Ontario Hockey League Game Day Previews for Thursday March 15 2012

 Pictured is Michael Houser who is close to the record for the most regular season wins in the OHL.

 

Peterborough at Niagara

Peterborough concludes their disappointing season with stops in Niagara tonight and then Oshawa on Sunday.  They have lost five games in a row and only won 2 of their last 10 games.  Andrew Yogan is having a solid month with 6 goals and 6 assists in 5 games.  Alan Quine has had a fine season with 66 points (2nd on the team to Yogan who has 73 points).  Second year Lino Martschini potted 20 goals again this season and needs 5 more points to equal his point total from last year. Nick Ritchie – who is fourth in scoring but has the team low rating of -22 – won’t be in action tonight as he continues his suspension for contact with an official a few games ago.

Besides the 10-0 Plymouth Whalers, the Icedogs are one of the next hottest teams with a record of 8-2-0-0 in their past 10 games (Barrie has same record as well). They won 2 games last weekend after running into the CHL Goalie of the Week (Brandon Maxwell of the Majors) last Thursday night.  On Friday night this team would travel into Ottawa and dismantle the #2 Ottawa 67’s in an impressive 5-1 road win.   They would have an off day on Saturday and then play at Kingston on Sunday. There they would score 4 first period goals, amass 52 shots in the game and cruise to a 5-2 victory. Top offensive players were Freddie Hamilton (3 goals and 2 assists - #10 spot in season scoring in the league) and  overager Andrew Agozzino (2 goals and 1 assist - his 40th goal of the season - currently #9 in OHL scoring).   Mark Visentin continues his strong second half of the season – he currently is league leader in shutouts (10) and Goals Against Average.  The Dogs are currently first in the Conference – and have almost clinched it – one more point in the next three games should mathematically guarantee them first place.  The Dogs will host Ottawa on Saturday night and then finish the season on the road at Mississauga.

 My prediction Peterborough 0 Niagara 5

 

London at Windsor

In recent history this would be a game near the end of the season where both teams would be jockeying for position near the top of the conference. This year half of that is correct - the Knights are on top, but have coasted recently (some would say come back down to Earth) and the Spits are trying to claw their way into the playoffs with their young rebuild team.  The Knights are in second place in the conference – wow I haven’t said that in a long long time – with 47 wins and 95 points. The Spits are in eighth place with 28 wins and 63 points.

The Knights played twice last weekend – a very tight checking 1-0 loss at Kitchener on Saturday – and they thumped the Storm 5-1 the night before at Guelph.  In the Guelph win, London would score 4 times in the first period and once again in the second period to cruise to the win. Defenceman Scott Harrington had 1 goal and 3 assists.  Greg McKegg would register his 41st point as a Knight in 27 games since the mid-season trade. Goalie Houser has 45 wins on the season – the OHL record is 46 – could this be the (k)night it happens? The Knights will host the Sting on Friday night in the Sportsnet game of the week and then finish their schedule at Erie on Saturday night.  The only time that the Knights have lost consecutive games was this month – March 3 and 4.

The Spits team has only won 4 of their past 10 games – 2 overtime losses in their past 10 give them a slight edge over the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds in the standings (Windsor is ahead by 3 points and the Hounds have lost 3 straight).  In their last home game, Windsor was able to keep up to the offensively minded Sarnia team and the pushed past them in the third period for a 7-5 win. The home side would score the only 3 goals in that frame. Kerby Rychel had a big game with 2 goals and 2 assists.  Defencemen Posa and Ebert were both steady with a +4 rating.  The scenario for the Spits to enter the playoffs is ‘win and you’re in’ – they could ‘back in’ if the Greyhounds lose their upcoming games, but most teams would want to ‘take care of business’ themselves.

 My prediction London 4 Windsor 3 (OT)