Erie at Brampton
The Otters were blown out at home last night vs. the Guelph Storm. The early shorthanded goal by the visitors seemed to set the tone for this game – the Storm would score three times in each of the first and second periods en route to an 8-0 final. The Otters were outshot 44-23, highlighting the team’s season long defensive challenges. They will not have much of a chance at Brampton as the Battalion are a very defensive minded counterattacking team.
The Battalion's Zach Bell will be a game time decision as to whether he plays or not based on the condition of his back. Former Battalion Spencer Abraham will face his ex-teammates in this game. Look for Cameron Wind to be on the ice lots when Connor MacDavid is on for the Otters. Brampton is coming off a loss at Kingston on Friday night. The teams were tied at 3 goals apiece after 2 periods. The Fronts would score the only goal of the third period to take the win 4-3. Brampton is tied for seventh place in the Eastern conference (Kingston has the same # of points – 33 but takes the tie breaker).
My prediction Erie 2 Brampton 3
Mississauga at London
Mississauga played at Sudbury on Friday night but was not in action on Saturday. In Sudbury Missisauga was able to build up an early 3-0 lead but that vanished gradually. The home side was able to push past the Steelheads and eventually took the contest 5-3.
The Steelheads are staying close to the leaders in the Eastern Conference. They currently sit in fifth place just one point behind the Oshawa Generals and 7 points behind the Conference leading Barrie Colts. Mississauga has not recorded a win in their last 4 contests.
London was last in action on Friday night in the nationally televised game vs. Niagara. They were able to put up a strong defensive game and kept the Icedogs under control. The Knights kept the pressure on and benefitted from a few fortuitous bounces in their favour to build up and hold onto a lead. 5-2 was the final score. London is extending their lead in the Western conference now as they lead the Owen Sound Attack by 5 points. Can they extend their season high winning streak?
This game is a rematch of the marathon shootout contest last Sunday where Seth Griffith scored twice in the shootout to give the Knights an emotional victory.
My prediction Mississauga 1 London 4
Sault Ste Marie at Sarnia
The Greyhounds were in action last night in Saginaw MI. Despite being outshot 40-29, Sault Ste Marie would come out on top in this game 6-4 (empty net goal by Broll to ice the score). The Greyhounds were 2/4 on the powerplay and were able to kill off 6 of Saginaw’s 7 powerplays. Rookie Goalie Justin Nichols captured his third win of the season. The win noses them into eighth place with the same number of points (30) in fewer games than the same Spirit team. Windsor is ahead of them by 2 points and has played the same number of games this season (31).
Sarnia is riding high after their undeafeated sixth game in a row. On Thursday night they would push past the Saginaw Spirit 3-0. On Friday night they would go to a shootout at home vs. Windsor . After seven rounds, the Spits’ Verbeek would slip one past Anderson for the victory. Alex Galchenyuk is now #2 in league scoring (tied with Griffith) and has five goals and 2 assists in the four games the Sting have played this month. He also have 134 points in 100 career OHL games.
The Sting are number one in their division and thus the overall second team in the Western Conference despite being behind #3 Owen Sound by ten points.
My prediction Sault Ste Marie 2 Sarnia 5
Oshawa at Windsor
The Oshawa Generals (17-11-1-2) got two goals from Scott Sabourin, and two assists from Scott Laughton en route to a 4-3 come from behind victory in Plymouth last night. Behind 3-2 going into the 3rd, the Gens rallied to pull out the big road victory. The win allowed them to remain one point behind the Bulls, who won in Owen Sound last night.
The Windsor Spitfires (12-12-1-5) have won 9 and lost 3 in shootouts on home ice this season, for a total of 21 of their 30 points. They have 2 wins and a SO loss in their last 3 games overall. On Friday night, Windsor recorded only their third road win of the season, 3-2 in a shootout in Sarnia. Windsor's 7th shooter, Ryan Verbeek, ended the shootout with a goal on J.P. Anderson. Windsor's first round priority selection in the 2012 draft, Josh HoSang scored his 6th goal of the season.
On Thursday night the Spitfires registered a 3-2 come from behind, victory over the division rival Soo Greyhounds, in front of a great crowd of over 5300. In fact Windsor has drawn over 5000 in every home game this season. These big crowds certainly help Windsor play well on home ice.
My prediction Oshawa 3 at Windsor 4
Ottawa at Kitchener
The Ottawa 67s (7-22-0-3) are in uncharted territory, and will put their miserable 9 game road trip behind them today. After 32 games, the 67s have recorded a league low 17 points. On this pace, they will have their worst season in a long time. In fact, since they entered the league in 1967, Ottawa has recorded less than 50 points only 5 times, and two of them were in their first two years. They have surpassed their worst point total ever, which was their very first season, where they recorded 6 wins 45 loses, and 3 ties for 15 points.
Sean Monahan and Tyler Graovac are about to leave for Team Canada's World Jr. Camp, so things won't get any easier for Ottawa. They continue to have trouble scoring, and continue to have trouble keeping the puck out of their net, having given up 145 goals this season (18 more than any other team in the league, or 4.53 goal against a game).
The Kitchener Rangers (19-9-1-2), on the other hand, have given up the fewest goals in the league (69), or 2.3 goals a game. On Friday night, the Belleville Bulls handed the Rangers only their 4th home ice loss of the season, in 14 home games. Malcolm Subban was stellar in the Belleville crease once again. The Rangers have drawn excellent crowds in their newly renovated rink, the Memorial Auditorium, as well. They have averaged well over 7000 fans.
The 67s just do not have the manpower to compete with the Rangers, especially in Kitchener. Ottawa has been decimated by injuries, and the 10 game suspension to Sean Monahan has proven devastating to the Barber Poles. They have only one point in 9 games he's served so far.
My prediction Ottawa 2 at Kitchener 5