Hope you have a meaningful Remembrance Day – 11/11/12.
Game Day Previews are brought to you by 2 rabid hockey fans – follow us on twitter @frontsfocus and @notsoheavyd
Last night we came back ‘down to earth’ with our games and correctly predicted 3 of 6 winning teams.
Guelph at Brampton
Guelph was not in action yesterday. On Friday night they hosted the Sarnia Sting. After the first period, the game was tied 2-2. The second and third periods were very tightly contested, but Sarnia would sneak one past goaltender Sparks very late in the game for the go ahead goal. With the goalie pulled, Sarnia would score again to give the 4-2 final. The Storm have been up and down with a record of 5 wins and 5 losses in their past 10 games.
Brampton is coming off a spirited win at Barrie last night. They were trailing 2-0 at Barrie but got things going just after the halfway point of the game. Matt McLeod tallied a goal and an assist – other goals were scored by Goodrow, McIvor (1st goal of the season – 3rd goal in 140 OHL games) and Foglia. The Battalion’s record is now 7-8- 3-2 and they are positioned in the #6 spot in the Eastern Conference.
My prediction Guelph 4 Brampton 1
Saginaw at Kingston
The Spirit started their Eastern road trip by beating the 67s 8-3. Rookie defenseman, and nearby Brockville native Brandon Prophet, scored his 2nd & 3rd goals on the season. 6 different forwards scored the remaining goals. In fact all of the forwards tallied at least a point but no other defenseman recorded a point. Vincent Trocheck scored his 11th, and Eric Locke his 12th in the game. Jake Paterson stopped 31 of 34 shots, in a penalty filled game. Former 67 David Perklin, and Dylan Sadowy earned Game Misconducts for fighting in the last 5 mins of the game and didn't play against Belleville last night. The team is carrying extra players, so they still dressed 18 skaters.
The Frontenacs shut out the Bulls 2-0, in front of a season high 4273 fans at K-Rock Centre on Friday night. Rookie, Henri Ikonen outhustled the Bulls' defense from the sideboards, cut to the net and buried a backhand through Subban's legs, who had been perfect against Kingston for 5+ periods on the season. Sam Bennett would add an empty netter in the last minute to seal the deal. Kingston is ahead of last year's pace, as it took them until January 5th to win their 9th game last year. Coach Gill, on his 47th birthday, was happy will everyone's performance. He credited his players for sticking to the game plan despite it being tough to score on Subban.
As Paterson played again Saturday night, Kingston may face Saginaw's backup - Russian import Nikita Serebryakov as they are playing their 3rd game in 3 days.
Kingston will likely try to come out strong to try to put pressure on this goalie, as he has yet to adjust to the North American style of game.
My prediction Saginaw 2 Kingston 4
Sault Ste Marie at London
The Greyhounds continue their 519 area code road trip with a stop into the Budweiser Gardens in London. Last night in Owen Sound they put the puck in the net 5 times, but still dropped a 7-5 decision.
On Friday night they were run out of Kitchener’s Auditorium as they would be outshot 42-22 and score very late in the third to make the score closer than it sounds at 3-1. David Broll has 3 goals in 4 games this month. At Owen Sound, Nick Cousins notched 2 more assists to give him a team leading 29 points this season. Sergey Tolchinsky scored 2 goals vs. the Attack and now has a team high 10 goals this year. This team continues to struggle on the scoresheet with a record of 3-6-1-0 in their past ten games and a winless streak of 4 games. They are near the bottom of the heap in the Western Conference with a .475 winning percentage.
After an inconsistent start to the season, the Knights are pulling things together. They have won 7 of their last 10 games and 4 in a row. Last night they would roll into Plymouth Michigan for a tilt with a comparable Whalers squad. Shots were even in the game at 36, but the Knights would prevail 5-0. Kevin Baille was like a will and earned his first shutout this year (3rd in 123 regular season games). Matt Rupert scored a natural hat trick (2 on the powerplay) – other goals were scored by Maatta (3rd of the season) and Horvat (7th of the year). A win today (and a Kitchener loss) could vault this team in the #3 spot in the conference.
