Ontario Hockey League Game Day Previews for Sunday March 18 2012

Looks like we made it ... final game day of the regular season here folks.

I only predicted 5 of 9 decisions correctly in yesterday’s action – I did predict that SSM would win but didn’t see the 10-9 potential there at all.  Some exciting action in the league last night – interesting that all the pieces fell into place with the standings so the league has announced all of the playoff matchups and schedules.  Some great rivalries in the first round! Interesting that the schedule makers have only one game in the Western Conference today.

Pictured is Brampton’s Captain and points leader Sam Carrick. He would add 2 more goals (to his 66 point season total) last night in his team’s 5-2 victory over the Barrie Colts.

 

Ottawa at Brampton

Ottawa continues it’s road trip with a stop in at the Bunker. Last night Ottawa was in Niagara where the hosts were not very gracious and handed them a 7-3 defeat. #1 Goalies for both teams did not play – Mrazek was not even dressed. Ottawa had some good pressure at times, but the Icedogs were more resilient in their forechecking and defensive coverage. The 67’s would capitalize once on a 5-3 powerplay but did not score on their 5 other chances. Tyler Toffoli would tally an assist to lead the individual scoring race by 1 point. Ottawa is locked into second place in the conference and will play the Belleville Bulls in the first round of the playoffs on Thursday.

Brampton comes off a big 5-2 win at Barrie last night. Captain Carrick would pot 2 goals – including a nifty shorthanded marker to tie the game at 2 goals apiece. They were able to outshoot the Colts by 45-17 so their defensive stance is intact once again.  The Battalion will host the Sudbury Wolves in first round action Friday night in Brampton.

My prediction:  Ottawa 2 Brampton 4

 

Sudbury at Kingston

Sudbury is locked into their position as the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference and will start their playoff push this Friday at Brampton.  Last night in Belleville they were shutout 2-0. Both teams had good chances on their powerplays but both goaltenders would have solid nights. Vienneau would stop 34 of 36 shots sent his way.  Silk, Kuchin and Kantor did not dress for this game.

Kingston is ready for this season to finish – they have struggled with most teams but should have better fortunes next season.  They were one of 2 teams that did not play on Saturday. On Friday night they would host the Belleville Bulls and tie the game up late in the third. Unfortunately they would give up a powerplay goal with 1:51 remaining to send things to overtime. The extra frame did not solve anything so they went to the shootout. Neither Greenaway, Alcock or Kujawinski could solve Malcolm Subban so they earned only one point in dropping this contest. Billy Jenkins would score twice (25th point in 30 games with the Fronts) and Mazurek would add the other goal.

My prediction: Sudbury 3 Kingston 1

 

Niagara at Mississauga

The Icedogs were flying again last night as they paid tribute to their three overage players (Freisen, Agozzino and Pacan). Early penalty trouble would give the 67’s a 1-0 lead before the Icedogs would rattle off three straight goals.  In the 7-2 victory, Freisen and Pacan would each score twice and Steven Shipley would notch a goal and an assist. The Icedogs have locked up first place in the East – extending their lead to 7 points over the Ottawa 67’s.

Last night the Majors were in Oshawa where they bring their ‘defence first’ mentality to the GM Centre.  

The Generals would only muster 25 shots on goal – and the Majors would only fire 20 shots towards Kevin Baille but would score 3 times (on the powerplay). Partanen, DeMelo and Cobbold were the ‘lamp lighters’.  Brandon Maxwell would earn his third shutout in the past 5 games.  Last time these teams hooked up Goalie Maxwell would shut them out 2-0 in Niagara.  The Majors will start their playoff run in Barrie this Thursday.

My prediction:  Niagara 2 Mississauga 1

 

Peterborough at Oshawa

The Petes are a full 10 points behind Oshawa for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Petes have really tailed off with 6 losses in a row and only 1 win in their last 10 games.  Their last game was on Thursday night when they were dismantled at Niagara 8-1. Nosad had the only goal for the Petes near the halfway mark of the match. Morrison would allow 8 goals on 42 shots.

Oshawa has played steady hockey with some close losses and a few convincing wins – they have a record of 5-3-2-0 in their past 10 games.  Oshawa is coming off a 3-0 loss at home vs. the Mississauga Majors. Three powerplay goals from the visitors and a solid defensive game shut down the Generals this time. The Generals have won the previous 7 meetings of these two teams this season. Last time these teams met was last Tuesday where the Generals would outlast the Petes 4-3. The Generals will start their playoff run on Thursday at Niagara.

 

My prediction:  Peterborough 2 Oshawa 4

 

Kitchener at Sault Ste Marie

Last night in Saginaw, MI the Spirit were able to edge past the visiting Rangers 4-3.  Goals were scored by Iafrate, Sterk and Randell (PP). Reider had an assist to add to his 15 points this month and Faksa also added an assist to his impressive 66 point rookie season.  The Rangers will be resting up many of their top players to refresh them for the ‘second season’ (ie. playoffs) – goaltender Jack Moylan will get the start today. They will hook up with the Owen Sound Attack in the first round of the playoffs starting Friday night.

The Greyhounds hosted the Windsor Spitfires last night in a very eventful game. The Greyhounds are out of the playoff picture and the Spits have claimed the last spot, so there was a great deal of animosity in the game – the referees were very busy with all the goals and the penalties that were called – 5 fights and numerous misconducts.  Dubchak and Alderson would score twice, Cousins would notch a goal and an assist and Schwindt would tally 3 assists to push the home side to the 10-9 victory.  Sault Ste Marie’s powerplay would score 3 times on 5 opportunities.  If the Greyhounds win this game, then they will finish 1 point out of the final playoff spot.

 

My prediction:  Kitchener 5 Sault Ste Marie 2