OHL Game Day Previews for Friday November 2, 2012
Pictured is Jordan Binnington who is tearing it up for the #1 Owen Sound Attack. He leads the league in many statistical categories this season. (see article below) You may even see him looking back at you on your local grocery store shelf in the cereal aisle.
Owen Sound at Erie
Owen Sound is playing some real solid hockey lately – they have 7 wins in their last 10 games. Last weekend they would notch 5 of 6 available points. Goalie Jordan Binnington is #1 in the league in wins, save percentage as well as goals against average. The Attack have only allowed 32 goals against – only Belleville has a lower total (30) but they have played one fewer game than Owen Sound. Leading the way for the Attack offensively are centres Cameron Brace (12G, 6A) and Daniel Catenacci (8G, 10A). Their third centre – Gemel Smith – is #3 on the team in scoring with 6 goals and 9 assists.
Erie was very optimistic starting this season, but their hopes for success in the standings has yet to materialize. They find themselves at the bottom of the heap in the Western Conference with a record of 4-8-1-2 with 11 points (only 1 point behind Saginaw). Their homestand last weekend started out strong with a convincing 7-1 pasting of the Saginaw Spirit. They would then drop a heartbreaker to the big squad from Sault Ste Marie by a 6-5 score in a shootout. On Sunday they would fight back from a 3-0 defecit to make it a 4-2 game before an mpty net goal sealed the 5-2 victory in favor of the Sarnia Sting. Oscar Dansk continues to get the ‘lions share’of work in net – capable backup Devin Williams’ last action was in a 3-2 loss to Windsor on Oct 20 when his team was outshot by 20.
My prediction Owen Sound 6 Erie 2
Oshawa at Guelph
Oshawa is without Lucas Lessio who has a serious wrist injury and Scott Laughton, who is serving his 10 game suspension. Oshawa (10-5-0-2) are coming off a 5-0 road victory over the Peterborough Petes last night. It was the back end of a home and home with the Petes, who had beaten them on Sunday night, 3-2 in a shootout. Captain Boone Jenner leads the way with 2 goals and 2 assists. Oshawa's first pick in the 2012 Priority Selection, 16 year old, Michael Dal Colle, scored once and had an assist, as well. The Generals outshot the Petes 53-29. The Gens powerplay was sizzling at 3 for 5.
Guelph (10-4-0-1) are ranked 9th in the CHL in the BMO rankings, their 2nd week in the top ten this season. The Storm is one point behind the Owen Sound attack for the Western Conference lead and have a record of 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games. Guelph's last game was a penalty filled 6-2 home ice loss to the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. Colin Miller and Mark Pettacio, of the Soo, were each suspended 3 games for their actions in thisgame. Miller for slashing, and Pettacio for abuse of an official. Guelph's Andre Pedan was also suspended for 4 games for kicking an opponent. Guelph's starter Garett Sparks was lifted in favour of Jason DaSilva, after he allowed the Soo's 6th goal, 6 minutes into the 3rd.
My prediction Oshawa 3 at Guelph 5
Brampton at Kingston
Brampton (5-6-3-2) have scored the second lowest number of goals in the OHL, just one shy of the Bulls. They are sitting in last place in the Central Division. Sixteen year old, Blake Clarke leads the team with 13 points in 16 games (5g, 8a). Veteran, Barclay Goodrow has scored 7 goals, and is second on the team, with 10 points. The Battalion play a system where they don't give up many chances, and they like to clog up the centre of theice, and force attacking players to the outside.
Kingston is coming off of an impressive 3-2 shootout win in Ottawa on Monday. It was the team's third year in a row that they have won Ottawa's school kids' game. This ended Kingston's 5 game losing streak. Fronts' rookies, Spencer Watson and Henri Ikonen scored in the shootout, and goaltender Mike Morrison closed out the 67's in the shootout for the victory.
