Pictured is Windsor’s Kerby Rychel. He has done his part in giving his team a chance to qualify for the playoffs. Rychel has scored in the past 9 consecutive games tallying 6 goals and 13 assists in this stretch.
Barrie at Belleville
The Barrie Colts were stunned by the Brampton Battalion yesterday afternoon. The Colts had a 2-0 lead late in the first, before the Battalion exploded for 5 consecutive goals. Eric Bradford (16th) and Mark Scheifele (30th) had given the Colts a 2-0 lead 13 minutes into the game, before a powerplay marker by Barclay Goodrow (29th) started the comeback for the home team. Brampton scored 4 times in the second prior to the 6 minute mark to take a 5-2 lead, and held on for a 5-3 victory.
The Colts lead the surging Belleville Bulls by a single point for top spot in the Eastern Conference. This afternoon will be the first of two meetings this year between these teams, who many believe will battle for the Conference championship. The Colts will be without Anthony Camara, who is in the midst of a 6 game suspension. Belleville will be without defenseman Jake Cardwell who will be eligible to return from his suspension on March 1st.
Belleville spotted their opponents a 2-0, and a 4-1 leads before they came back and beat the Sudbury Wolves on home ice on Saturday night. The 4th goal chased starter, Malcolm Subban, from the nets which seemed to spark the team. Malcolm’s younger brother Jordan would record his first career hattrick, in a wild 7-5 Bulls' win. Captain, Brendan Gaunce also recorded a hattrick in this game. Charlie Graham played just over 29 minutes, and stopped 6 of the 7 shots fired his way. In fact Belleville really shut the Wolves down in the 2nd half of the game, as they only gave up 10 shots in total in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
My prediction Barrie 3 at Belleville 4
Kitchener at Guelph
The Rangers were able to get by the Otters in Erie on Saturday night. Three straight goals in the middle of the game were the push that was needed to stay ahead of the last place Otters in this game. After a goal by Connor Brown late in the third period, the Otters clawed to within a goal. The Rangers were able to hold off Erie’s late push and managed to score on their empty net for the 4-2 victory. With the win, the Rangers have 74 points and kept pace with the Owen Sound Attack who have 74 points as well.
Guelph had an early 3-0 lead in Plymouth on Saturday night against the Whalers. That would vanish in the second period as the home side would rattle off 5 straight goals. The teams would exchange goals in the third period. A late push by the Storm would only result in surrendering an empty net goal producing the final score of 7-4. The loss allowed the Sarnia Sting to creep up even with them in the standings with 67 points. The Rangers are a distant 7 points ahead of the Storm now.
These two teams hooked up earlier in the month when each team would host the other. Interesting that each team would win on the other’s ice.
My prediction Kitchener 2 at Guelph 4
Erie at London
The Otters are happy to have a rematch against the #1 team in the OHL. They were able to outlast the Knights on Friday night in Erie, PA skating to a 4-3 victory. Connor Brown had 3 assists and Dane Fox netted a pair. Last night the Otters were pushed around by the Kitchener Rangers on home ice and dropped a tight 4-2 decision.
The Knights got back in the win column on Sunday in St. Catharines. They started strong and kept the pressure on the scrambled Icedogs defense. Excellent goaltending was provided by Anthony Stolarz who stopped 40 of 41 shots. London’s defence did an excellent job of tying up the Icedogs forwards and clearing out pucks from the front of the net. Backup goaltender Jake Patterson received stitches from a skirmish that took place at the Knight’s bench in the second period – he was contacted by a stick and sliced open the back of his head. Bo Horvat had 2 goals and an assist.
My prediction Erie 0 at London 4
Kingston at Mississauga
The Frontenacs gave up 10 goals in their last outing in Sault Ste Marie, in a 10-7 loss Saturday night. The powerplays for both teams were effective in this one, or was it that the penalty killers were ineffective. Kingston was 3-6, and the Soo was 4-8. Mike Morrison gave up all 10 goals on 48 shots. The game was tied at 7 after two periods, but the Fronts seemed to run out of steam in the third period, as they only managed 4 shots and were outscored 3-0. Kingston had beaten the Wolves, in Sudbury 3-1 on Friday night and seemed to run out of gas as the game progressed.
Kingston holds down the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and are ahead of the surging Petes by 2 points. They trail the Steelheads by 4 points, who are 7th. Mississauga has a 3-6-0-1 record in their last 10 games. This is a rematch of a 4-1 victory by the Steelheads over the Fronts on February 6th. Kristoff Kontos scored twice for Mississauga. Kingston took a lot of dumb penalties on that night, and the Steelheads went 3 for 10 on their powerplay, and added an empty netter.
Mississauga were shut out in their last game, 3-0 in Barrie, on Saturday night. The Colts outshot them 45-28 and were full value for the win. Tyson Teichmann stopped 42 shots and gave up two goals, as the Colts scored an empty netter at the end.
My prediction Kingston 4 at Mississauga 2
Brampton at Ottawa
The Battalion defeated the Eastern Conference leading Barrie Colts 5-3 yesterday afternoon to move into a tie with the Sudbury Wolves for 4th in the Eastern Conference. The Battalion are percentage points ahead of the Wolves, for 4th. Barrie had a 2-0 lead before Brampton came back with 5 unanswered goals. The 2nd period ended with Brampton leading 5-3. The Battalion clamped down on defense in the third period, giving the Colts very few offensive opportunities.
The 67s have lost 3 straight. The Petes beat them 5-1 on home ice, on Friday night. Sean Monahan got the crowd into the game before they had warmed up their seats, when he scored his 24th of his sophomore season, just a minute and 25 seconds into the game. The 67s held the lead until just past the 14 minute mark of the 2nd, when Brett Findlay scored his 15th of the year. The Petes would score twice more in the next 2 minutes and twice more in the 3rd period. The 67s were humbled 10-1 by the Colts on Wednesday night.
