Ontario Hockey League Game Day Previews for Saturday March 10 2012
Great way to start the weekend – correctly predicting 6 of the 7 games played last night. The only one that I didn’t get was the Owen Sound over Saginaw game – thought the Spirit would be able to get by the Attack. Pictured is defenceman Ryan Sproul of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds who had 1 goal and 2 assists last night vs. the Sarnia Sting.
Kitchener at Erie
Kitchener will be looking for a win after being pushed around on their home ice by the Plymouth Whalers. In this game Radek Faska would score back to back third period goals to give the home squad some hope, but it was too little too late (his 25th and 26th of the season). The Rangers are nestled in third place in the Western Conference and will not be going up or down in the standings. After this game in Erie the Rangers will return home for a match against the top ranked London Knights.
Erie’s last game was a high scoring affair vs. the Saginaw Spirit. In that game the Otters blitzed the #2 Plymouth Whalers and were ahead 3-2 at the end of the first period. Plymouth would score 5 in a row in the middle of the game to take control. Stephen Harper had 3 goals and an assist and still managed a -5 rating. Dane Fox was assessed 2 fighting majors along with a 10 minute misconduct. Johnny McGuire has had two consecutive games with 7 penalty minutes in each. Connor Crisp will play his first game of the season as a forward (not with the goalie equipment this time). Keinan Brown will play in the nets – on loan from the Peterborough Petes organization. He appeared in 3 OHL games for the Petes last year but no action for the club this year. This season he has a record of 19-8-2 while playing for the Cobourg Cougars of the OJHL.
Last time these teams got together the Rangers pushed past the Otters at Erie by a score of 6-4. They will meet again in Kitchener on Friday March 16.
My prediction Kitchener 3 Erie 5
Owen Sound at Sarnia
The Attack had a very tight game with the Saginaw Spirit last night (in Saginaw). The Attack scored in each of the first two periods and twice in the third period to edge by the Spirit by a score of 4-3. In that game the Attack would go 1/5 on the powerplay while the Spirit were only able to score once on 7 powerplay chances. Gemel Smith played a solid game with 3 assists and first star honours – he has quietly tripled his rookie point totals from last year. Mike Halmo had a goal and two assists – Zach Nastasiuk scored twice and now has 9 goals on the season – he only had 1 assist registered in the previous 9 games. The Attack kept place with the Sarnia Sting and continue to have the same point total (71) as they battle it out for fourth place in the Western Conference.
Sarnia was involved in a wild game at home last night vs. the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. The Sting were trailing 3-1 to start the third period – after the dust settled the home squad would come out with the 5-4 victory. Ludvig Rensfeldt would notch 2 goals on the night – Reid Boucher would notch a goal and an assist as well. JP Anderson pulled things together and stopped 44 of 48 shots directed his way. The Sting continue to keep pace with the Owen Sound Attack – both teams with 71 points but Sarnia has played 1 fewer game.
My prediction Owen Sound 3 Sarnia 5
Sault Ste Marie at Saginaw
The Greyhounds were leading the Sting at Sarnia 3-1 at the start of the third period. By the time the period was complete the Sting had scored 4 times and the Hounds would only reply once – the Sting would win the game 5-4. The Greyhounds would outshoot the Sting 48-25. Schumacher and Cousins would each have a goal and an assist – Defenceman Sproul would add 1 goal and 2 assists. They remain tied with Guelph at the bottom of the heap of the Western Conference – are they gearing up for a tiebreaker game? (Guelph would host the game due to better head to head record).
Saginaw was frustrated at home last night by the Owen Sound Attack 4-3. Brandon Saad had a good outing with 2 goals and 1 assist – Vincent Trocheck would add 1 goal and 1 assist as well. Saginaw currently sits in sixth place 5 points behind Sarnia and 5 points ahead of Windsor. They have won 4 of their last 10 games (as well as 2 overtime style losses). After tonight the Spirit have 3 games left – at Sarnia and then home to Windsor and Kitchener.
My prediction Sault Ste Marie 2 Saginaw 4
Belleville at Barrie
The Bulls are still waiting to see where they will be in the playoffs. They haven’t clinched a spot mathematically, but it would take a huge collapse on their part to not make it to the post season. They currently sit in the #7 spot – 2 points behind Mississauga and 1 point ahead of Oshawa. The Petes are 5 point below Oshawa and are almost eliminated from post season consideration. Last night the Bulls would drop a 3-1 game at Sudbury. Belleville would ruin the shutout bid for Johan Mattison with 4:48 left to play. Belleville would outshoot the Wolves 30-23 but would not come away with many positive notes from this game.
Barrie rocked the Wolves 7-0 on Thursday night in Barrie. Shots on goal were almost even – but balanced scoring from the Colts would push the game out of reach early on. Scheifele and Camara would each score twice – Beyers and Hall would add 3 assists. Pearson’s 2 points would keep him in the top 3 in OHL scoring this season with 87 points. Barrie is in third place in the Eastern Conference only 2 points ahead of the Brampton – the Battalion having played one more game than the Colts. After this game the Colts will play at Sudbury and Mississauga before they end the season hosting the Brampton Battalion.
My prediction Belleville 1 Barrie 4