The Fronts have been inconsistent this season as was expected when they iced one of the youngest teams in the OHL. Their average age on defense just went up, however, as they traded for OA defenseman, Ryan Hanes,from the Kitchener Rangers. Hanes is a steady, defensive defenseman who has played alongside Team Canada veteran, and offensive defenseman Ryan Murphy for most of the season. Hanes hasn't played the Rangers' last 5 games, as he has been out with a shoulder injury. He will not suit up for Kingston, until at least next weekend.
My prediction Brampton 2 at Kingston 3
Plymouth at Sarnia
Both of these teams come to the game with 17 points and are tied for seventh place in the tough Western Conference of the OHL. Plymouth lost their last game but were on a 5 game winning streak before running into a tough Kitchener squad. Garret Meurs and Cody Payne each have 13 points in the team’s 14 games. Richard Rackell also has 12 points. After this game the squad will return home to play the same Sarnia squad tomorrow night.
Sarnia is on a three game winning streak of their own. Last weekend they were firing on all cylinders with two 5 goal games and a 4 goal game – their wins were over Windsor, Erie and Brampton. Alex Galchenyuk leads the team with 21 points ( ninth in the league). Boucher, Sarault and Goldobin each have 15 points this season. They will complete their weekend of games on Sunday with a visit to Saginaw on Sunday.
My prediction Plymouth 3 Sarnia 4 (OT)
Ottawa at Sault Ste Marie
The Ottawa 67's (4-8-0-2) are back in the basement of the OHL after losing in a shootout to the Kingston Frontenacs, in a game that started at 10:30 AM on Monday morning. Ottawa's problem this year has beensloppy play in their own end, and keeping the puck out of their own net. Keegan Wilson has shouldered the load in the Ottawa goal, playing in 11 of their 14 games. Sean Monahan continues to show scouts that he should be a top 5 pick in the 2013 NHL draft as he has 22 points in 14 games to lead the team. Tyler Graovac has been terrific, as well, with 14 goals in 14 games, to lead the OHL.
Sault Ste Marie (9-7-0-0) are going to start running out of players, as they have 4 players serving suspensions at the present time. Former Kingston Frontenac Minor Midget, 16 year old, Kevin Spinozzi was suspended 8 games for a check to the head, earlier in the season. He is eligible to return on Nov 9. Landon Schiller was suspended for 10 games for the same reason in a game against the Ice Dogs. He can return on Nov 23. Two players were suspended for 3 games in the Soo's last game. Colin Miller and Mark Pettacio can return on Nov. 10.
The loss of Schiller and Pettacio create a hole on the right side, up front. Miller will be missed on defence, but the Greyhounds have three solid defensemen in Ryan Sproul, Alex Gudbranson, and OA Chris Buonomo (acquired from the Colts) who eat up a lot of minutes for the Soo. I expect Ottawa's coach Chris Byrne will have the 67's fired up, as he doesn't think he's coaching a last place club.
My prediction Ottawa 5 at Sault Ste Marie 3
Windsor at Kitchener
Windsor is coming off a big win at London last night. After being behind 2-0, the Spits were able to tie things up by the end of the second period 2-2. They would push 3 goals past the combination of Paterson and Baille in the third period for the 6-3 victory. All of the goals would be scored by different players – with Josh Ho-Sang notching a goal and 2 assists for 13 points in 16 games played. By virtue of the win, the Spits have quickly climbed to the second spot in the Western Conference with a record of 8-6-0-3 good for 19 points.
Kitchener was at Niagara last night. The game was very closely contested the entire way. Niagara was able to push a puck past Gibson late in the second period. The Rangers were able to trickle one past Festarini in the third period, leading to a goal mouth scramble – but the puck would stay out. The loss keeps the Rangers in fourth place in the Western Conference with 18 points. Kitchener does not play on Saturday, but they hostthe #1 Western team from Owen Sound late on Sunday night.
