Kingston at Brampton
The Kingston Frontenacs (15-12) are playing their 3rd game in 3 days, and their second in a row on the road. Last night in Belleville, the Frontenacs played a perfect road game. They defeated Belleville 3-1. OA Goalie Mike Morrison, a free agent signing by Kingston, after he was released from the Petes, won his 13th game of the season. For the second time this season, the Bulls and Fronts were tied going into the third period. Each time Kingston has scored the winner in the final frame. This time, veteran Darcy Greenaway scored on a rare mishandled rebound from Malcolm Subban on the powerplay. Sam Bennett scored for Kingston in the first period, on another powerplay. Kingston's went 2-4 against the league's best penalty killing team. Billy Jenkins scored into an empty Bulls' net to seal the 3-1 victory.
The Brampton Battalion (13-11-3-2) scored an equally impressive road victory last night in St. Catharines over the Niagara Ice Dogs 6-5. The two teams were tied at 2 after 1 period. Niagara had a 3-2 lead after two, but gave up 4 goals to the Battalion in the third including a Barclay Goodrow penalty shot. Jamie Lewis scored his 7th and 8th goals on the season, and had an assist for the winners. Barclay Goodrow scored his 20th, and had an assist. Ryan Strome scored his 19th and 20th, and Brett Ritchie his 24th in a losing cause.
Heading into this game this afternoon, Kingston and Brampton are each 7-3 in their last 10 games, and they are separated by only a single point in the standings. The Battalion are 6th in the Conference with 31 points and the Fronts are 7th with 30. Kingston has played 2 fewer games than Brampton.
My prediction Kingston 2 at Brampton 4
London at Mississauga
The Knights continue to roll on through the comptetition in this league. They are now at a season high 14 wins in a row. Their last victims were the Guelph Storm. The game was very close from start to finish with both goalies performing well – shots on net were 34 to 31 in favour of London. After 2 periods the score was 1-1. Max Domi scored his second goal of the game (16th of the season) to give the home side the edge. The Storm would push for the equalizer but surrendered an empty net marker with 18 seconds remaining in the game to put the contest out of reach. Three stars were Max Domi followed by the 2 goalies. This was London’s fourth straight home ice sellout (9046 in attendance).
Mississauga is hosting their annual Teddy Bear Toss – so watch out for projectiles coming from all directions - the Steelheads have been averaging a little over 2000 fans for their home games this month.
The Steelheads last action was at home on Friday night vs. the Niagara Icedogs. Goalie Spencer Martin put up a strong game as the visitors would pepper him with 25 shots in the first period and a whopping total of 56 on the game. Ryan Strome and his linemates remained hot accounting for 4 of the 6 goals that would get by Spencer in this game. The Steelheads did push back and were able to make the game close in the third period to only trail by one goal 4-3. After exchanging a few more goals, the final score would be 6-4 for Niagara. Dylan Smoskowitz continues his strong season with 2 goals in this game to give him a total of 20 on the year – he is now 6th in league goal scoring.
My prediction London 5 at Mississauga 2
Erie at Sudbury
The Otters continue their Northern Ontario road trip with their new head coach Kris Knoblauch. They were last in action on Friday night in Sault Ste Marie vs the Greyhounds. The Otters were not able to keep the pressure on the Greyhounds and surrendered 54 shots on their own net as well as 2 goals per period. Erie would push back in the third period for 2 goals of their own, but would be left with a 6-4 loss. Oscar Dansk continues to get the lion’s share of work in the nets.
Sudbury’s last action was vs. the strong Owen Sound club on Friday night. Nathan Pancel was flying as he would be in the right place at the right time for three goals in this game. The Wolves were frustrated by allowing 2 shorthanded goals which would be their margin of defeat 6-4.
Sudbury’s record is 10-15-0-4 as they sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Erie continues to plod along in last place in the Western Conference. Their record is 7-16-2-3. Sudbury has only won 2 of their last 10 games, whereas Erie has won 3 games.
