OHL Previews for Monday October 8, 2012
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!
Pictured is the league’s currrent point leader Boone Jenner. The Columbus Blue Jacket draft pick has 179 points in 177 career games – 15 points in 6 games played this season. He and his Oshawa Generals will be in action as they host the strong Belleville squad at 2:05 PM Monday.
Mississauga at Brampton
Here is the traditional Turkey Day battle of the 905 area code. Both teams are having an identical season with 2 wins, 3 losses and 1 overtime shootout loss – totalling 5 points tied for 7th place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have struggled to put the puck in the net – Brampton giving up 7 more goals than they have scored while Mississauga has a 6 goal deficit. The Battalion have 77 total team penalty minutes while the Steelheads have 75 PIM. Brampton’s point leader for this season – Barclay Goodrow – is at #71 in the league. Mississauga’s top scorer this season – Riley Brace– is just a few spots ahead of him with 6 points in 6 games this season. Understated, both teams have struggled with offensive production – accordingly it could come from any player any game.
Newly acquired Smoskowitz might be the shot in the arm that the Steelheads need to get things going. For the Battalion, newly acquired (via waivers) RW Brandon Childerley will add some experience up front (215 games played in the OHL).
My prediction Mississauga 2 Brampton 3
Belleville at Oshawa
This is a much anticipated, divisional, match-up between two teams who are expected to challenge for the Eastern Conference title this year, and a berth in the Memorial Cup in May. Both teams have a strong number one goalie in Malcolm Subban for Belleville, and Daniel Altshuller, for the Generals. The Generals are off to a better start with a 5-1-0 record. The Bulls are 3-2-0, after just 5 games played.
Both teams have strong veteran leaders, with the offensive advantage going to the Generals, who are tied with the London Knights, for the OHL lead, with 30 goals scored after 6 games. Leading the way, for the Gens, is Boone Jenner, who also leads the OHL, with 7 goals and 8 assists. Lucas Lessio has 9 points, and newcomers Tyler Biggs, and 16 year old, Michael Dal Colle are averaging a point a game. Defenseman Matt Petgrave has 8 assists on the young season.
The Bulls, lead by coach and GM, George Burnett, are a much more defensive minded squad, giving up only 12 goals, in their 5 games. Only Austen Brassard has scored more than one goal (2), but veterans like Brendan Gaunce, Danil Zharkov, Michael Curtis, and Garrett Hooey can score, giving the Bulls three balanced scoring lines.
The Generals have been off since they defeated the Kingston Frontenacs 6-4 on Friday night. The Gens were lead by Jenner, and Lessio, with 5 assists between them.
The Bulls also defeated a division rival in their last game, the Ottawa 67's, on Saturday night, by a score of 5-3. As is the case in most Bulls' games, Belleville had 5 different goal scorers. This presents a challenge for opponents, because they can't focus their attention on just one or two top guys. The Bulls managed 46 shots on goal in this one.
On paper, there isn't much to choose between these teams. Either goalie is capable of stealing the game for their team, but I believe that the home crowd may make the difference in the Generals' favour.
My prediction Belleville 3 Oshawa 5
Sarnia at Windsor
On Saturday the Sting were in Sault Ste Marie to play the Western Conference leading Greyhounds. They had a revenge on their mind as Sarnia had lost to this same team back on Friday Sept 28 by a 4-3 margin. They also came into the game after battling the tough Owen Sound Attack in two consecutive games (each team winning on the road). Alex Galchenyuk was the first star of the Sault Ste Marie game with 2 powerplay goals and 2 powerplay assists. The team fired 43 shots on net and were 4/6 on the powerplay.
Windsor starts a four game home stand with this game. They would be happy to forget about their last 2 matches (8-2 loss at London and a 5-0 loss to the visiting Guelph Storm). One of the challenges in that 2 game slide was the shot differential of 45 for them and a massive 87 shot total against. That will need to improve for this young squad to stay competitive in this game.
Sarnia finds itself in last place in the Western Conference with a record of 2 wins, 3 losses and 1 shootout loss. Windsor has one more win and has played once more as well. Sarnia has a goal differential of -1 in all their games – Windsor is a -9.
My prediction Sarnia 4 Windsor 3 (OT)