Ontario Hockey League Game Day Previews for Thursday March 8 2012
Pictured is Ivan Telegin from the Barrie Colts who ran wild last night with 4 goals. (see below)
Guelph at London
The Storm ran out steam last game vs. the Kitchener Rangers on Tuesday. After scoring the first goal more than halfway through (2nd period 13:43 mark) Guelph would surrender five straight goals to lose 5-1. Patrick Watling scored his sixth goal of the season. The Storm are still stuck in the battle for a playoff spot – they and Windsor each have 60 points and Sault Ste Marie trails by only 2 points. To finish the season Guelph plays home / home series with the #1 London Knights and the last place Erie Otters. Their finale is vs. Owen Sound Attack.
London has had a few hiccups lately and doesn’t appear as infallible as they were earlier in the season. They have lost 2 in a row – once a 2-1 shaving at the hands of the Ottawa 67’s and the other was a 4-1 loss at Oshawa despite outshooting the Generals by 15. Austin Watson and Brett Cook had the lone goals for the suddenly sputtering Knights.
My prediction Guelph 2 London 3
Mississauga at Niagara
The Majors continue their battle at the bottom of the Eastern Conference for a favourable playoff position. They are alone in the #8 spot with Oshawa having a slim one point lead. Belleville is two ahead of Mississauga at this point. Top scorer Riley Brace turned 20 yesterday – he has 3 assists in the past 5 games. The Majors and Icedogs will tangle again to finish the season for both teams on Sunday March 18 at Mississauga.
Niagara is ready to play a ‘normal OHL hockey game’ after the debacle that the Erie Otters handed to them last game. Yes this was the trending Connor Crisp game – yes this was the game where Alex Freisen had a collision with the goalie (5 minute charging and game misconduct – no league suspension) and Sadikov was concussed – yes this was the game where Tom Khunhackl was targeted and injured – and yes this was where the Icedogs pushed back and scored a pile of goals to complete a 13-4 game. (see may analysis of the game on this website) The Dogs are 3 points ahead of Ottawa for top spot in the Eastern Conference – they trail London and Plymouth by 4 points for #1 overall in the OHL. Niagara has won 8 in a row at home dating back to Jan 22.
Last time these teams got together on Feb 24 at Mississauga, the Majors were victorious 3-2.
My prediction Mississauga 1 Niagara 5
Brampton at Peterborough
The Battalion are embroiled in a tight race in the Eastern Conference. Having qualified for the postseason the big question now is where will they finish and who will be their first round opponent? They are currently in the #4 spot – 2 points behind Barrie and 3 points ahead of the sizzling Sudbury Wolves. The Battalion have won 6 of
their last 10 games. The Petes are tailing off with only 2 wins in their last 10 games. Last night they were defeated by the Belleville Bulls 6-5. The teams were evenly matched in shots on goal and were tied up numerous times. The Bulls managed 2 third period goals which the Petes could not match. Peterborough
would give the Bulls 7 powerplay chances while only having 2 chances of their own. Yogan was third star scoring 2 goals and notching 2 assists. Nick Ritchie scored twice after not registering a point in the previous 4 games. Lino Martschini chipped in 1 goal and 2 assists. These teams last tangled on Feb 20 when the Battalion were
at Peterborough. In that game Brampton would score once each period and limit the Petes to only 21 shots in the game to come out with the 3-1 victory. Robinson, Machac and Froats were goal scorers for Brampton – Mathers had the goal for the Petes
My prediction Brampton 3 Peterborough 2
Sault Ste Marie at Windsor
Windsor completes their regular season with 3 games on the road and finish out with 3 games on home ice. The Greyhounds are on the outside looking in today – 2 points behind the Windsor Spitfires for the final playoff spot ((Spits having played one more game than the Hounds). The Hounds have won their last 2 games, and the Spits
have lost their last 2 games. (Guelph is also in the mix with the same point total as the Windsor Spitfires). Team point leader Cousins (80) has 2 goals and 7 assists in the past 5 games. Michael Schmacher had 2 goals in the last game. Jack Campbell has 3 straight wins – 19 on the season. Windsor will need to find some offensive help
from other areas as their top scorer Khokhlachev is out of the lineup for the rest of the season with a lacerated kidney. Kirby Rychel has 2 assists in the past 6 games. A week ago Ben Johnson scored 2 goals and had one assist – but then didn’t score for the next two games (he has 34 points on the season). The rematch is
scheduled for March 17 at Sault Ste Marie.
My prediction Sault Ste Marie 4 Windsor 2
Sudbury at Barrie
Sudbury has survived their last season injury woes and is battling for home ice advantage in the playoffs with Brampton and Barrie in the top half of the Eastern Conference. They are currently 3 points behind the Brampton
Battalion and 5 points behind Barrie. The Wolves are on a hot streak and have not lost this month with wins against Kitchener, Peterborough and Brampton. Top scorer Sgarbossa trails Tofolli by one point in the league scoring race.
Barrie had a solid game last night vs. the Owen Sound Attack. The Colts had 3 first period goals to go with 3 third period goals and cruised to a 6-2 road victory despite being outshot 40-28. Ivan Telegin had 3 powerplay
goals (Colts were 3 for 4 on the powerplay) to go with his opening period shorthanded goal. Mathias Niederberger stopped 38 of 40 shots on goal. These two teams have a rematch this coming Tuesday at Sudbury.
My prediction Sudbury 3 Barrie 4 (OT)