OHL Game Day Previews for Friday March 2 2012

3 for 3 last night as all teams ‘ran the table’. Saginaw had a good game vs. the Icedogs but were not able to pull off the upset. Barrie continues their strong play with a 5-3 win vs. Kitchener and Windsor topped Brampton by a score of 5-2.  Oshawa at London tonight is televised on Sportsnet.

Saginaw at Erie

The Spirit played a close checking game last night at Niagara. They were able to limit the Icedogs to only 2 goals on the night and potted one of their own late in the third period. Goalie Patterson had a solid outing saving 37 of 39 shots directed his way. The lone goal was scored by Trafford late in the third period to ruin the shutout bid for Mark Visentin. Windsor gained ground on them by beating Brampton and are now only 2 points separate the teams.

Erie eclipsed the 10 win mark on the season. Last game ( Wed) they hosted Guelph and were able to slip by  them by a score of 3-2 by virtue of shootout supremacy. Regulation goals were scored by Cairns and
Brown.  Fox Olden and Cairns all scored in the shootout.  The Otters next action will be at Niagara on Sunday afternoon.

 My prediction Saginaw 4 Erie 1

Oshawa at London

The Generals start their weekend at the John Labatt Centre in London.  If the playoffs started today the Gens would be in by one point – so they will be eager to put some space between them and the 9th place  Peterborough Petes.   Christian Thomas leads his team with 30 goals and 30 assists – putting him at the #34 spot in the league.  Andreoff has only 1 goal in his last 4 games.  Matt Petgrave has no points and a -3 rating in his past 3 games. The Generals schedule does not let up – upcoming matches include visits to Brampton, Peterborough and Barrie as well as hosting the Knights next week.

London is still in first place over the Plymouth Whalers by6 points.  The Knights finished last weekend off with a solid 5-2 win at Ottawa. In that game they were outshot by the hometeam 39-26 but were able to score twice in each of the first two periods and then one more insurance marker in the third period. Michael Houser leads the entire CHL with 42 wins  as well as a .922 save percentage.  This game will be televised on Sportsnet … catch it live!

 My prediction Oshawa 2 London 6


Ottawa at Sarnia

The 67’s start their western road trip with a stop in to the Sarnia Sting. Ottawa is 4 points behind the Icedogs for first place in the Western Conference with 36 wins and 79 points (Niagara with one game inhand).  The 67’s will finish at the #2 or #1 spot in the East since Belleville/Oshawa/Peterborough will not be able to catch them in
the standings.  Ottawa lost both of their games last weekend so they are looking for more success in the 519 area code.  Shane Prince continued his strong play with 3 goals in those games – and is now on a 20 game point streak (21 goals and 17 assists since Jan 8 2012). 

The Sting are ready to get to the ice again after a dismall 8-2 showing at Sault Ste Marie on Wednesday night. Only 5 of their regulars are out of the lineup now with Galchenyuk starting to skate again (will he return for the playoffs?).  Sarnia has points in 5 of their last 6 games and are just ahead of Owen Sound at #4 in the

The last time these teams met (in Ottawa) the Sting lost 5-2. The first period was scoreless and then the teams exchanged goals through the second and third periods. Ottawa netted a late 3rd period goal and Sarnia pulled their goalie to try and notch things up but Cazzola found the net again.

 My prediction Ottawa 3 Sarnia 4 (OT)

Brampton at Plymouth

Brampton did not start their mini road trip in a winning way. They were tied 2-2 after 1 period but couldn’t get any more pucks past Pavelka (nice P work there) who was sharp in stopping 35 of 37 shots directed his way. Zach Bell and Brendan Miller had the goals for the troops.  Carrick, Goodrow and Robinson were all strapped with a -3 rating for the night.  The Battlaion continue to drift away from the solid Colts team and are now 3 points behind them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Plymouth has won 3 in a row including a 6-4 win in the ‘Education Game’ held on Tuesday vs the Spirit. Aleardi led the way on the scoreboard with 2 goals and 1 assist.  Four others players scored goals as well.  Scott Wedgewood was solid with 29 of 33 shots saved.  With 8 games left in their schedule they are only 6 points away from the #1 London Knights  with only Western Conference teams to play after this match.

  My prediction Brampton 4 Plymouth 3 (OT)

Kingston at Guelph

The Fronts have struggled this season – 19 wins and 44 points attest to that. They have lost their last 2 games – once a 9-2 pasting at the hands of the Icedogs and their most recent was a 4-1 loss at Belleville on Wednesday night.  Morbeck scored the lone goal of the game (powerplay) for the Fronts. Fans and management are excited about rookie Ryan Kujawinski – supported by his 15 points in the month of February.

 Guelph are busy with a back and forth battle with the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference (both have 56 pts). The Storm have played 2 less games than the Hounds so their advantage is ‘in their hands’. Guelph and Kingston each have only 4 wins in their past 10 games.

 My prediction Kingston 2 Guelph 3

Belleville at Mississauga

The Bulls trail Mississauga by only 2 points in the standings. Mississauga has 2 fewer regulation wins but sits one spot higher at number 6 in the standings. .  The Bulls are 5-5 in their past 10.

Riley Brace is at #12 in league scoring with 33 goals and 38 assists.  Brandon Maxwell went on a hot streak with 4 straight wins and was honored with Canada wide Goalie of the Week honors

 My prediction  Belleville 1 Mississauga 3

Peterborough at Sault Ste Marie

The Petes are struggling at the bottom of the Eastern Conference currently sitting one point out of a playoff position. They have only won 3 of their past 10 games.  Last weekend they managed one win of three games. In the 4-3 win vs. the Bulls Andrew Yogan had 2 goals and an assist to go with teammate Lino Martschini’s 3
assists.  After this game, the team will travel to Sudbury to play the Wolves to complete their weekend.

The Greyhounds continue to battle at the bottom of the Western Conference – they are currently in a tie with the Guelph Storm at 56 points. The Greyhounds have 2 games ‘in hand’ so every remaining game is very important that they maximize points wherever possible.  They have 4 wins and 1 shootout loss in their past 10 games.

 My prediction Peterborough 3 Sault Ste Marie 5

Kitchener at Sudbury

Kitchener has been yo-yoing recently – they have lost their last 2 games – and won the games prior to that. Last night at Barrie they outshot the Colts 38-31 but came up shot on the scoreboard dropping the game 5-3.  Genovese had a pair of fights(Camara and Ezekial). Powerplays were important in this game as the  Rangers would go 0/6 whereas the Colts would score twice on their six opportunities.  Tobias Rieder scored his first goal in the past 4 games … maybe he is starting to heat up again?

The Wolves had a tough Western road trip last weekend. They were only able to gather 2 points with one win in three games.  Their final game was at Windsor where the Wolves would drop a high scoring affair 8-6. In that game the Spits would score 5 times in the second and the Wolves would score 4 times in the third period.  Sgarbossa would only add 1 assist in that game but still leads the team in points (41 goals and 43 assists)  good for second place in the league (trailing Toffoli by 6 points).

 My prediction Kitchener 4 Sudbury 3