Oshawa at Kingston

The Oshawa Generals (15-10-1-2) are a point behind the Belleville Bulls on top of the East Division. They have won 3 straight, and hope to increase the 5 point bulge they have on the Frontenacs, with a win in Kingston tonight.

The Gens beat the Petes 3-2 on Tuesday night in Peterborough. Tyler Biggs continues his rookie season, as he scored once and added an assist. Sixteen year old rookie, and first round 2012 OHL Priority Selection pick, Michael Dal Colle had a pair of assists. Goaltender, Daniel Altshuller was the winning goalie, as he has been in every Generals' win this season. He has been the workhorse playing in 25 of the Gens 28 games this season.

This weekend the Kingston Frontenacs (14-11-0-0) are out to prove that they can compete with the best in the East Division. They play host to Oshawa tonight, and travel down the 401 to Belleville tomorrow night. The Frontenacs are the hottest team in the East Division over the last 10 games with a 7-3 mark. They still are the only OHL team to have gained both points in every game that has gone to extra time this season.

Head coach, Todd Gill has recently pointed out that although the rookies have received a lot of credit for the Fronts' success, and rightly so, it's been the veteran leadership of players like Warren Steele, Michael Moffat, Cody Alcock, and Darcy Greenaway that can be easily overlooked. Greenaway has 9 goals in the month of November, and leads the team with 15 goals and 26 points. The Frontenacs (3.72 goals a game) are second to the Barrie Colts (3.9 goals a game) in the Eastern Conference.

My prediction  Oshawa 3  at Kingston 4

 

Windsor at Kitchener

The Windsor Spitfires (10-12-1-4) lost to the Barrie Colts on home ice last night, 4-2. Mid way through the 3rd, the Colts held a 3-0 lead, but goals by Brady Vail, while shorthanded, and by Adam Bateman, his first of the season, got the Spits close.  Mark Scheifele scored an empty netter to seal the victory for the Colts. Windsor has won only 2 of their last 10 games, and have only won 3 road games on the year. They were shut out in their last two road games, 3-0 by Plymouth on Wednesday night, and 1-0 in Owen Sound on Sunday afternoon.

The Kitchener Rangers (16-8-1-1) have been outstanding on home ice (10-2), although the London Knights handed them only their second loss at the Aud, in their last game, 3-1. The hated Knights beat them on the 18th of November, 4-3, for their first home ice loss. The Rangers have been averaging over 7000 a game in their renovated barn, which has helped Kitchener play with the crowd behind them.   The
Rangers have given up 10 fewer goals (57) than any other OHL team. This works out to only 2.11 goals allowed per game.

My prediction  Windsor 1  at  Kitchener 4

 

Ottawa at Plymouth

The Ottawa 67s (7-18-0-2) have lost 3 straight and 9 of their last 10 games. They are playing their 4th of 9 road games, all without their leader.  Sean Monahan has served 3 of his 10 game suspension for a hit on Whalers' defenseman, Colin MacDonald, earlier this month. MacDonald hasn't played since that game in Ottawa.

The 67s have been hit by the injury bug of late – missing Tyler Graovac, and Brett Gustavsen.

The Plymouth Whalers (13-8-3-1) lead the tightest division in the OHL, the West Division. 5 points separate 1st from last in the division.

On Wednesday evening, the Whalers defeated the Erie Otters 4-3 in OT. Rickard Rakellscored his second of the evening at 3:35 of OT to win it for Plymouth on the road.  His first goal was at 18:35 of the third period which sent the game to overtime.

Both teams have 10 players who have recorded 10 or more points this season. This is a testament to the balanced scoring on both teams.

My prediction Ottawa 2  at  Plymouth 4

 

Saginaw at Sarnia

The Saginaw Spirit (11-13-2-1) are looking forward to playing 5 of their next 8 games on home ice, as they have played the most number of road games in the OHL (tied with Niagara) - 16.

The Spirit defeated the Kingston Frontenacs 2-1, on Saturday night, in their last game. Backup goalie, Nikita Serebryakov was outstanding earning his first OHL victory, stopping 32 of 33 shots. Captain Vincent Trocheck and Terry Trafford each recorded a goal and an assist. Trocheck is 7th in the OHL with 39 points.

The Sarnia Sting (13-11-1-2) are two points behind the Plymouth Whalers for the West Division lead. Home ice hasn't been particularly kind to Sarnia this season, as they have recorded only 5 home ice victories in 13 games.

In their last home game, the Sting beat the Peterborough Petes 8-2. Former Kingston Frontenac, Charles Sarault, was the game's first star with a goal and 4 assists. Connor Murphy, and Reid Boucher had two goals each in this one. The Sting are led by Alex Galchenyuk, who has 41 points in his 25 games played. He is currently 6th in the OHL in this department.

My prediction  Saginaw 3  at  Sarnia 4

 

Erie at Sault Ste Marie

Erie came into town with a new head coach after Sherrie Basson fired Robbie Ftorek from his duties.  This might shake things up on an Otters team that has improved, but doesn’t have much to show in the standings this season compared to last year.  On Wednesday night the Otters tangled with Plymouth. They had a great start and were leading 2-0 after one period.  Their lead would get chipped down and they would surrender the tying goal with only 1:25 left in the game.  In overtime Rackell scored to give the visitors the win.  The Otters have only 7 wins in their 27 games this season to go with their 5 overtime losses.  Their record is similar to the Greyhounds performance in their last 10 games.

