Today is Hockey Day in Canada – sponsored by Scotiabank. There is plenty of action in the NHL as well as in the OHL today. The crew from CBC has spent the past few days in Peterborough, ON taking in the hockey flavour of that town – look for features on Wendel Clark as well as some OHL player features throughout the day.
Oshawa at Niagara
The Generals were embarrassed at home vs the last place Erie Otters 7-4. The Otters would carry a 3-0 lead until the midpoint of the second period when the Generals would finally solve Otters goalie Devin Williams (he stopped 42 of 46 shots). Erie would take a commanding 5-1 lead late in the second period but Matt Petgrave would respond for the homeside before time expired. After chipping away in the third period, the Generals would get the score down to 6-4 but then an empty net goal by former Gen JP Labardo would seal the victory for the Otters. Petgrave and Laughton each had 2 goals in the losing effort. This game took a nasty turn, as 3 goalie interference penalties were called, a check to the head penalty, and a check from behind penalty. Justin Dundas was ejected for abuse of an official after he was assessed his check to the head penalty, half way through the game. The Generals continue to cruise near the top of the standings in third place with 62 points. They are 2 points behind the Bulls and 3 points ahead of the Battalion.
Niagara has struggled at the Hersey Centre this year. They now have a record of 1-3 in games played there. The Dogs would open the scoring and also enjoy a 2-1 lead at the end of one period. Niagara could not respond to Mississauga’s goals in the second and third period giving Brent Moran his seventh loss in 12 appearances. Stephen Shipley scored his 25th of the season and Jordan Maletta scored his first goal in an Icedog uniform.
My prediction Oshawa 3 Niagara 4
Erie at Belleville
The Erie Otters started their Eastern swing on the right skate, with a 7-4 victory over the Generals last night. They were full value for the win, and it snapped the Otters' 7 game losing streak. Devin Williams stopped 42 shots for the victory. Stephen Harper scored twice for the Otters. It was Erie's first regulation win in Oshawa since January of 2001.
The Bulls' game at Kingston last night was postponed because of poor road conditions. No make-up date has been announced. Belleville is first in the East Division, 6 points behind Eastern Conference leading Barrie. The Bulls have an identical 7-2-0-1 record as the Colts in their last 10 games. The Bulls are 15-2-2 against the Western Conference this season. They beat the Otters 4-3 in a SO, as Aaron Berisha scored twice for Belleville. Despite their recent struggles, the Otters have played well at Yardman Arena. In their last 3 trips to Belleville, the Otters have 3 wins, outscoring Belleville 15-4.
My prediction Erie 2 at Belleville 5
Sault Ste Marie at Peterborough
Quietly, the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds have moved into first place in the West Division, 2nd in the Conference. They are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games. They started their Eastern swing with a 5-1 win in Brampton, last night. Captain, Colin Miller, scored twice, and Ryan Sproul had 3 assists. Stan Butler's team was uncharacteristically undisciplined in this one, taking 18 minutes in penalties.
The Petes were cooled off a little on Thursday night, as they were shelled 9-4 by the Windsor Spitfires. Alexander Khokhlachev had a hat trick for the Spitfires. Kirby Rychel had a goal and 5 assists, and winger, Alex Aleardi also had 5 assists in this one. Peterborough's PK successfully killed only 2 of Windsor's 6 powerplay opportunities.
Owen Sound at Plymouth
The Attack are ‘riding high’ as they escaped London with a hard earned 4-3 victory against the #1 London Knights. Owen Sound led 2-1 after one period – London would tie the game by the end of the second period. The Attack would score an early on the powerplay in the third period which would stand up as the game winning goal. Catenacci, Brace and Janes (2) were the goal scorers. With the win, Owen Sound continues their slim 1 point lead over the Rangers – and also trails the Knights by 12 points.
The big guns were ablazing last night in Plymouth vs Barrie. Both teams would trade goals in the first 4:08 before Vincent Trocheck would light the lamp with his 32nd and 33rd goals of the season. Theoret would notch the lone goal of the second period for the visiting side. The wheels then fell off the home side as the Colts would push 2 consecutive powerplay goals Matt Mahalak. The final 2 goals were of the empty net variety. With the loss, the Whalers are now tied with the Sarnia Sting in the #6 spot with 61 points this season.
My prediction Owen Sound 3 Plymouth 5
Mississauga at Sudbury
The Steelheads held serve at the Hersey Centre last night vs. the Niagara Icedogs. They were able to respond to Niagara’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads eventually notching the go ahead goal in the second period. An insurance goal in the third period gave them needed breathing room to cruise to a 4-2 victory. Goal scorers were DeMelo, Cobbold (2) and Percy. These were also the three stars of the game (Cobbold #1, Percy #2 and DeMelo #3). They have an even record of 24-24-0-4 this season and are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are 2 points behind Niagara and a comfortable 7 points ahead of eighth place Kingston.
Sudbury hosted the Battalion last night with many supporters from North Bay in attendance. Sudbury hit the scoreboard in the first period and Brampton responded in the second period. There was no scoring in the third period or overtime. None of the Sudbury shooters could respond to Blake Clarke’s goal in the shootout giving the visitors the 2-1 victory. Sudbury is now in fifth place with 59 points (tied with Brampton – but the Battalion have more wins).
My prediction Mississauga 2 Sudbury 4
Barrie at Saginaw
The Colts were pressed for time getting into Plymouth last night as an oil spill enroute would cause massive traffic headaches for the area. The game was a busy one for the scorekeeper. The home side would jump out to a 3-1 lead after 1 period. The Colts newest player – Mitchell Theoret – would score the lone goal of the second period. Two powerplay goals in the middle of the third period would give the Colts all the advantage that they would need as the last 2 goals would come via an empty net giving a final score of 6-3. Mark Schiefele had a goal and an assist in his return to OHL action. The win now gives the Colts a 6 points lead for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Last night Saginaw was in action at Sarnia. The Spirit enjoyed balanced scoring and were able to hold the Sting down by only surrendering 1 powerplay goal on 7 chances. Saginaw scored on 1 of their 3 powerplay chances. Multipoint games were recorded by 6 different players including team leading Eric Locke’s 3 assists. The win allowed the Spirit to stay ahead of Windsor for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference – the margin between the teams is now 5 points.
My prediction Barrie 4 Saginaw 2
Windsor at Ottawa
This game was to be played last night, but because of the weather if was rescheduled for tonight.
Winners of 6 of their last 10 games, the Windsor Spitfires have crept to within 3 points of the 8th place, Saginaw Spirit. Last night the Spits did the Frontenacs a favour by cooling off the Petes, 9-4, in Peterborough. Kerby Rychel has been a different player since the return of Alexander Khokhlachev. Rychel had a goal and 5 assists last night, and Koko had a hat trick. Alex Aleardi had 5 assists, as well. Windsor went 4 for 6 on their powerplay. Sam Studnicka and Ryan Verbeek remain suspended, and defenseman, Patrick Sieloff didn't make the Eastern swing, due to a groin injury.
The Ottawa 67s are looking forward to next season. They continue to sit last in the OHL standings. They were humbled, on home ice, 10-6, by the Petes, on Wednesday night. Both Ottawa goalies looked shaky, as the Petes fired 52 shots on goal, including 27 shots in the 1st. The 67s only managed 7 shots in the 1st. Sean Monahan scored twice for Ottawa in the loss, and remains the leader of the team in all offensive categories. He has 56 points in the 42 games he has played, and is 19th in the OHL. He is consistently ranked in the top 10 in most 2013 NHL draft lists, and is expected to be an impact player in the NHL one day.
My prediction Windsor 6 at Ottawa 4