Windsor at Niagara
~~Windsor had their afternoon nap at the hotel in Niagara Falls interrupted by a fire alarm. Interesting to see if they are grumpy coming into this game. The Spits are in the midst of a 3 game losing streak (hammered by the 67’s at home on Thursday night 8-3) and are only .500 in their past 10 games. Newly minted captain Slater Koekkoek will need to keep Niagara’s top line in check (Perlini/Verhaeghe/DiFruscia).
Niagara has played well recently – last weekend they went to overtime against some Western Conference opponents – kept close vs. Guelph on Thursday (4-2 loss) and then won at Kitchener in overtime on Friday night. The Icedogs have a record of 5-3-0-2 in their past 10 games. Maletta will be jumping tonight against his former team.
Niagara by 2
Sudbury at Belleville
The Wolves are on a real roll with a 4 game win streak and 9 wins in their past 10 games. They are only 4 points behind the conference leading Oshawa Generals (who are really struggling of late). New additions of Faksa and Carrick give this team lots more firepower.
Belleville did win their last game (road victory on Thursday at Peterborough thanks to a goal in the last 2 minutes of play) but they are still struggling at the bottom of the standings. They trail Niagara and Ottawa by 4 points in the standings.
Sudbury by 4
North Bay at Peterborough
The Battalion are plugging along in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They have points in their past 5 games as well as point in 9 of their past 10 games. They have a 2 point lead on the Barrie Colts and a 9 point cushion on the Petes. Barclay Goodrow has 40 points in 41 games played this season and 202 points in his 291 career OHL games.
The Petes lost their last two games – including a close one home vs. the Bulls. Three Bulls scored in under 1:30 at the beginning of the third period to erase the 4-1 deficit only to lose the game in the final 2 minutes of regulation. The Petes have only scored 6 more goals this season than the conservative North Bay squad.
North Bay in OT
Ottawa at Plymouth
The 67’s are looking to rebound off their loss last night at Saginaw 10-5. The night before they would shell the Windsor Spitfires 8-3. Super rookie Travis Konecny has 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 2 game. Ottawa is back and forth with Niagara for possession of the coveted last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Whalers are also in the #8 spot in their conference. They are trailing Saginaw by 7 points and lead Kitchener by 3 points. Carter Sandlak (31 pts) is top scorer on the team – only 1 point ahead of Zac Lorentz and 5 ahead of Ryan Hartman. Carter has 2 goals and 2 assists in 3 games played this month.
Plymouth by 3
Mississauga at Sault Ste Marie
The depleted Steelheads will be in tough at the nationally recognized Greyhounds. Mississauga has lost their last 2 games and only won 3 of their past 10 matches. The departure of Smoskowitz leaves first year player Bryson Cianfrone with the team lead in scoring (12 goals and 18 assists in 40 games played).
The Greyhounds did not make any moves at the trade deadline so they will continue to lean on Tolchinsky, McCann and Fritsch for their scoring. Their secondary scoring has been active with 5 other players notching 30 or more points this season. They lead their division and have 2nd seed in the conference, but will they have enough to compete with the other big guns in the West come playoff time?
Sault Ste Marie by 2
London at Saginaw
The Knights are still ‘licking their wounds’ after the Storm put it to them last night on the nationally televised game of the week on Sportnet. They had a difficult time getting pucks to the net and could not sustain offensive pressure too often. They have won 6 of their past 10 and are in fourth place enjoying a 9 point lead on fifth place Windsor.
The Spirit are floating in seventh place – 3 points behind Owen Sound and 8 points ahead of Plymouth. They shelled the 67’s last night 10-5 on home ice. Jesse Graham was high man on the stat sheet with 4 assists. 9 players had multipoint games.
London by 1
Kingston at Barrie
The Fronts were clicking last night on home ice vs. the top ranked but faltering Oshawa Generals. After posting a 4-0 lead after one period, they cruised to a convincing 9-4 victory. Darcy Greenaway had 2 goals and 2 assists. Kingston is in third place in the East – only 4 points out of the #1 spot.
Barrie trails them by 9 points and 2 positions in the standings. The Colts have only won 4 of their past 10 games. They haven’t played since last Saturday as their Wednesday game vs. the Attack was postponed due to snow/weather. They lost 3-2 at home in the shootout to the Generals.
Kingston by 2
Sarnia at Owen Sound
The Sting will be without newly acquired winger Hayden Hodgson as he is suspended for his headshot in last night’s game vs. the Whalers. After a tie game through regulation (3-3), six rounds were needed before a winner could be declared (Sarnia’s Nikandrov with the winner). The win doesn’t pull them out of the basement, but does keep them in touch with the rest of the pack. They have 31 points – trailing Kitchener by 1 point and Plymouth by 4 points.
Owen Sound traded away their top forward Gemel Smith and their (arguably) best defenceman MacDermid. As they adjust, they will have to push through teams that are below them in the standings to maintain their position in the standings (currently #6). They are 5 points behind the Spitfires and have a slim 3 points lead on the Spirit. They are in the midst of a 2 game losing streak and have won 5 of their past 10 games.
Owen Sound in OT