Pictured is Anthony DeAngelo. He had a solid game on Friday night with a goal and 3 assists to help his Sarnia Sting defeat the Erie Otters 7-6. He is ranked #7 in league scoring for defencemen. The Sting are in action today at Windsor.
Peterborough at Brampton
The Peterborough Petes (13-25-3-4) won a big one on the road in St. Catharines last night, by the score of 5-4. They got into a high scoring game with a team that averages more than a goal more a game than they do, and came out on top. The Petes chased Ice Dogs' backup, Brent Moran 13 minutes into the game, after he gave up 3 goals on his first 10 shots against. Christopher Festarini was summoned and gave up just two goals the rest of the way, including the game winner by Jonatan Tanus, 9 minutes into the 3rd period. Veteran goalie, Andrew D'Agostini shut the door for the Petes the rest of the way, to preserve the two points for his team. D'Agostini is playing much better since Christmas, and tonight's win was his 6th of the season.
The Brampton Battalion (20-18-3-5) are led by rookie, Blake Clarke, who has 38 points in 46 games played. Clarke won't turn 17 until next week. Recently acquired, overager Francis Menard is second on the team and veteran Barclay Goodrow is third. Clarke is one of only five Battalion to have played in all of the team's 46 games. Brampton has taken the fewest number of minutes in penalties, which is not a surprise for a Stan Butler team. He preaches team defense and discipline. The Battalion are 4th in their division, and 6th in the Eastern Conference, just a single point behind the Ice Dogs and the Wolves.
Brampton lost their last game 4-3 in Kitchener on Friday night. Matt McLeod had a pair, and Menard had the other goal in regulation for Brampton. Clarke picked up two assists. The goalies were outstanding, especially in the shootout, as the only player to beat Matej Machovsky was Justin Bailey - who was the 6th Ranger to shoot. John Gipson stopped 35 of 38 shots in regulation time, and all 6 Battalion shooters, in the shootout.
The Battalion are 12-6-1-2 on home ice, and are especially stingy at the Powerade Centre. They have given up only 49 goals in 21 games, or 2.33 goals a game. The Petes are 5-10-2-3 away from home and have scored 57 goals in their 20 games on the road, or 2.85 goals per game.
As a result, I expect a low scoring, tight checking affair.
My prediction Peterborough 2 Brampton 3 (in a SO)
Owen Sound at Ottawa
This game should be of interest for the return of two players who started their OHL careers in Ottawa, and played a significant number of games there, over 4 OHL seasons. Steven Janes played 202 games with the 67s, including playoffs, and Cody Ceci played 271 games for Ottawa. Janes' participation was in doubt, as he was assessed a Match penalty for slew footing, Cody Alcock, to the ice, near the end of regulation on Friday night in Kingston. Janes was assessed a single game suspension, which he served in his team's road win in Belleville last night.
The Attack (28-12-1-3) shut out the Bulls in Belleville, last night, 4-0. Jordan Binnington got the better of his World Jr. teammate, Malcolm Subban and recorded his 5th shutout and 20th win of the season. This game matched the two teams who had given up the fewest number of goals on this year. At the end of the game the Bulls have given up 106, and the Attack 108. Owen Sound have opened up a 4 point lead on the Kitchener Rangers, who lost on home ice last night. Only the London Knights have lost fewer games, and have more points than the Owen Sound Attack in the entire OHL.
The 67's (12-31-0-3) are clearly looking forward to next season. They are last in the OHL, 6 points behind the Petes. They traded away proven veterans for future promise, and are experiencing growing pains as a result. They have lost their last 4 straight, including a 6-0 home ice drubbing to the Guelph Storm on Friday night. Clint Windsor must have felt as if he was in a warm-up at times, as pucks were flying at him from all directions. He managed to stop 47 of 53 shots. Six different players scored for the Storm, who will battle the young Fronts in Kingston this evening.
Scotiabank Place hasn't been much of a home for the 67s this season, as they have won only 4 of their 21 home games. The Attack have won 12 of 22 road games, and have failed to get at least a point in only 6 road games this season.
My prediction Owen Sound 6 Ottawa 2
Kitchener at Sudbury
The Rangers trudged into town last night after driving from Barrie on some of Northern Ontario’s most feared section of winter highway. They were still wondering what happened against the Colts a few short hours ago. A tidy 3-1 lead going into the third period blew up on them as the home side would score 5 unanswered goals for the 6-3 victory. It was definitely a frustrating evening for the Rangers as they would fire lots of rubber on the net (61-40 advantage) but have nothing to show for their efforts at the end of the night. Goal scorers were Thomson, Rieder and Marcantuoni. They were only 1/9 on the man advantage which is not fitting for the 10th ranked road powerplay in the league. The loss keeps them in fourth place, but the surging Guelph Storm are only 1 point behind and have won their last 4 games straight.
