~~OHL Game Day Predictions – Friday January 24, 2014
Niagara at Erie
The Icedogs pushed around the Steelheads last night in Niagara and were able to skate to a 4-1 victory. They would boost a 4-0 lead until late in the second period thanks to strong goaltending from backup Blake Richard. (Moran still out with a shoulder injury). With the victory, the Dogs flipped spots in the standings with the Steelheads and now hold the #7 spot in the Eastern Conference. I expect the Dogs to get doubled up in this contest and will probably be saving ‘something in the tank’ for tomorrow night’s big contest in St. Catharines where they will host the Ottawa 67’s.
Erie boasts a ridiculous home ice record of 22-1-1. They slipped to #3 in this week’s CHL rankings based on their 1-0 loss to Guelph last week. Look for them to put another home ice streak together as they ‘gear up’ (is that possible) for the playoffs. The Otters will travel to Beleville on Saturday and then on to Oshawa Sunday to complete their weekend schedule. Brown leads the league in scoring (92 pts) and second place Dane Fox (82 pts) leads the league in goals with 51 goals in 45 games played.
Erie by 4
Peterborough at Oshawa
This is a nationally televised contest on Sportsnet. Peterborough held off the #2 Sudbury Wolves last night on home ice. They were able to build up an impressive 4-1 lead after 2 periods and then held off a late game charge by the Wolves. The Petes were able to cash in 2 empty net goals for the final 7-4 score. Garlent Hunter continues to tear it up as he added 3 goals and 2 assists for an impressive 16 points in 6 games with his new squad.
Oshawa was last in action on Wednesday night at Belleville. They were able to score twice in the first period for the only goals of the game and posted a safe 2-0 victory over the last place Bulls. Their 25 shots on goal may be of some concern to coach Smith. They extend their lead atop the Eastern Conference standings by 7 points over the #2 Wolves. Their 4 game win streak has ‘geared them up’ for sure !!
Peterborough in OT
Windsor at Sault Ste Marie
The Spits are on a neat 2 game winning streak but have only posted 4 victories in their past 10 starts. They are 7 points behind London for the 4 seed in the conference and are also 7 points ahead of Saginaw.
The Greyhounds have an impressive 6 game win streak to defend. They are only 4 points behind the #1 Guelph Storm. Remember the doubters who said that they hadn’t done enough at the trade deadline? So far so good! It is also interesting to note that Sault Ste Marie is the second least penalized team in the league (only 4 PIM ahead of the Bulls).
Sault Ste Marie by 2
Owen Sound at Guelph
The Attack bring their sputtering offensive game into the Sleeman Centre to tangle with the #2 ranked team in the entire CHL. Last night the Attack were pushed around by the Colts in Barrie. They were outshot by 13 and outscored 7-2. Brandon Hope was victimized by 4 goals early into the second period – he was relieved by Jack Finn who allowed the last 3 goals. Barrie scored 3 goals on their 5 powerplay opportunities.
Guelph is really playing well as they have earned the #2 rank in the CHL this week. Their last action was a home ice 6-1 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs. They posted 50 shots on net but only went 1/8 on the powerplay. Zack Mitchell had 2 goals, Kerby Rychel and Jason Dickinson each had 3 assists. Justin Nichols was also honored this week with Player of the Week in the OHL.
Guelph by 3
Plymouth at Kitchener
The eighth place Whalers hope to harpoon the last place Rangers in Kitchener tonight. There is a special potato promotion in the arena tonight – hope that is not the highlight of the night for the fans. Kitchener has 1 point in their past 5 games and have only posted 2 victories in their past 10 starts.
Plymouth by 3
Sarnia at London
The Sting bring their 3 game losing streak to tangle with the grumpy Knights. They are currently 6 points behind the eighth place Plymouth Whalers. They have only 2 wins in their past 10 starts.
London has a 2 game losing streak and have only posted 4 wins in their past 10 games. They will have to do it without starting goalie Stolarz (cut leg) and Bell (suspension). The Knights are comfortably in fourth place – 7 points ahead of Windsor and 7 points behind Erie.
London by 2
Ottawa at Mississauga
The 67’s have dropped their past 2 games and have only posted 3 wins in their past 10 starts. Their last action was a Wednesday night home ice defeat at the hands of the Kingston Frontenacs. After being victimized 5 times by the opportunistic Fronts, Ottawa’s Liam Herbst would relieve Philippe Trudeau for the last 25:49 of regulation in the nets. The home side responded with 4 straight goals to make the score 5-4 late in the third period. An empty net goal with 2 seconds remaining in regulation would post the final 6-4 score. Goals were scored by Van Stralen (2), Konecny and Gustavsen.
The Steelheads’ offence continues to struggle – last night there were only able to post 1 goal in their defeat at Niagara 4-1. Damian Bourne had the lone goal – his third of the season. The Steelheads were 0/3 on the powerplay and Austin Gerhart was not successful on his second period penalty shot. With the loss, Mississauga drops to the #8 spot in the conference. Although they have the same point total as Niagara, the Steelheads have 2 games in hand. They now have a record of 2-8-0-0 in their past ten starts.
Ottawa by 2
Saginaw at Sudbury
The Spirit were spanked last night in North Bay 5-1. A very late second period powerplay goal was enough for coach Gilbert so a change in goaltenders was made to ‘shake the team up’. The teams would exchange third period goals, so Saginaw couldn’t recover from a 4-0 deficit after two periods. With their second straight loss, the Spirit maintain their sixth place spot in the Western Conference. Owen Sound is only one point ahead, but the Attack continue to lose when the Spirit lose. Saginaw will not be in action Saturday, but are scheduled to tangle with the Guelph Storm on Sunday night.
The Wolves need some home ice magic to shake them out of their 3 game losing slump. Last night they would fall behind 4-1 after one period and not be able to catch up to the Peterborough Petes eventually losing 6-4. Offensively, they had their chances (41 shots on net), but a late third period charge didn’t quite make it. They would surrender 2 empty net goals after trailing 5-4 in the third period. Goalie Franky Palazzese will need a bounce back game after he was pulled at 10:22 of the first period after surrendering 3 goals on 7 shots. Nicholas Baptiste had 2 goals and an assist – Dominic Kahun tallied three assists. They are still in top spot in their division – and second seed in the conference thanks to a 3 point lead on North Bay.
Sudbury by 2