Pictured is JP Anderson – goalie of the Sarnia Sting. On Holiday Monday at Windsor he was victorious in a 3-2 shootout. He stopped all 6 Spitfire shooters to gain the victory. He now has 102 career victories in his OHL career.

 

Mississauga at Erie

The Steelheads are in the middle of the pack with a record of 4-3-0-1.  Their last 4 games have been decided by one goal – with the latest 2 games being wins and the 2 before were losses (one via shootout).  Riley Brace leads the team with 11 points (3 goals and 4 assists in last 3 games). Dylan Smoskowitz is firing away as well – he has 5 goals in 4 games (at least one goal in each game) – 2 of his goals on the powerplay.  Last night the Steelheads would explode with 3 goals in the first period – then held on tight to eke out a 3-2 home ice win vs. the ‘tough luck’ 67’s squad.  Spencer Martin continues to be the goalie of choice for the Steelheads.

Erie is coming off a difficult 6-3 decision at Guelph last night.  They were all tied up at the end of the second period but gave up three straight goals to the home Guelph squad.  Connor Brown had a solid contest with 2 goals to earn him third star honours.  The Otters have only 2 wins in their 8 starts – they also have a 12 goal differential in those games.  Goalie Oscar Dansk is #7 in the league in saves and #13 in the league in minutes played. The home crowd should give them lots of support in their third contest in their newly renovated arena.

 My prediction Mississauga 2 Erie 4

 

Oshawa at Belleville

Malcolm Subban is expected to make his 80th OHL start for the Bulls (5-2-1-0) tonight after Charlie Graham shut out the Brampton Battalion last night, by the score of 2-0.  Russian Import, Sergey Kuptsov continues to play well, scoring his second goal of the season, on a Bulls' powerplay, late in the second.

The two teams have met twice already in this young season, with the Gens coming out on top both times. The most recent game, on Thanksgiving Monday, the Generals won in overtime, on home ice. The rivalry is already heating up, as there were plenty of roughing, and checking to the head penalties assessed in that game.

Oshawa (6-1-0-1) were beaten in a shootout by the Barrie Colts last night, in a game in which both goalies were outstanding.  Mathias Niederberger stopped 45 shots in regulation, for Barrie, and another 6 in OT. Both teams scored two powerplay goals in this game, so a key for Belleville will be to stay out of the penalty box. The win in Oshawa meant that the Colts took over sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference, and in the OHL, from the Generals. The Generals are tied with the Owen Sound Attack for second place in the O, 1 point back.

16 year old, rookie, Michael Dal Colle has had some success against the Bulls early on, with a goal and two assists.  Dal Colle has a plus/minus rating of +13 in 7 games this season for the Generals.

I expect the game to be a rough one with lots of penalties.  Oshawa has plenty of weapons on the powerplay, but George Burnett's team has the 2nd ranked PK in the OHL, killing off close to 90% of their penalties, so it should be interesting to watch how the specialty teams match-up in tonight's game.

My prediction    Oshawa 5 Belleville 3

 

Sault Ste Marie at Plymouth

After a strong start to the season, the Greyhounds have dropped their last 2 games and been outscored 13-7.  Their last game on Thursday in Windsor was a back and forth affair.  Late in the third period the Hounds would trail 5-4, but then surrendered an empty net goal, followed by another late goal by the Spits to make the final score 7-4.

Gudbranson had a rough night on the scoresheet with no points and -3 rating.  Nick Cousins continues to lead the team in scoring with 5 goals, 3 assists and a +3 rating.

 

 The Whalers are hosting their Pink in the Rink in support of breast cancer research. Plymouth has dropped their last 2 games and has slipped to the bottom of the conference with a record of 2-3-1-1. On Friday night the Whalers were shut down by the the Knights at London. Kevin Baille had a solid night stopping 42 of 43 shots. Plymouth wouldn’t be able to solve him until early in the third period (on one of their 9 powerplays).  The Whalers would surrender 2 powerplay goals on 5 opportunities.  

Top scorers this season for the Whalers are Noesen, Payne and Wilson all with 7 points.

 My prediction Sault Ste Marie 3 Plymouth 4 (OT)

 

Niagara at Sarnia

The Icedogs continue their 7 games in 11 day schedule with a 2 game road trip this weekend.  They are looking to reverse the pattern of losing to teams with worse records than their’s. Their last 2 games they lost at Peterobough 3-2 and then at home on Thursday night 4-3 to the lacklustre 67’s squad.  Maybe the recently acquired Bulls forward Mack Lemmon will give the Icedogs that much needed ‘kick in the pants’ to get things going in the ‘W’ column.  Ryan Strome (11) and Brett Ritchie (10) continue to lead the team in scoring.  Chris Festarini has a 5-2 record for Niagara this season.

Sarnia has won their last 2 games, but still finds themselves near the bottom of the Western Conference with 3 wins, 3 losses and 1 shootout loss.  This past Monday they were able to get by the improving Windsor squad by a 3-2 score.  Latta and Boucher were the goal scorers – Boucher would score the lone goal of the shootout in the sixth round. JP Anderson was solid in the nets with 32 saves on 34 shots.

 My prediction Niagara 3 Sarnia 2

 

Sudbury at Barrie

After winning three games on the road, Sudbury returned home to play vs. Saginaw last night. They tossed up a turkey and dropped the contest 6-1.  Goalie Taylor Dupuis would give up 4 goals on 16 shots – and the Wolves would never recover. Sudbury’s top scorers this season are Leivo (9), Pancel & Kantor (8) and Corrado (6).

The Colts have a record of 7-2 good for top spot in the Eastern Conference – they have reeled off 6 straight wins. Last night they would edge out Oshawa in the shootout – and on Thursday they would chase Saginaw around and win an 8-5 match. Top scoring Colts this season are Schiefele(13), Camara & Hall (12) and Athanasiou (11).  Niederberger has 6 wins for the team to go with his 3.04 GAA.

 My prediction Sudbury 0 Barrie 4

 

Peterborough at Owen Sound

This game has the makings of a blow out.  Owen Sound (6-1-0-1) has the best record in the Western Conference. The Petes (2-5-1-0) are a point out of the basement in the Eastern Conference.  Peterborough is dead last in the OHL on the powerplay, only converting on 2 out of 34 chances (5.9%).  They have given up 10 powerplay goals on 36 times short.  Surprisingly, the Attack are 13th in the 20 team OHL in both categories, but still lead their Conference.

The Attack are looking for their 4th win in a row on Saturday, and will be facing a team led by a familiar foe, in ex- Storm Francis Menard, who they saw eight times a year. Menard has been one of the few bright spots for the Petes, with 5 goals and 5 assists in 8 games.  Defenseman, Slater Koekoek has played well of late, particularly after calling out his team to play better, last weekend.  The Petes have earned 3 of 4 points this week, and most recently lost, in overtime, to their arch rival, Kingston Frontenacs, on Thursday night at home.

The Attack, led by Cameron Brace, Daniel Catenacci, and Gemel Smith will be too much for the Petes tonight.

My prediction  Peterborough 2  at Owen Sound 6