Ontario Hockey League Game Day Previews for Thursday January 17, 2013

Pictured is Jason Dickinson from the Guelph Storm. He played in the Home Hardware prospects game in Halifax last night.

Guelph at Peterborough

  With 4 players drafted in the first 3 rounds of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft playing key roles in this year's team success, and 4 more ranked in the top 82 for North American skaters for the 2013 draft, the future in Guelph is clearly very bright. Brock McGinn (Carolina), and Matt Finn (Leafs) were drafted in the 2nd round in 2012. Scott Kosmachuk (Jets), and Tanner Richard (Lightning) were drafted in the 3rd round in 2012.

  For the 2013 Draft, Jason Dickinson is ranked 16th, Justin Auger 71st, Ben Harpur 80th, and Hunter Garlent 82nd amongst North American skaters. Dickinson competed in the Top Prospects game in Halifax, last night.

  Guelph has won two games in a row. They soundly defeated the Frontenacs, in their last game on Sunday afternoon 4-1, and outshot them 52-27 along the way. The game probably wasn't as close as the score indicated. The Storm beat the Eastern Conference leading Colts, 3-2 on Friday night, with Scott Kosmachuk scoring twice and Garret Sparks (Leafs) playing a solid game in goal.

  The Petes had three players on the list of North American players ranked for the 2013 NHL draft. Greg Betzold was ranked 159th, and Stephen Nosad 188th. Rookie goaltender, Michael Guigovaz, who has recorded 7 of the Petes' 12 wins this season was ranked 8th amongst North American goalies.

  Peterborough is playing much better of late under new coach Jody Hull. They have opened up a 4 point lead on the, basement dwelling, Ottawa 67s and have crept to within 11 points of the Kingston Frontenacs, who hold down the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Petes have recorded at least a point in 7 of their last 10 games, 6 in a row, and are 4-3-0-3.

My prediction  Guelph 3  at  Peterborough 2


Mississauga at Windsor

  The Steelheads have had a mediocre winter with only 3 wins in their past 10 games and no recorded wins in their past 4 games. They are in seventh place only 2 points ahead of Kingston for the last playoff spot. Riley Brace is the team’s leading scorer. He has been held scoreless in the past two games, but scored a goal and had 5 assists in the three previous games.  His season total of 41 assists is almost at high season best 49 assist mark produced last year. Second leading scorer Dylan Smoskowitz’s stats tell a similar story.  He had no points in his last 2 games and 2 goals and 2 assists in the previous 3 games. Goalie Spencer Martin played in the Home Hardware Prospects game in Halifax last night so his presence in this game is highly doubtful.

  The Spits have done some damage since the trade deadline – it has also been a big boost to have the return of Khokhlachev to the lineup. They have earned 5 of 6 potential points in those games. They are still out of the playoff picture, but pressing hard.  They have 39 points this season which is 6 behind the Saginaw Spirit.  Five of the teams that are ahead of them in the standings have all won at least 2 games in a row – Saginaw has now won 5 in a row.  The Spits schedule doesn’t let up as they travel to London and then host Sarnia to complete their weekend schedule.

  My prediction Mississauga 2 Windsor 5

Oshawa at Barrie

  Both teams have been effected by the NHL return to work as their top level drafted players have been active at camps this week.

  Barrie continues to hold down the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference with six wins in their last 10 games.  They are hoping to start another winning streak here after a loss at Guelph last Friday night.  Their last action was an easy 5-1 victory over a rebuilding Niagara squad.  The Colts will take a zip up to Sudbury for Friday night’s game and then return home to host Kitchener on Saturday night.

  Last weekend the Generals would get by the last place Petes 4-3 and then hosted the improved Windsor Spitfires. Oshawa did not have enough in this game and dropped the contest 3-1.  A goal scored 10 seconds into the game by Kerby Rychel seemed to open the door for the Spits who would tally all of their goals in the first period.

  Defenceman Matt Petgrave has returned to action after missing the last part of November and the entire month of December.

  My prediction Oshawa 1 Barrie 4