 

The Greyhounds are coming off a shootout win vs. the visiting Sudbury Wolves on Wednesday night. David Broll and Brandon Alderson each had a goal and an assist in the game.  Defencemen Ryan Sproul had 2 assists as well. Darnell Nurse captured first star honours with an assist and a spirited fight vs. the tough Nicholas Baptiste from Sudbury.   The Greyhounds are near the bottom of the Western Conference with a record of 12-13-2-0 this season with only 3 wins in their last 10 games.

 

 My prediction Erie 4 Sault Ste Marie 2

 

Brampton at Guelph

The Battalion have had an up and down month with 7 wins in their past 10 games but 2 consecutive losses. Last weekend their neighbours (Steelheads) were not very hospitable as they would push around the Battalion for a 5-2 victory.  Two days later Sudbury would stop in for a visit.  They were not very happy with giving up 4 goals in the third period to Niagara and eventually losing in the shootout to them.  Sudbury was able to stifle the Battalion attack and left with a 2-0 victory – both of their goals were on the powerplay.

 

They will visit Niagara on Saturday night to complete their weekend schedule.

 

Guelph has stayed in touch with the leaders in the Western Conference standings. They are in fourth place with 35 points – one more than the Kitchener Rangers and four behind the Owen Sound Attack. They have won 3 in a row but 2 of those wins were against suspect opponents in Ottawa (7-5) and Erie (3-2).  The Storm have six players with at least 20 points so far this season – Tanner Richard with only 2 goals but 31 assist – and Scott Kosmachuk with 18 goals (7 on the powerplay) and 14 assists.

 The next stretch for the Storm will really help them or hurt them in the standings.  They will visit London on Saturday night to complete their weekend schedule – their next 2 games next week will be against Kitchener and Owen Sound.

 My prediction Brampton 3 Guelph 5

 

Barrie at London

This is the premier match up of the night – the #1 team in the East will be doing battle with the #1 team in the West.  The Colts were at Windsor last night.  They were able to handle the Spitfires by building up a 3-0 lead and then held on for a 4 – 2 victory (including an empty net shorthanded goal by Schiefel).  Dylan Corson and Brendan Lemieux were both involved in fights in this game.  Fotinos was in the nets, so expect to see Niederberger tested in the nets tonight.

 

London continues to cruise in their current 14 game winning streak.  Their latest victims were the challenging
Kitchener Rangers who had a great home record.  The Knights marched in there and escaped with a 3-1 victory despite being outshot 40-32.  Their goal scorers were Zadarov (2) and Tierney (#6 and #7) – each of them were also +3 in the game. 

 

 My prediction Barrie 2 London 4

 

Niagara at Mississauga

The Icedogs were in Belleville on Wednesday night in a spirited tilt. The Bulls built up a quick 3-0 lead on some shaky goaltending from the usually steady Festarini.  The #1 line of Strome, Theoret, Ritchie got on the board with 2 goals in the second period, but then Belleville would account for the remaining 3 goals of the match for a 6-2 victory.  Near the end of the game there were some extracurricular activities between rookie Hayden, former Bull Lemmon and a few of the Belleville players.   It seemed to start when Lemmon was levelled and ended up in the Bulls bench area. These 2 Icedogs may end up watching a few games in response to this ‘dust up’.

 After this game, the Icedogs will host Brampton on Saturday night.

 The Steelheads are still near the top of the Eastern Conference and only trail Niagara by 1 point. Both teams have 17 wins, but the Icedogs have played 2 more games. Mississauga has the same record as the Dogs in the past 10 games.  The Steelheads have scored 20 fewer goals this season as well.

Riley Brace continues to be the set up man – he has notched 25 assists this season (12 this month in 12 games). Dylan Smoskowitz is ‘knocking them down’ as he has tallied 18 goals this season (10 this month in 12 games).  After this game, the Steelheads will host the #1 London Knights on Sunday afternoon.

 My prediction Niagara 3 Mississauga 2

 

Owen Sound at Sudbury

Last weekend, the Attack were stung by the #1 London Knights 3-0 on home ice.  They were unable to get any rubber past Baille and were frustrated in most areas of the game.  They rebounded with a big win at Mississauga
the next day (Sunday) by outpacing the hosts 6-1. In that game, Brace would tally 3 assists and Hope would notch 2 goals.  Big man Zwiep would add his third goal of the season and 12th goal in 190 career games.

 After this game, the Attack continue their northern road trip with a stop in to visit Sault Ste Marie on Saturday and then on to Saginaw MI on Sunday.

 The Wolves were edged out in their game on Wednesday in Sault Ste Marie.  They built up a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period, but 2 third period goals by the hosts would tie the game up.  In the shootout, the Greyhounds would score twice and the Wolves would only get one puck past Matt Murray to give the home side the victory. 

 The Wolves have 10 wins in their 28 games this season – and have only won twice in the past 10 games.  They have allowed 20 more goals this season than they have scored (79 – 99). They have the most penalty minutes in the Eastern Conference and third most in the league and have allowed the most powerplay goals at home in the OHL (18).

They will host the Erie Otters on Sunday afternoon to complete their weekend schedule.

 My prediction Owen Sound 5 Sudbury 2