Pictured is Defenceman Matt Finn of the Guelph Storm. He has a career high 11 OHL goals this season to go with 15 assists and a +6 on ice rating. In seven games in December, he had 3 goals and 5 assists in 7 games. Only 3 other teams in the Western Conference have allowed fewer goals than the Storm this season.
Plymouth at Guelph
These teams haven’t hooked up since October 5 last year where the Whalers lost at Guelph 5-4. In that game, the Storm pushed back in the third period with 4 goals including the game winner with 5 seconds remaining in regulation. Justin Auger notched a hat trick as well as first star honours. He has scored 8 goals since then including 1 goal and 1 assist in their last game at Oshawa where they would win 2-1. Keegan Wilson played remarkably in stopping 43 of 44 shots in the absence of Garrett Sparks (WJHC).
Tanner Richard's team was eliminated from WJHC medal competition earlier today - he will remain in Russia for a few more days yet. Guelph has 46 points in 36 games this season – they have won 6 of their last 10 games.
Plymouth has had a tough spell over the past few weeks. They have only won 2 of their last 10 games, but acquired single points in 2 shootout losses and 2 overtime losses. Their last game was at Windsor where they rolled over the struggling Spits squad 5-2. Garrett Meurs had a big game with 2 goals and an assist – D Man Carrick had a goal and assist to go with his first star honours. The Whalers will continue to be without gritty forward Stefan Noesen (tied with team high 17 goals this season) as he serves his 10 game suspension until January 11.
My prediction Plymouth 2 Guelph 4
Kitchener at Owen Sound
The Rangers are in the midst of a slide having not won in their last 4 games – and only winning three of their last ten games. They are missing their Head Coach Spott (CAN WJHC) as well as starting goaltender Gibson (USA WJHC) and forward Radek Faksa (CZE WJHC). Top scorer Matt Puempel remains questionable with his nagging shoulder injury. Their losses in December include back to back contests to the improving last place Erie Otters, two losses to Belleville and one loss to the lowly Ottawa 67’s.
If it weren’t for the #1 London Knights team being so hot, the Owen Sound Attack would be on top of the OHL standings. They currently have 25 wins in 36 games good for 53 points this season. They have won 7 of their last 10 games including the last 3 in a row. They ranked again this week with the #4 slot in the entire CHL.
The Attack have scored 40 more goals than they have allowed this season – whereas the Rangers have only outscored their opposition by 6 goals. Owen Sound has a sparkling home record of 14-5-0-0 whereas the Rangers have a mediocre 8-7-1-2 record away from their rink.
My prediction Kitchener 1 Owen Sound 5