My prediction Sault Ste Marie 1 London 4
Peterborough at Mississauga
Peterborough has lost 6 straight. Niagara was just too much for them last night dropping the game 5-2 despite outshooting the hosts 44 - 24. Many of their shots were from the blueline and the solid goaltending of Chris Festarini didn’t help their cause. Some undisciplined play led to at least 2 preventable penalties.
They have had some leads in recent games only to give up consecutive goals in the 3rd. They recently had leads going into the third period only to lose to both Barrie and Niagara. Alan Quine and Francis Menard have been their best players of late. The Petes have given up the most goals by one team in the OHL, so far, with 84 goals against in their 20 games (tied with Sault Ste Marie now).
Mississauga continues to play well in their own zone. They've been getting timely scoring from Riley Brace and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. They sit tied for second in the Eastern Conference with 25 points in their first 18 games.
My prediction Peterborough 2 at Mississauga 5
Belleville at Ottawa
The Bulls beat the 67s 5-3 on Oct 6th on home ice in the teams' first of 8 meetings this year. Of note in that game, each team scored two PP goals. Keegan Wilson was hurt in this one so back-up Jacob Blair took the loss. The Bulls fired 46 shots his way.
Belleville is finishing a 3 in 3, after being shut out by Kingston on Friday night and losing to Saginaw at home last night in overtime. Bulls 1st round pick in this year's Priority Selection Niki Petti had 2 goals in last night's game.
Ottawa has lost their last 2 games. Keeping the puck out of their own net remains a big concern for the 67s, as they have given up 15 goals in those two losses. Kingston beat them 7-4, and Saginaw 8-3. Both losses came on home ice. Sean Monahan has 31 points, 21 of which are assists. Tyler Graovac leads the OHL with 18 goals in 18 games played this year.
My prediction Belleville 4 at Ottawa 3
Sudbury at Sarnia
The Wolves have one win this month in 4 games played. They have scored 12 goals and surrendered 16, but these combinations have not worked out in their favour. Friday night they would come out flat against an unyielding Knights’ squad at London. Two goals in the first 4 minutes against Joel Vienneau would set the tone for the game. Two more goals would get past the Sudbury netminder before the Wolves would respond at the 12:12 of the third period. The Wolves are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 18 points just ahead of the struggling 67’s and the petering Petes.
The Sting’s last action was Friday night in Guelph. This game was back and forth with a 2-2 score entering the second and third periods. Late in the period Alex Galchenyuk would slip one past Sparks for the go ahead goal. The fourth goal would arrive into an empty net for a 4-2 final score. The Sting have now won 3 in a row and have been winners in 6 of their last 10 games. They now sit in second place in the tight Western Conference standings. They are the second least penalized team in the conference as well. Next weekend they will embark on the 705 road trip with stops in Barrie, Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie.
My prediction Sudbury 1 Sarnia 3
Kitchener at Oshawa
The Rangers have won 4 straight and are 8-1-1 in their last 10. They have given up an OHL low 42 goals. John Gibson and Franky Palazzese lead the OHL in most goalie categories. Former Pete, Matt Puempel leads the team with 14 goals and 19 pts in 19 games. Tobias Reider and Radek Faksa are next in goal scoring for the Rangers, with 6 goals each.
The Oshawa Generals were stoned by Oscar Dansk last night in Erie. The Otters prevailed over the Gens 6-1, despite being outshot 50-19. Stephen Harper had 2 goals for the Otters and rookie Connor McDavid scored one and had an assist. Oshawa's backup Ken Appleby gave up all six Otter's goals.
The Gens are looking to avoid a 3 loss weekend as the Colts beat them Friday night 5-3. Oshawa will be tired after the unusual challenge of playing at home then Erie then back at home.
Look for Daniel Altshuller to get the nod for this game. He was lifted from Friday night’s game in the second period after giving up the 4th goal against the Colts.
The Gens will continue to be without Lucas Lessio until the new year (hand injury) and Scott Laughton who is in the midst of a 10 game suspension.
My prediction Kitchener 4 at Oshawa 3