Ottawa is 13 points behind the Petes and remain in last place in the OHL.
My prediction Brampton 4 at Ottawa 2
Sudbury at Oshawa
This is the 3rd of 4 matchups between these two teams, with each team winning once so far. Dominik Kubalik tallied twice on Sept 21st, and goaltender Joel Vienneau stopped 28 of 30 shots fired his way, for a 4-2 Sudbury victory. On January 25th, Boone Jenner was the only player to score in the shootout, this time against Frankie Palazzese in a 3-2 Generals victory. Today will mark the first of two games these two will play at GM Centre in Oshawa.
The Wolves are finishing their mini southeastern trip this afternoon. They were defeated 7-5 in Belleville on Saturday night. 5 different Wolves scored for Sudbury who were 1 for 2 on their powerplay. Frankie Palazzese stopped 40 of 46 shots in Sudbury's goal. Sudbury only managed 23 shots on goal, after losing to Kingston the night before on home ice, a 6 hour bus ride away. Were "bus legs" a factor in this one? Recent injuries to Brody Silk, Jeff Corbett and Connor Cummings took their toll on this young team, as well.
The Oshawa Generals are comfortably third in the Eastern Conference, 6 points back of Belleville and 7 points ahead of the Battalion and the Wolves.
J.P. Anderson was the difference in the Gens' last game in Sarnia, on Saturday night. Oshawa outshot Sarnia 42-19 and Anderson was outstanding. Scott Laughton, a Flyers' prospect, managed to beat Anderson on a 2nd period penalty shot, but the only other Gen to beat him was Bradley Latour who had opened the scoring in the first period. Laughton assisted on this one, to extend his point scoring streak to 8 games. Oshawa took too many penalties in this game, and the Sting capitalized on 2 of their chances.
My prediction Sudbury 3 at Oshawa 4
Owen Sound at Peterborough
The Attack have won 2 straight, and sit 2nd in the Midwest Division and 3rd in the Western Conference. They were ranked 10th in the most recent BMO CHL rankings.
Coming off of a 4-2 win in Guelph on Friday night, the Attack defeated Niagara 3-2 in their last game, Saturday night on home ice. Nathan Chiarlitti played in his 300th OHL game on Friday night in Guelph. The overaged defenseman, picked up from the Sting prior to this season, leads the team with an impressive plus 36 rating, and has one goal and 20 assists on the year. Captain Keevin Cutting reached a milestone recently, as he played in his 313th game with the Attack, a team record. Daniel Catenacci scored his 100th career OHL goal on Saturday night, and had two goals on Friday night. Catenacci leads the team with 67 points (31 of them goals), and also in PIMs with 107. The Attack are the most penalized team in the OHL with 1064 PIMs.
The Petes are playing their best hockey of the season at just the right time. They have won 3 straight, and 7 of their last 10. They are 2 points behind the Frontenacs for the 8th and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, and 6 points behind 7th place Mississauga.
Peterborough beat two Conference rivals this weekend. On Thursday night they beat Brampton 3-1, and the 67s in Ottawa 5-1, on Friday night. As is the case in most Petes' games, there were 3 different goal scorers on Thursday night, and 5 different scorers on Saturday night. Nick Czinder, and Jonatan Tanus each had a goal and an assist on Thursday. Tanus repeated his two point performance in Ottawa, and Stephen Pierog had a goal and 2 assists on Saturday night. Finnish born, Tanus was Peterborough's 1st round choice in the 2012 Import draft, and has 14 goals and 15 assists in his rookie season, in Peterborough.
My prediction Owen Sound 4 at Peterborough 3
Plymouth at Sarnia
This game has a star on it for both teams in their schedules. If the Sting are victorious they will only be 2 points behind the division leading Whalers – if Plymouth wins then the spread is 6 points.
On Saturday the Whalers were able to power by the visiting Guelph Storm 7-4. After trailing 3-0 after one period, their 5 goal second period was the push that was needed to capture the lead. Their 2 goals in the third period capped off the victory. Matthew Mistele had 3 goals - Noesen, Heard and Rackell each added three points to their season stats. 4 goalies were used in this game.
On Saturday night the Sting hosted the gritty Generals team. JP Anderson was at his best in stopping 40 of 42 shots fired his way. Sarnia was able to sneak 4 goals past Altshuller despite only posting 19 shots on net. The Sting would be thrilled with the 4-2 victory. Boucher, Moore, Latta and Basso were the goal scorers. The Whalers and Sting will hook up again on this coming Saturday in Sarnia.
My prediction Plymouth 4 at Sarnia 3 (OT)
Saginaw at Windsor
This is a rematch of Saturday’s game in Saginaw. The Spirit pushed to a 4-1 lead in the early stages of the second period. After a bevy of rough play in the third period, the final result was a hard fought 7-4 victory for the Spirit. Nick Ebert was hit with a double spearing penalty at the 20:00 mark to finish the game so do not expect him to play in today’s match. The Spirit are definitely controlling their own fate as they have points in 7 of their last 10 games whereas the Spitfires have points in only 3 of their last 10 games.
Math is not on Windsor’s side – they have 4 straight losses, are 9 points behind Saginaw for the final playoff position and only 12 games remaining in their regular seasons schedule. Two of their games are against the Spirit and 4 of their games are against one of the hottest teams in the league – the Plymouth Whalers. John Bowen will return to this game from his short 2 game suspension – Ryan Verbeek continues his indefinite suspension.
My prediction Saginaw 4 at Windsor 1