OHL Game Day Previews for Sunday December 16, 2012
Pictured is Matt Rupert who scored the SO winner in Guelph yesterday to extend the Knights' winning streak to 20 games.
In yesterday’s games we were 5/8 – which is ok if you are looking for a passing grade but not so good if you are looking for credibility amongst your readers! We went against the London Knights and were wrong again as they continue their persistent 20 game winning streak! The shorthanded Icedogs also came up with an overtime win vs. the up and down Sudbury Wolves.
After this series of games, the league will not have any scheduled games until December 27 ... so happy holidays to all! Look for our halfway review of the season where we will look back at some streaks, high points and low points to date.
Niagara at Brampton
The Icedogs finish their weekend with a stop into the Bunker. Last night they were ahead by 2 goals (Wigle with the teddy bear goal, and Verhaege with the early third period goal) but then gave up two goals in a 48 second span later in the third period which allowed the Wolves to tie the game. Mitchell Theoret was missing his top linemates so he took it upon himself to put a goal by the Sudbury netminder at the halfway point of overtime for the 3-2 home ice victory. Newly acquired Jambrosich was involved in much of the play in this game and was awarded the third star.
Last night the Battalion were at Owen Sound where they would play a good road game, but were not able to get any lucky bounces. After one period the score was notted at 1-1. In the first 2:24 of the second period, the Attack scored twice to give them an edge that would hold up until the end of the game. Owen Sound would also score with the empty net in the closing moments of the game to give the 4-1 final.
The Icedogs are in third place in the conference with 42 points (3 behind Barrie). Brampton is sandwiched in sixth place with 37 points (2 behind Mississauga and 2 ahead of Kingston).
My prediction Niagara 3 Brampton 2
Kingston at London
The Kingston Frontenacs fell victim to the Alex Galchenyuk show in Sarnia last night, as the Montreal Canadiens' draft pick scored three times and added two assists, in the Sting's 7-4 victory over Kingston. Kingstonplayed without many key players including leading scorer, Darcy Greenaway, Billy Jenkins, Roland McKeown, Mikko Vainonen, and Henri Ikonen. They called up Braydon Blight, a defenseman who played 56 games with the Fronts, last season. Of note from last night's game, goaltender, Mike Morrison did not come out for the third period, so his availability to start this afternoon is in doubt.
The London Knights continue to roll. They defeated the Guelph Storm yesterday afternoon, 4-3 in a shootout to extend their franchise record winning streak to 20 games. Seth Griffith and Matt Rupert tallied for the Knights in the SO. This game was a bit chippy resulting in lots of minor penalties. Each team was 2-8 on the PP.
The Knights too are without many key players especially on their blueline. Kingston native, Scott Harrington was given an "A" on Team Canada. Olli Maatta has joined Frontenacs Vainonen and Ikonen on Finland's World Jr Team. Max Domi and Kevin Raine are suspended by the league and will return on Dec 27th.
If the young, shorthanded Frontenacs have any hope of ending London's winning streak, they will have to stay out of the box, and play a tight, defensive style like they did on Friday night, at home, against the MississaugaSteelheads.
My prediction Kingston 2 at London 5
Sudbury at Mississauga
The Wolves had a few sparks of offensive flair last night, but were not able to get by the stubborn Icedogs in St. Catharines last night. Sudbury would surrender goals early in the first period (1:10) and third period(1:40) to find themselves down 2-0. On one of the Wovles 2 powerplays, they would solve Festarini on a crisp three way cross-ice passing play resulting in Leivo firing the puck top shelf. Braid was rewarded with a goal 43 seconds later for his gritty play in this game. He and Lemmon were active for most of the game with aggressive checks targeting each other. Sudbury was able to hold off the simple Icedogs powerplay eight times.
Mississauga built up a 2-0 lead at Belleville last night as the first period ended. The teams exchanged goals early in the second period and that would produce the final score of 3-1 in favor of the Steelheads. The third period would see 9 of the games 13 penalties awarded. Tyson Teichmann recorded the win for his 25th career victory in 106 starts.
My prediction Sudbury 1 Mississauga 4
Barrie at Peterborough
The Barrie Colts will head to the Christmas break in first place in the Eastern Conference regardless of what happens today. They have 45 points in their 32 games, three more than the Bulls, and Ice Dogs, and 4 morethan the Generals. The Colts too, will be without their top two scorers in Mark Sheifele and Anthony Camara, both of whom were selected to Canada's World Jr Team.
Last night, Mathias Niederberger was the first star, as he shut out a powerful Plymouth Whalers team 2-0, in Barrie. Andreas Athanasiou assisted on both Colt goals.
The Peterborough Petes are back in the OHL's basement. They've lost their last two games, most recently 5-2 in Ottawa on Friday night. This loss allowed the 67s to leapfrog the Petes. Rookie, Michael Giugovaz, one of the Petes' few bright spots, has hit a wall of late, and was once again pulled in this one in favour of veteran Andrew D'Agostini, who has only one victory this season. Former Frontenac, Alan Quine in the only Pete to have averaged a point a game, with 21 in his 20 games played this season, as the Petes have trouble scoring, and keeping it out of their own net.
My prediction Barrie 4 at Peterborough 2
Ottawa at Oshawa
This game means something to both teams. The 67s would like to remain ahead of the Petes and out of the OHL's basement, and the Gens would like to take over first place in the East Division, and second seed in theEastern Conference, before the Christmas break.
The 67s are playing much better of late. They beat the Petes 5-2 in their last home game in front of nearly 11000 fans. They have just welcomed back Sean Monahan from suspension, via Calgary, and Tyler Graovac, aswell. Things are clearly going in the right direction for Ottawa.
Oshawa will be without captain Boone Jenner who is heading overseas with his Team Canada teammates. Defenseman, Sebastian Uvira is joining Team Germany, and Tyler Biggs, Team USA.
The Gens are the hottest team in the Eastern Conference, with 7 wins in their last 10 games, and 2 in a row. They beat the Bulls 3-2 in their last game, on home ice. Daniel Altshuller won his, OHL leading, 19th of the season, and was named the game's first star, in front of over 6000 fans at General Motors Centrein Oshawa.
My prediction Ottawa 3 at Oshawa 4
Windsor at Sault Ste Marie
The Spits are eager for this part of their schedule to be over and down with. They are on a down turn for sure and need to pull out of the recent nosedive. They have dropped their last 2 games but have won 6 of theirpast 10 games. Last night in Saginaw, they were not able to keep the Spirit’s big guns off the scoreboard – Trocheck had 4 points and Ross had 2 points. Windsor’s goaltender Jordan DeKort was pulled at the 12:46 mark of the first period after the score was 3-1 for Saginaw. Pavelka was strapped with three more goalsthe rest of the way. Windsor’s powerplay was 1/7 but Saginaw’s powerplay was 2/6. Emerson Clark, Zach Lorentz and Josh Ho-Sang each had 2 points in this game. Kerby Rychel had no points and a -3 rating on the night.
On Friday night, the Greyhounds were able to squeak by that same Saginaw squad by the score of 2-1 in overtime. Both goaltenders with busy with Matt Murray stopping 34 of 35 shots sent his way – he was awarded the first star in this game. Nick Cousins was able to score a shorthanded goal in the overtime frame for the home ice victory.
Both of these teams have 34 points in 34 games played, with Sault Ste Marie having more wins (16 vs 14) for the advantage in the standings. If the playoffs started today the Greyhounds would be in seventh (and play vs. Sarnia) and Windsor would be in eighth (and play vs. London). Saginaw would miss qualifying for the postseason by 1 point .
My prediction Windsor 2 Sault Ste Marie 5