London at Erie
The hottest team in the league is the London Knights with 6 consecutive wins. Last night they took care of the Attack in London 7-3. They thoroughly dominated Owen Sound in most aspects of the game – especially the offensive side of things – outshooting the visitors 46-19. Five Knights had multipoint games. London is comfortably in fourth place in the Western Conference – 7 points behind Erie and 9 points ahead of Windsor.
Erie can creep back to within 1 point of league leading Guelph with a win tonight. They have 7 wins in their past 10 games, and were able to capture an easy home ice win on Thursday night vs. the Saginaw Spirit 3-0. Strome, Fox and Curtis were goal scorers. After this contest, the Otters will have 7 home games remaining.
Erie by 2
Sudbury at Niagara
The Wolves are going through a rough patch – they dropped their last two games at North Bay (2-0) and then a home ice loss to the other 705 area code team – the Greyhounds (3-0). Their latest slump has seen the Wolves only capture 7 of the last 20 available points. They still maintain their second overall status but could end up in as low as fourth place tonight depending on the outcome of this game, North Bay’s game and Kingston’s action.
Niagara struck early and often yesterday building up a 3-0 lead after one period at home vs the Spirit. Vince Dunn was pushing the offensive pace most of the night (sometimes giving up odd man rushes). He was able to stymie a break out in the Spirit zone just above the faceoff circle and fired a shot leading to a late goal putting the game out of reach 4-2. Niagara was 2/7 on the powerplay last night, but could not capitalize on their 5 minute major advantage early in the third period. With the win, the Dogs kept pace with Mississauga (3 pts ahead in the standings) and Ottawa (3 points behind in the standings).
Niagara in OT
Sarnia at Belleville
This is the battle of the basement – both teams are in last place in their confererences. Sarnia has 4 more points than the Bulls. The Sting have 3 points in their past 10 starts. Belleville isn’t much better with 4 points in their last 10 starts. Sarnia is without top defenceman DeAngelo this weekend (suspension). Sarnia dressed 15 skaters in their loss at Ottawa last night 7-2.
Belleville did fairly well at top ranked Guelph last night – only losing 7-4. The Bulls scored the first goal of the game, but their only lead would last a mere 58 seconds. Remi Elie had a goal and an assist. After this game, the Bulls have 9 home games and 8 away games in their schedule. They will not play any other teams from the Western Conference after this contest.
Belleville by 2
North Bay at Plymouth
The Battalion have won 3 in a row and 8 of their past 10 games. They continue their push for playoff positioning. Sarge’s boys will be in Windsor for a Sunday afternoon matinee to cap off their western road trip.
Plymouth was able to handle the top team in their division (SSM) last night by a shocking 5-1 thanks to three third period goals. Hartman and Chatham each had 2 goals. They were 0/3 on the powerplay.
North Bay by 1 goal
Sault Ste Marie at Saginaw
The Greyhounds can’t get home soon enough! They have dropped 2 consecutive games on the road this week – once at Windsor(4-3) and then at lowly Plymouth (5-1). Top offensive threat Tolchinsky has 1 goal and a -7 rating over those 2 games. They still have a 9 point lead over Windsor for the top spot in their division – and have qualified for the playoffs.
The Spirit come crawling home after a 2 game road trip where they dropped a 3-0 decision to the Erie Otters on Thursday and then a 4-2 loss at Niagara vs. the Icedogs. Saginaw was behind 2-0 only 1:08 into the game. They had penalty trouble all night – surrendering 2 goals on 7 chances. They were 1 / 4 on their own powerplay. The losses didn’t harm their status in the standings as they cruise in at #6 in the Western Conference – still 3 points ahead of Owen Sound.
Sault Ste Marie by 1 goal
Ottawa at Barrie
The 67’s were able to handle the depleted Sarnia Sting easily in Ottawa last night. A solid 4-0 first period lead would end up being a 7-2 victory for the home side. The 2 points that they acquired allowed them to keep pace with the Icedogs (3 pts ahead) and the Steelheads (6 pts ahead). The Bulls lost – dropping them to 8 points behind Ottawa. Niagara currently holds the last playoff spot.
Barrie has struggled recently with losses at Owen Sound Wednesday (5-1) and at home vs. Kingston on Thursday (10-6). They are currently in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference - Peterborough is closing fast (tied in points – but have 2 games in hand). Next week they go on the road for games at Owen Sound (Monday), Niagara (Thursday) and Erie (Friday).
Ottawa by 2 goals
Kitchener at Owen Sound
The Rangers had a successful potato collection event at yesterday’s game (4000 lbs of potatoes and $5000 in cash) to benefit a local charity. They couldn’t fry up a home ice win vs. the Oshawa Generals. They had a 2-1 lead early in the second period, but couldn’t muster any more offence to keep up with Oshawa’s further 2 goals. Final score was 3-2 for the visitors. The Rangers still trail Plymouth by 7 points for the final playoff spot. Kitchener has the same point total as Sarnia but have played one fewer game.
The Attack are licking their wounds after getting spanked at London last night 7-3. The Attack were outshot 46-19 and trailed 6-1 at the end of 2 periods. Platzer had 2 goals and Szypul had a goal and an assist. Fight of the night was Gabriel vs. Bell. Former Attack player Gemel Smith scored a shorthanded beauty in the second period on Jack Flinn. The Attack continue to ‘float’ in seventh place in the conference with only 3 wins in their past 10 games.
Kitchener by 1