Ontario Hockey League Game Day Previews for Sunday March 4 2012

Managed to get 4 of the 6 games correct in last night’s matches. Ottawa had the big win of the night with a 2-1 victory over the #1 London Knights. Oshawa also came up big in their game vs. the Colts to win 5-1.

 

Mississauga at Brampton

This edition of the battle of Peel has playoff implications for both teams. Mississauga continues to be challenged near the bottom of the conference. They have 63 points and are tied for sixth place with the Belleville Bulls. Mississauga hosted the Bulls on Friday night and dropped a 4-2 decision. In that game Mika Partanen had a goal and an assist as well as first star honours.  On Friday February 17 these teams hooked up – the visiting Battalion winning 3-2 in a shootout.

Brampton continues to have their challenges – winning and losing in streaks.  The Battalion lost on Thursday at Windsor 5-2 and then dropped a 3-2 shootout game at Plymouth.  In their past 4 games they have averaged only 2 goals for and given up 11 goals against for an average of 2.75 GAA.  Brampton is in fourth place only 2 points behind the surging Colts and 5 points ahead of the Sudbury Wolves.

After this game only 2 of their remaining 5 games will be played at the Bunker.

 My prediction Mississauga 3 Brampton 1

 

Ottawa at Guelph

The 67’s complete their Western Ontario road trip with a stop in to play the Guelph Storm. Last night there were at London to play the #1 London Knights. In that game the home team had the early lead from a goal by Brett Cook at the 5:43 mark. Petr Mrazek shut the door after that despite the pressure from the Knights. The 67’s were outshot in every period and overall were outshot 40-27. Ceci and Toffoli were the goal scorers – Shane Prince ended his season leading point scoring streak at 21 games.

Guelph hosted the Fronts on Friday night and were not very gracious as they defeated them 6-3.

The Storm scored 4 consecutive goals in the first period and chased Jacob Riley from the nets. Zack Mitchell scored 2 goals and had an assist.  The Storm were 2/5 on the powerplay. Guelph is tied with Sault Ste Marie in eighth place in the Western Conference. Both teams are 2 points behind the Windsor Spitfires.  Guelph has played 2 fewer games than both teams, so their fate rests in their own hands.

 My prediction Ottawa 3 Guelph 1

 

Erie at Niagara

Erie did not play yesterday – but were very active on Friday night. They hosted the Saginaw Spirit and were able to push the Spirit to overtime after 3 third period goals. Connor Brown had 3 goals and an assist – Dane Fox tallied three assists. Saginaw eventually defeated the Otters in a shootout – final score was 8-7.

The Icedogs return from a quick trip to Belleville on Saturday night. They were able to push the Bulls around and pasted them 10-3. Freddie Hamilton and Steven Shipley each had hattricks.  The Icedogs outshot the Bulls 45 -17.  The Icedogs continue to lead the Eastern Conference – but  only by 2 points over the Ottawa 67’s.

 My prediction Erie 0 Niagara 6

 

Plymouth at Sarnia

The Whalers came out strong in yesterday’s game vs. the visiting Windsor Spitfires. They peppered Pavelka with 25 shots in the first period and were able to get 2 goals past him. This was all they needed as they were able to limit the Spits opportunities for the rest of the game. Matt Mahalak was awarded the first star for his shutout performance.  The Whalers now trail the London Knight by 4 points for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Sarnia had Saturday off – but were in action on Friday night. The Ottawa 67’s brought their high scoring offence into town but in this game goalie Petr Mrazek would steal the headlines by stopping 40 of 41 shots directed his way.  The Sting’s lone goal came from Charles Sarault on a third period powerplay. Both the Sting and Attack have 69 points on the season – Sarnia with the advantage for the #4 spot in the standings.  The #6 Saginaw Spirit trail them by 5 points.

 My prediction Plymouth 5 Sarnia 3

 

London at Oshawa

London had a challenging game last night at home vs. the 67’s. They were able to pepper Mrazek with 40 shots in the game, but were only able to get one by him early in the first period (Brett Cook with his 4th goal of the season). London’s goalie Jake Patterson had the start in net but was saddled with the loss in only his sixth start of the year.  The Knights continue their strong season but may be slowing down. They have 3 wins and 2 losses in their last 5 games. They lead the Plymouth Whalers by 4 points for top spot in the Western Conference.

The Generals pulled things together last night against the Barrie Colts after being outplayed the night before at London.  Oshawa was outshot by Barrie 42-27 but still managed the 5-1 victory buoyed by the 3 consecutive third period goals. Boone Jenner had 2 goals. If the playoffs started today the Generals would be in the #8 spot – they trail both Belleville and Mississauga by 1 point.

This game is a rematch of Friday night’s Sportsnet feature game of the week where the Knights outplayed the Generals to the tune of 7-2. Seth Griffin had a hattrick, Austin Watson had 4 assists and Greg McKegg had 2 goals and 2 assists.

 My prediction London 4 Oshawa 2

 

Saginaw at Windsor

 

Saginaw continues it’s road trip with a stop in to visit the Spits. The Spirit last played on Friday night at Erie. They were able to score plenty (7 in regulation) but allowed the weak Otters team to climb back into the game with three straight third period goals. Saginaw was able to salvage the two points by outscoring Erie in the shootout. Locke and Saad had 2 goals each – Shalla and Fine each had one goal and 2 assists.  After this game the Spirit will play 4 of their next 5 games at home – hosting these Spitfires on March 16.

Windsor ran into a hot goalie last night in the form of Plymouth’s Matt Mahalek. The Spits losing 2-0 at Plymouth after the home squad scored twice in the first period. Pavelka played well stopping 47 of 49 shots sent his way. Windsor is in seventh place in the standings – 2 points ahead of the teams that are tied for eighth as well as being only 4 points behind Saginaw for sixth place in the conference.

 My prediction Saginaw 4 Windsor 3 (OT)