Pictured is Gemel Smith of the Owen Sound Attack. He scored his fifth goal of the season with 1:06 remaining vs. the Kitchener Rangers last night to send the game into extra time.

Sarnia at Erie  

Sarnia hosted Windsor on Thursday night.  After trailing 2-1 early in the second period, the Sting would score 4 straight goals and cruise to a convincing 5-2 victory. Galchenyuk notched 2 goals and 1 assist giving him 18 points in 13 games this season (tied for 10th in league scoring). Sarnia’s record is 6 wins, 6 losses and one shootout loss.

Last night at Erie, PA the Otters jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the second period thanks to Connor Brown’s natural hat trick. The Greyhounds responded and clawed back into the contest via 3 third period goals to tie the game at 5-5. In overtime the visitors were able to outshoot the Otters 7-3, but neither team would score.  The Greyhounds scored twice in the shootout, but the home side only once. The one point gives the Otters 11 points on the season – and a record of 4-7-1-2.

 My prediction Sarnia 4 Erie 2

Guelph at London

Last night Guelph hosted the scrappy Windsor Spitfires for this Western Conference tilt. The Spits would jump out to an early 2-0 lead only 5 minutes into the game. Guelph would manage to tie the game at 2-2, then trailed by a goal from the midpoint of the game. They would allow an empty net goal to the visitors which made the final score 6-4 for the Spits. Zac Mitchell gathered 2 assists and was awarded the second star of the game. This loss is only the Storm’s third loss of the season- they haven’t loss since October 6 (shootout vs. Owen Sound).  Their record now stands at 9-3-0-1

London hosted Plymouth last night where they dropped a 3-2 decision. They started very slow (4 shots on net in the first period) but pushed the pace in the third period (outshot the Whalers 14-3) They were not able to recover from three consecutive Whaler goals. Domi and Tierney were the Knights’ goal scorers. Kevin Baille had a solid, but not stellar night in goal for London.  The Knights are in fourth place in the Western Conference with a record of 8-4-0-1.

My prediction Guelph 3 London 4 (OT)

Kingston at Belleville

Kingston (5-7-0-0) lost a wild one on home ice last night against another division rival, the Ottawa 67s, 8-6.  Colin Furlong got the start in net for the Fronts, and played the entire game.  He gave up 7 goals on 41 shots, as the last one, Graovac's hat trick goal, was scored into an empty Kingston net.  Rookie, defenseman Mikko Vainonen wrung one off the post just moments before that, which would have tied the game at 7. Once again, the Fronts had a bad stretch in the 2nd period where they gave up 4 consecutive goals to go from leading 3-0, to being down 4-3. Momentum is such a tough thing to turn around for young, inexperienced teams, like the Fronts.  The announced crowd of over 3000 were treated with a consistent effort over 60 minutes, but Kingston's defensive zone coverage continues to be their Achilles' heel. Kingston's "so called" 4th line was their best on this night, with Mitchell Fitzmorris notching his long awaited first OHL goal, after being hurt most of last season. Jean Dupuy had the "Gordie Howe hat trick" with the first goal of the game, and his first of the season, followed by a beautiful pass to Fitzmorris for his goal, and a fight with big Steven Janes, after he leveled a 67 in front of the Fronts' bench. The entire line of Dupuy, Fitzmorris, and Marc Beckstead were a plus-2 on the night. Tyler Graovac (3g & 2a) and Sean Monahan (1g & 3a) spoiled Furlong's night.   

After mentioning that the Bulls' (7-4-1-0) penalty killing was ranked first in the OHL with a 91% success rate, they give up 3 PP goals on 3 chances to the Mississauga Steelheads, to drop them to 4th place at 84%. Part of the reason for this may have been the void left in the lineup by the loss of Brendan Gaunce, with a separated shoulder.  The Bulls will have to do without him for 3 to 6 weeks. The Steelheads steamrolled over the Bulls at Yardman 6-1. Charlie Graham started the game in goal for the Bulls, but was replaced in the second intermission by Malcolm Subban when the score was 4-1. Wednesday's loss was the second in a row for a team that had rattled off 4 wins in a row, prior to that, and had at least a point in their 6 previous games.