The Wolves are the hottest team in the league right now with 8 wins in their last 10 games. The have leapfrogged the Icedogs and now sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference – Brampton is only 1 point behind both teams. Friday night they hosted the Barrie Colts. The Wolves would score first (Kantor’s tenth) and then the visitors would counter with two goals of their own. Corbett would score late in the second period for the 2-2 tie. The third period was scoreless so overtime was required. The extra frame was fruitless, so a shootout was also required. Wolves’ goalie Franky Palazzese continues to shine and was perfect on his three shooters. Baptiste scored in the second round to give the home side a gritty victory. In overtime on home ice, they have one loss, 2 shootout losses and 2 shootout wins.
This is the second meeting of the teams after the big trade with each other involving big names such as Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado and Franky Palazzese.
My prediction Kitchener 3 Sudbury 2
Sarnia at Windsor
This month, the Sting have a record of 6 wins and 2 losses. They are in the middle of the pack as far as goals scored and goals against, but continue to find ways to win. On Friday night they would host the eager Erie Otters squad. JP Anderson returned to the nets after a 5 game hiatus due to a groin injury. The Sting would trail 2-1 after one period and then 4-3 after two periods. Sarnia would erupt for 4 goals in the final frame producing a final score of 7-6 for the Sting. Four point efforts were welcomed from Bryan Moore (16 pts in his rookie season) and Anthony DeAngelo. Reid Boucher’s two goals preserve his lead in league goal scoring (37), five ahead of Boone Jenner. The win maintains the squad’s three point lead over the Plymouth Whalers for top spot in their division and thus the second seed in the conference standings.
Windsor continues their quest for playoff inclusion. They have gathered points in their last 5 games and are only 4 points from the last playoff slot currently occupied by the Saginaw Spirit. The Spitfires are coming off an emotional win over the top ranked London Knights squad. Just inside of 11 minutes in the first period, the Spits would hold a 3-1 lead. The rest of the way was a defensive struggle as demonstrated by the 9 shots on goal each team managed in the final frame. Jaroslave Pavelka gathered first star honours in stopping 32 of 34. Alex Aleardi was reliable with his 1 goal (powerplay) and assist in this game. Kerby Rychel was a spark plug with his 3 assists as well. Thursday night they will host the Whalers and then venture on the Northern Ontario road trip to visit Sudbury and then Sault Ste Marie.
My prediction Sarnia 4 Windsor 3 (OT)
Guelph at Kingston
The Guelph Storm (25-14-1-4) have feasted on East Division teams of late. They have won 4 straight, including a 6-0 win in Ottawa on Friday night, a 5-3 win in Peterborough on Thursday night, and a 4-1, home ice win over the Frontenacs last Sunday afternoon. Guelph is in Kingston waiting for the Fronts to return from Oshawa.
The Storm have a good young team, and have 4 players who were drafted in the first 3 rounds of the 2012 NHL draft, and 4 more who could be drafted in the 2013 draft. They are a well-coached team, with excellent goaltending, in Garret Sparks.
The Kingston Frontenacs (20-21-2-1) are finishing up another 3 game in 3 day weekend tonight. They lost in a SO to the Attack on Friday night, and lost 6-1 to the Generals in Oshawa last night. They have only one point in their last 5 games, and have now only a 10 point lead on the rejuvenated 9th place Petes. Rookie goalie, Lucas Peressini played his first OHL game for Kingston, and was welcomed to the league by two World Jr. participants. Gens' captain, Boone Jenner (Canada) scored twice in the 1st, and Tyler Biggs (USA) scored twice in the 3rd. Lucas did stop 32 of 38 shots fired his way. Kingston only managed 16 shots on Gens' backup Ken Appleby. The only Front to beat Appleby was Roland McKeown, who scored on the PP, with 3 seconds remaining in the 1st, to cut the Gens' lead to 2-1, after one. The Fronts really wished that Boone Jenner would have started the season with the Blue Jackets, as he added a pair of assists to go along with his two goals.
My prediction Guelph 3 Kingston 4 (in OT)
Mississauga at Oshawa
The Mississauga Steelheads (20-19-0-4) have slipped to last in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference, just a single point ahead of the Frontenacs for eight in the conference. They are 2-7-0-1 in their last 10 games, and are 0-5-0-1 in their last 6. Despite these stats, they continue to play well defensively, and remain competitive in all of their games. Most recently, on Friday night, they lost 3-2 in Plymouth to the Whalers.
17 year old goalie, Spencer Martin, made history this week when he combined with fellow prospect Phillippe Desrosiers to shut out Team Cherry 3-0 at the Top Prospects Game in Halifax. Martin is the 5th ranked North American goalie for the upcoming NHL draft.
The Oshawa Generals (25-16-1-3) moved to within a single point of East Division leading Belleville, with a convincing 6-1 victory over the Frontenacs, last night, on home ice. Boone Jenner, and Tyler Biggs had two goals each in this one, and Ken Appleby had an easy night, stopping 15 of 16 Kingston shots, for the victory. Expect Daniel Altshuller to get the start for the Gens tonight. Scott Laughton played for the Philadelphia Flyers last night, and Lucas Lessio is close to returning from his serious hand injury. When they return to the lineup, the Gens could make a run at the Eastern Conference, for sure.
My prediction Mississauga 2 Oshawa 5