My prediction Erie 4 at Sudbury 2
Ottawa at Windsor
The Ottawa 67s are also playing their 3rd game in 3 days on the road. In fact, this will be their 6th consecutive road game. They are reeling, after a 10-3 trouncing in Saginaw last night. Ottawa was outshot 48-21, but actually had a 2-0 lead in this one. Goalie, Clint Windsor kept them in the lead after one, despite being outshot 17-7. The Spirit would score the next 10 goals, to send Clint Windsor to the showers early. He allowed the first 7 Spirit goals on 37 shots, and 5 minutes into the third. Jacob Blair allowed the final 3 goals. The lone bright spot for the 67s was the two goal effort of rookie, Dante Salituro, who scored the first and last goals of the game, his 5th and 6th. The 67s have lost 5 straight. Their last win came in Sean Monahan's last game against the Kingston Frontenacs, back on November 20th.
The Windsor Spitfires (10-12-1-5) gained a valuable road point in a very difficult building to play in, the Kitchener Auditorium. The Spitfires lost 3-2 in a shootout, in the Sportsnet nationally televised game of the week on Friday night. Goaltender Jaroslav Pavelka was outstanding in this one, stopping 38 of 40 shots. Rookie Joshua Ho Sang had the primary assist on both Spitfires goals.
With the single point, the Spitfires were a point ahead of 9th place Saginaw in the Western Conference. With Saginaw's big win over the 67s, however, the Spirit have leapfrogged the Spitfires into 8th, with 27 points.
Windsor will be eager to return to form, and retake 4th in the Division, and 8th in the Conference, with a win over the Ottawa 67s.
My prediction Ottawa 3 at Windsor 5
Owen Sound at Saginaw
The Attack have won 3 in a row and 8 of their last 10 games. They continue to stick with the London Knights near the top of the Western Conference with 43 points this season (3 behind the Knights).
Their last action was on Saturday night vs. the Greyhounds. The goaltenders dueled to a 2-1 final in favor of the visitors. Chris Bigras had the game winning goal. Cameron Brace leads the league with 7 game winning goals and is tied for sixth in the league with 20 goals this season.
Saginaw is near the bottom of the heap in the same conference and have a record of 12-14-2-1 this season. They have won 5 of their last 10 games. Their last action was last night at home vs. the struggling Ottawa 67’s. The Spirit exploded for 10 goals in a lopsided 10-3 victory. Garrett Ross had 2 goals and 2 assists – Jason Shaw notched 3 assists – many others had multipoint games. Dalton Young finished with a +6 rating. Vincent Trochek is tied for fifth in league scoring with 44 points.
My prediction Owen Sound 4 at Saginaw 2
Sarnia at Oshawa
For the second straight night, the Sarnina Sting (15-11-0-2) are visiting an East Division opponent. Last night, in Peterborough, the Sting scored a 5-2 victory. Alex Galchenyuk was the first start, with 3 goals and an assist. Reid Boucher had 2 goals and an assist, and Charles Sarault had 3 assists. J.P. Anderson stopped 39 of 41 shots fired on goal.
The Oshawa Generals (16-10-1-2) scored a huge road victory in Kingston on Friday night. Their big line of Michael Dal Colle, Boone Jenner, and Tyler Biggs proved too much for the Frontenacs, who couldn't match their intensity on this night. The Gens were full value for a 4-2 win.
Both teams would be well-advised to stay out of the box in this one, because the Sting powerplay is 3rd and the Oshawa powerplay is 4th in the entire OHL. Sarnia ranks 6th on the PK, whereas Oshawa is ranked 18th, killing off only 75 % of penalties against.
This is Sarnia's one visit to Oshawa this season. Alex Galchenyuk is ranked third in points, with 48 points in 27 games played. Reid Boucher is 18th in the OHL, with 34 points in 28 games. Oshawa's Boone Jenner leads the OHL, with 26 goals in 29 games.
My prediction Sarnia 3 at Oshawa 4