and Max Domi each have 13 points in 7 games to lead the Knights. Former Oshawa General, Kevin Bailie has been excellent in the Knights' goal, since being acquired in the off season. Expect the Belleville native to start this evening, as well, in Oshawa.
The Generals (6-2-0-1) want nothing to do with a hot goaltender. They lost last night in Belleville, in a gamein which Malcolm Subban made 44 saves, and was the game's first star, and they lost in a shootout, to Barrie, the night before, with Mathias Niederberger stopping 51 shots. Offensively, Boone Jenner, and Lucas Lessio have led the way, and newcomers, Tyler Biggs, and 16 year old Michael Del Colle have been pleasant surprises.
My prediction London 3 at Oshawa 4