Pictured is Sarnia Sting’s Craig Hottot who will see his first action of the season when his team visits the Owen Sound Attack. He was suspended at the end of last season and will likely be on the scoresheet a few times tonight.
Erie at Ottawa
The Otters will be playing their third game in as many days against Eastern Division opponents. They started on Thursday night with a convincing 5-1 victory in Peterborough. In that game, Stephen Harper lead the way with a pair of goals. Jake Evans, Nick Betz, and defenseman, Travis Wood scored the others. All of these players were born in 1995, which is most impressive. Turning aside 47 of 48 shots, for the win, was first year, Import goalie, Oscar Dansk, making him the obvious first star. The Otters then lost a very entertaining game in Kingston, by the score of 6-5, in overtime on Friday night. Veterans J.P. Labardo, Connor Crisp, Adam Pelech, and captain Connor Brown led the way, offensively, for the Otters in this one. Of note Erie's powerplay went 3 for 6.
The 67's are playing their second home game of the weekend, after losing Friday night to the Niagara Icedogs – a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The 67's took a 2-0 lead in this game, on Dante Saluturo’s first OHL goal(Ottawa's first pick in the 2012 Priority Selection) and Tyler Graovac’s marker. The Ice Dogs took over the game after that, scoring four unanswered goals. Ryan Strome scored his first two goals of the season, the last into an empty Ottawa net, to ice the victory for the Ice Dogs.
Ottawa does not want to go 0-4 on home ice to start the season, so I expect coach Chris Byrne to have the boys ready to go. Erie will be getting weary, as they are at the end of a long road trip. This won't be an easy game for Ottawa, as the Erie Otters are a much improved team over last season. They move the puck quickly, especially on the PP, and are aggressive on the PK. They transition the puck from defense to offense quickly, and often set up two on one opportunities. Ottawa's defense will have to be much better than it has been to start the season, or the Otters could upset the 67's.
My prediction Erie 3 Ottawa 5
Oshawa at Belleville
Last night the Oshawa Generals beat the Peterborough Petes, for the second time this season by the score of 5-1. Tyler Biggs, and Michael Dal Colle scored their first OHL goals, in a game where the outcome was never in doubt. The Generals outshot the Petes 47-23. The game took a nasty turn in the 3rd period, as there were several fights. Oshawa's Import Sebastian Uvira seemed to hurt his hand in a fight with Peterborough's Chase Hatcher, and Chris Carlisle was assessed an instigator penalty in a fight with Josh Maguire.
Stan Butler's Brampton Battalion, shut out the Belleville Bulls last night. Suffering their first loss of the season, the Bulls only managed 21 shots on goal. The one bright spot for the Bulls was the continued strong play of Malcolm Subban in goal. The Bulls started the season with two impressive, road victories over Sarnia (3-1) and over Plymouth (3-2 in a shootout). This was enough for the Bulls to be ranked 9th in the CHL in the BMO Rankings prior to Week 2.
This should be a hotly contested game. Both teams have three lines that can score, and each have plenty of OHL proven defensemen, and solid goaltending. Belleville always seems to play well on their Olympic sized ice surface, and the fact that this is their Home Opener, may give them the edge that they need.
My prediction. Oshawa 3 at Belleville 4
Sudbury at Plymouth
The Wolves did not play yesterday and had a forgettable game in Saginaw on Thursday night – losing 5 – 0 even though they were only outshot 31-30. Sudbury surrendered 3 goals and 9 powerplay chances in the contest – and were 0/3 when they had the man advantage. Nathan Pancel leads this team with three goals and an assist in 3 games. Defenceman Frank Corrado has 4 assists.
Plymouth continues it’s search for a win this season – earning points in an overtime loss and a shootout loss last weekend. Ryan Hartman and Matthew Mistele each have three points in those games. Look for the veterans (Noesen, Aleardi and Rakell) to get this team out of their ‘funk’.
My prediction Sudbury 3 Plymouth 5
Sault Ste Marie at Saginaw
The Greyhounds finish their weekend with a stop off to tangle with the Spirit. Last night they had an emotional comeback over the Sarnia Sting. After trailing 3-1 they stormed back to tie the game and then win it on a Michael Schumaker goal with 1:37 remaining in the contest (his second goal of the night). Nick Cousins had a goal and an assist – Andrew Fritsch tallied his first goal of the season as well. Matt Murray collected third star honours in stopping 39 of 42 shots sent his way.
Saginaw completes it’s weekend action with the front end of this home/home series with the Greyhounds. On Thursday the squad dispatched the visiting Sudbury Wolves by a score of 5-0 in their home opener. Eric Locke notched 2 goals (and has 3 on the season). Their poweplay was very efficient with 3 goals on 9 opportunities. Jake Paterson anchored a 30 shot shutout.
This should be a very entertaining game between two western conference teams that are playing good hockey at this juncture.
My prediction Sault Ste Marie 3 Saginaw 4 (OT)
Mississauga at Barrie
The Steelheads squeaked out a 3-2 shootout win at home vs. the Windsor Spitfires last night. Stuart Percy led the way with a powerplay goal as well a marker in the shootout. Josh Burnside scored his first OHL career goal in his 16th game but was not successful in the shootout. Riley Brace scored the winner in the shootout. Spencer Martin was steady in the nets stopping 32 of 34 shots by the Spits.
Barrie is coming off a thrilling shootout victory of their own. On Thursday night they were able to get by a solid Owen Sound Attack squad 4-3. Fifteen shots on goal in the third period pushed their game total to 40 shots fired at the visiting goalie Jordan Binnington. The Colts had goals from Schiefele, Beyers and Hall. Anthony Camara leads the team with 4 goals – Mark Schiefele has 3 goals and 4 assists on the season.
Last Sunday Mississauga was able to get by the Colts 3-2 in regulation time. The two teams will tangle again this coming Friday night.
My prediction Mississauga 2 Barrie 5
Sarnia at Owen Sound
After leading the Greyhounds (at home) last night the Sting gave up 3 straight goals and dropped the contest 4-3. Galchenyuk scored his first goal of the season at 9:09 of the second period – which was the final goal for the home squad. JP Anderson was busy in the nets again – this time stopping 43 of 47 shots. Sarnia was 1 for 4 on the powerplay and was able to shut down the visitors on their three powerplay chances. Sarnia will be receiving a ‘shot in the arm’ with the return of ‘grinder’ Craig Hottot from his suspension from the end of last season.
Owen Sound hosts the first game of this home / home series – the rematch is next Friday in Sarnia. Thursday night the Attack would drop a 4-3 match vs. the Colts – last night they would edge out Guelph 3-2. Binnington was stellar vs. the Storm stopping 29 of 31 shots – earning first star honours for the game. Cameron Brace would gather a goal and an assist – Keevin Cutting had the Game Winning Goal. The one troubling part for the Attack team this week was their sputtering powerplay which is 1/12 in the past two games.
My prediction Sarnia 3 Owen Sound 4