OHL Game Day Previews for January 10, 2013
Yuck … only 1 for 4 in yesterday’s game predictions – here’s hoping for a better result tonight. Lots of action in the trading arena yesterday and today – which player will have an immediate impact for their new team?
Owen Sound at Niagara
The Attack have had a difficult time generating offence over the past few games, and now it is the defence that needs some work. Last night they were in Erie PA where each team would score three goals in the first period. Brandon Hope remained in net for the rest of the game and had the tie breaking goal slip by him with only 35 seconds remaining to give the last place Otters the 4-3 victory. Daniel Zweep added to his fight count in this game at the 41 second mark of the first period. The third place Attack have now lost 4 in a row and only counted 3 victories in their last 10 games. Today’s net trade movement is the departure of Dotchin and Rymarchuk.
Niagara has been busy with trades that are bolstering the lineup for the future. They have been cashing out some of their players (ie. Theoret and Wigle) for younger players. The trade with Barrie gives the Icedogs three players from the 2012 first round OHL draft. Do not expect to see Strome, Ritchie or Hamilton dressed for tonight’s game as they are preparing to attend NHL training camps.
The Icedogs have also only won 3 of their past 10 games. In January, they have recorded two losses and an overtime loss. Goaltender Festarini has been shaky of late and will need to shore things up for the younger Dogs to have a chance in this game.
My prediction Owen Sound 4 Niagara 1
Kitchener at Peterborough
The Kitchener Rangers (22-13-1-4) are gearing up for a playoff run. They have made two separate moves, one of which paid immediate dividends in their last game. Overage forward, Derek Schoenmakers was finally acquired by the Rangers from the Petes. Defenseman, Frank Corrado, goalie Joel Vienneau, and forward Josh Leivo were acquired from the Sudbury Wolves for 3 players and a number of picks. Vienneau stopped 35 of 37 shots - Leivo had a goal and an assist - and Corrado had an assist and was a plus-2 in the Rangers’ 6-2 victory over the visiting Guelph Storm on Tuesday night. The addition of these players should really help the Rangers’ struggling goal scoring, which was tied for second last in the OHL with the Petes (one more than the Bulls at 106 goals). This works out to 2.67 goals per game.
The Peterborough Petes (11-24-3-2) have gone into a rebuild mode. As mentioned, they have traded disgruntled veteran Derek Schoemakers to the Rangers for Nick Czinder and a couple of picks, and their leading point getter, Francis Menard to the Brampton Battalion for a couple of picks. The Petes may not be finished trading yet, as they are currently tied for last in the OHL with the Ottawa 67s, who have unloaded a few of their vets for younger talent and picks. Peterborough has a number of good players who could help out some teams pushing for a playoff run.
The Petes are 2-0-0-1 in their last 3 games, including a road victory over the Kingston Frontenacs, and a SO loss in Kitchener, prior to the recent deals. Kitchener has a stronger lineup which should have no trouble with the Petes, in Peterborough tonight.
My prediction Kitchener 6 at Peterborough 2
Brampton at Windsor
The Battalion are in the thick of the Eastern Conference now – they are sandwiched in fifth place with 45 points – 2 behind the slumping Icedogs and 2 ahead of both Sudbury and Mississauga. They have won 5 of their last 10 games, but only recorded one point in their last 3 matches.
The upgrade at forward – trading for Francis Menard – will pay dividends quickly. He has 33 points in 40 games this season but only 1 assist in his last 4 games. Menard is tied for second in scoring on his new team with 33 points – Blake Clarke is 2 points ahead of both he and Goodrow. Rookie Jake Smith had a tough time in the nets last game vs. Ottawa. His team was up 3-1 at the end of the first period, but they would allow 2 goals in the final frame to send the game to overtime. The 67’s would score the only goal needed in the shootout for the 6-5 victory.
Brampton will play at Plymouth on Friday night and then return home to host the Wolves on Sunday afternoon.
Windsor continues to revamp their team after a disappointing stretch in December where they would win their first two games and then lose 8 in a row. January’s only game was an 8-5 loss at Sarnia. Three of their top 5 scorers are recent additions – Aleardi, Koekkoek and Giftopolous. The new look Spits will play at Belleville and then Oshawa to complete their weekend action.
My prediction Brampton 2 Windsor 4
Mississauga at Barrie
For a team in the thick of the Eastern Conference standings, the Steelheads were remarkably quiet during this trading season. The ‘stand pat’ approach may work, but the team hasn’t been dominant lately. They are in sixth place in league standings, but can easily move up with a better performance than their December record of 2-7. The have 43 points – same as the Sudbury Wolves and 1 point ahead of the Kingston Frontenacs. The Battalion are only 2 points ahead of them.
January started out better with a comfortable 5-2 win over the regrouping Niagara IceDogs and then a close 5-4 home loss vs. the Sudbury Wolves (3 straight third period goals to make the score more respectable). They continue their road trip this weekend with stops into Sudbury and then to Sault Ste Marie.
Barrie made a few moves to bolster their lineup – acquiring power forward Mitchell Theoret (NIA) and Defenceman Jake Dotchin. They also pried Rymarchuk from the Owen Sound Attack. They continue to lead the Eastern Conference with a record of 26-12-0-1 and a diminishing 4 point lead on Oshawa and Belleville. Uncertainty about the NHL status of Scheifelle continues to hang over this team. Last week they were able to handle the depleted Niagara lineup 4-1 before being shutout in Erie against the last place Erie Otters. Saturday night was a 5-2 home ice victory over the last place Ottawa 67’s.
My prediction Mississauga 2 Barrie 4