This game is a rematch of a late September match when the host Windsor Spitfires were able to outlast the Rangers by the tune of 4-2. Chris Marchese had the hot hand in that game for the Spits with 2 goals
My prediction Windsor 3 Kitchener 5
Belleville at London
The Belleville Bulls (8-4-1-0) have scored the fewest goals in the OHL this season. They begin a Western swing that will see them travel to Saginaw on Saturday night, and to Windsor on Sunday afternoon. The Bulls will have done their northern swing to SSM and Sby, and southwestern swing to Sarnia, and Plymouth, so their record is even more impressive, as a result. The Bulls give up very few chances to score, and when they do give up achance, they have two very good goalies to bail them out. Malcolm Subban is arguably the best goalie in the league, and Charlie Graham is good enough to be a starter on many other OHL teams, in my opinion.
The London Knights (8-4-0-2) are right in the thick of the race in the West. The Bulls are quite familiar with the Knights' number one goaltender, Kevin Bailie, who played in 112 games for the Generals, over 4 seasons. Bailie is playing some of his best hockey as an overager, with a save %age of .927 this season and a 2.33 GAA in 11 games. London is lead by some high end offensive talent in Seth Griffith, Bo Horvat, and Max Domi, along withOli Maatta. Defenseman, Kevin Raine learned on Wednesday that he is suspended for 6 games for his hit on Petes' forward Stephen Nosad.
My prediction Belleville 1 at London 3
Peterborough at Mississauga
This is the first of three games that the Petes (4-8-2-1) will face off against the Steelheads (9-4-0-1) in the month of November. Peterborough were shutout 5-0 on home ice last night by the Oshawa Generals. The Gens dominated the Petes in every aspect of the game, and outshot them 26-13 in the second period, alone, and 53-29 overall. The Gens scored 3 powerplay goals and one shorthanded goal on the Petes in the game.
The Petes have been decimated with injuries and illness early in the season. Last year's second leading scorer, Alan Quine, has yet to play a game for the Petes this season. He and defenseman, Connor Bollandare out with mono. Bolland has only played in 3 games. Nick Ritchie recently reinjured his shoulder, and rookie Alex Robinson hasn't played a game this year (jaw injury). Rookie Josh Maguire has a separated shoulder.
Petes' goalie, Andrew D'Agostini will be featured on boxes of Post Cereal. I'm sure he'd trade this opportunity for a few wins this season, though. His record is 0-5-0-1, with a 4.06 GAA. The Petes are coming off a weekend in which their other goalie was named the CHL goalie of the week in two wins. Michael Giugvaz (4-3-2) has been very good.
The Mississauga Steelheads (9-4-0-1) are on a 3 game winning streak and are 7-2-0-1 in their last ten. They have given up the second fewest number of goals in the Eastern Conference, behind the Bulls. Overager,Riley Brace leads the team, offensively, with 6 goals and 13 assists in 14 games. Including playoffs he has played in 294 OHL games, all with Mississauga. Brace has amassed 211 points, 83 of them goals during his 4+ seasons.
My prediction Peterborough 2 at Mississauga 3
Barrie is the top team in the OHL – their record is 11-3-0-1 good for 23 points. They have won 8 of their last 10 games and won 2 in a row. Top scoring Colt is Mark Scheifele with 23 points followed by Zach Hall with 22 points – they are ranked # 5 and #6 in the OHL Individual Scoring race. The Colts will continue their 705 area code gaunt with a stop over into Sault Ste Marie on Saturday.
Sudbury’s record is 7-8-0-1 and they find themselves in sixth place tied with the Brampton Battalion. Their top scorer is Josh Leivo – 10 goals and 6 assists which places him at #28 in the OHL scoring race. D-man Frank Corrado has 1 goal and 15 assists which is #3 in the league for defencemen. The Wolves continue their home stand vs Ottawa tomorrow night and complete their weekend schedule with a drive down to Brampton for Sunday’s game.
My prediction Barrie 5 Sudbury 1