My prediction  Kingston 3  at Belleville 4

Saginaw at Peterborough

Prior to last night's game, Saginaw (5-7-2-0) had given up 15 goals in their last two games, losing 7-1 in Erie, and 8-5 on home ice to the Guelph Storm.  In order for the Spirit to be successful, they must play sound defensive hockey.  In fact, this season if the Spirit give up more than 1 goal, they lose. They have given up only 3 goals in their first 4 wins, this season. Last night, they shut out the powerful Oshawa Generals, on their home ice for nearly two periods. The Gens scored powerplay goals late in the 2nd and the 3rd to make it interesting, but Saginaw prevailed by a 3-2 count.  Saginaw's goalie, Jake Paterson stopped 40 of 42 shots to earn first star honours.

It will be interesting to see how the Petes (2-7-2-1) respond after a heart breaking home ice loss to the London Knights, on Thursday night.  The Petes held a 4-2 lead heading into the 3rd period of play, only to let it slip away, and eventually lose it on a goal by Kingston native, Scott Harrington, with just 32 seconds left in regulation time.

My prediction Saginaw 2 at Peterborough 3

Kitchener at Plymouth

Last night Kitchener hosted the Owen Sound Attack. The Rangers were able to build a slim 2-1 lead which they held until just over a minute remaining in the third period. They would surrender a tying goal to Gemel Smith (pictured above) which would send the game to overtime. Neither team would score in the extra frame. It would take five rounds until the Rangers’ Marcantuoni would solve Jordan Binnington to give the home side the victory. The win takes the Rangers to a record of 7-4-0-1, tied for sixth place in the tough Western Conference.  Kitchener is the only team in the Western Conference with less than 200 PIM.

Plymouth played a firecracked of a game last night in London.  After giving up a first period goal, the Whalers would score three straight times to cruise for most of the third period with a 3-1 lead. Max Domi would push one in the Plymouth net with 1:24 remaining (and the London goalie pulled). Plymouth would hold off the Knights the rest of the way for this tough road victory.  They are tied with Kitchener at 15 points, but have 1 fewer win this season.

 My prediction Kitchener 3 Plymouth 5

Niagara at Barrie

Last night in Sudbury the Icedogs jumped out to an early first period lead via Ryan Strome’s powerplay marker. After Leivo scored, Silk would notch his first of three goals. Dougie Hamilton would score on another powerplay to tie the game 2-2 early in the second period.  The Wolves would then bang in two more to close out the period. Rookie goaltender Moran would struggle with rebound control for most of the game. Three more goals would be surrendered in the third period – and Coach Williamson would stick to his game plan of Moran playing this game and saving #1 Festarini for the Barrie game. Recently acquired Ryan Shipley was involved in two fights and ended the game with 16 PIM. The Dogs record is now 9-5-1-0 good for 19 points and third spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Colts last played on Thursday when they hosted the Brampton Battalion.  It was a quiet game on the scoresheet as Barrie would score in the first period and then Brampton would tie things up midway through the third period on a powerplay. In overtime the youngster Ekblad would score his third goal of the season (13th of his career) for the win. The Colts are top in the OHL with 21 points and a record of 10-3-0-1.  These 2 teams won’t tangle again until January 3 2013.

 My prediction Niagara 2 Barrie 3

Sudbury at Owen Sound

The Wolves were able to blitz Niagara’s rookie netminder Brent Moran last night in Sudbury. At the end of the second period, the score was 4-2 Wolves. In the third period they would add another 3 goals. When all was said and done Brody Silk would have a hat trick along – Frank Corrado would gather 5 assists and first star honours. Joel Vienneau was solid with 42 stops on 44 shots. Will they have the moxie to pull off two wins in a row against upper level teams?  The win pushed the Wolves up to the .500 level who now have a record of 7 wins and 7 losses and are only one of three teams in the OHL without overtime action this season.

Owen Sound was happy to escape with one point from last night’s game vs. the underperforming Kitchener Rangers. Gemel Smith would notch his 5th goal of the season with only 1:06 remaining to tie things up at 2 goals apiece. The extra overtime period would solve nothing so a shooutout was required. The Attack were not able to score in five attempts in the overtime whereas the Rangers slipped one past Binnington in the fifth round for the victory. Owen Sound has a record of 8-2-0-2 as they edge closer to the top spot currently occupied by the Guelph Storm. They will host the scrappy Windsor squad on Sunday afternoon to complete their weekend schedule.

 My prediction Sudbury 2 Owen Sound 4