North Bay at Sudbury
The Battalion will continue to look for offensive production from their top scorer Barclay Goodrow who has 12 points in 8 games this month. He needs 3 points to reach the 200 mark in his career. The Battalion have the second lowest total in the league in goals for (97) – they also have one of the lower goals against in the league (101). North Bay is in fifth place in the league but only 4 points out of second place.
Sudbury occupies that second spot and they have been white hot with 8 wins in a row and victories in 9 of their past 10 matches. Campagna (52 pts) and Pancel (51 pts) lead the team offensively. Connor Crisp leads the team in penalties with 71 PIM.
Wolves by 2 goals
Ottawa at Belleville
The 67’s will be without their top rookie – underage star Travis Konecny (33 pts) who is the captain of the U17 team in Nova Scotia. Ottawa is battling near the bottom of the conference with the Bulls who are 3 points behind them in the standings. Niagara is one point ahead of Ottawa in the last playoff slot.
Belleville won their last game, but have only won 4 of their last 10 starts. They are in the basement of the conference and the league with only 9 wins this season. Justin Lemcke is the Assistant Captain on the same U17 team as Konecny.
Belleville by 2 goals
Oshawa at Peterborough
The top team in the conference will be without Scott Laughton (WJHC) but will still be able to push around the Petes. They are 9 points clear of second place Sudbury but have struggled a little with only 1 point collected in their last 3 starts.
Peterborough is 21 points behind and has 9 fewer wins this season. They have been struggling with only 3 wins in their past 10 starts. They are in seventh place in the conference only 4 points ahead of the Niagara Icedogs.
Oshawa by 2 goals
Saginaw at Windsor
This game may be viewed as a ‘warm up’ for the outdoor classic to be played in Michigan the next day. The Spirit have dropped their last 3 games and have only won 2 of their past 10 starts. They are in seventh place in the conference – six points behind Windsor. The Spits have won 6 of their last 10 games and have survived after their big trade. They should be able to outlast the Spirit at home.
Windsor by a goal
Mississauga at Barrie
The Steelheads have gone through a rough patch in their schedule with only 1 win in their last 10 starts. They have kept their place in the middle of the conference but are only 2 points ahead of the seventh place Peterborough Petes. They have struggled to put the puck in the net this season and have only scored more goals than 2 other teams in the league. Barrie have been up and down with wins in their past 2 games, but only 5 wins in their past 10 starts. They are in the top half of the conference, one point ahead of the fifth place Battalion.
Barrie by 2
Erie at Kitchener
The Otters are without a premium collection of players (WJHC) but still have a scary handful of skaters in hand. Their backup goalie (D Williams) has a record of 13-2-0-0. At the halfway point of the season, Erie has a seven point lead on the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds.
The Rangers are at the opposite end of the standings – chugging along in last place with 25 points this season (vs. Erie’s 59 points). Top scorer – Radek Faksa – is in Sweden for the WJHC - and will be sorely missed by this squad.
Otters by 3 goals
Niagara at Owen Sound
The Dogs will be without 2 of their top rookies – both McCcol and Knott are at the Under 17 tournament. Their top scorers – Perlini(51), DeFruscia(28) and Verhaeghe(50) will have to be sharp to give Niagara a chance to win. They have won their past 3 games and are battling for relevance at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Kyle Hope continues his suspension until Jan 17 and Chris Bigras is in Sweden for the WJHC. The Attack are 3 points behind Windsor and 3 point ahead of Saginaw – they seem to be stuck in sixth place in the Western Conference. Gemel Smith is their top scorer – 39 points.
This is an opportunity for the Dogs to push past the understaffed Attack. Niagara by 2 goals.
Watch for tomorrow’s game day predictions on twitter - @notsoheavyd
Keep your stick on the ice!