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January 14th OHL Game Previews

by Dwayne Williams

Kingston @ Sarnia
Kingston travels up the highway after beating the #1 team in the OHL.  The Fronts led the game 2-0 until late in the 3rd period. London pulled their goalie – but the Fronts warded them off and then popped another goal to finish the game off 4-1.  Bobkov was huge against his old team stopping 49 of 50 shots directed his way.  Kyler Nixon with a 2 point night received third star honours.
Sarnia is coming off a huge home ice win against the Mississauga Majors 7-1 (JP Anderson’s previous team). Sarnia played with their foot on the pedal all night – 5 players with multipoint efforts.  Domenic Alberga with the hat-trick (last goals for him were on Dec 30 and Dec 9).   The return matchup in Kingston happens on January 29.  This is game #3 of a 5 game home stand for the Sting.
My prediction Sting 6 – Fronts 1

Guelph @ Peterborough
Guelph was thoroughly defeated by the visiting Windsor Spitfires last night 5-0.  The Storm offered the visitors 9 powerplay chances and the Spits were successful on 3 of those situations. 
Peterborough finds itself in the middle of the Eastern conference race whereas Guelph is struggling to stay in a playoff position.  Their records in the past 10 games are almost complete opposites – Guelph is 3-6-1-0 and Peterborough is 6-3-1-0.    
My prediction Guelph 2 – Peterborough 4

Mississauga @ Plymouth
Missy comes off a defeat at the hands of the Sarnia Sting (7-1) – see above for some comments on that match.   Plymouth returns home after dismantling the Kitchener Rangers last night 6-1.  Their balanced, potent offence came from many players and all of their goals were scored at even strength.  (Plymouth only had 1 powerplay all game).  Plymouth now has earned a tie with the London Knights for the #1 spot in the Western Conference.  Missisauga finds themselves clinging to an 8th place tie with the re-energized Oshawa Generals.            
My prediction Whalers 5 – Majors 0

London @ Saginaw
London was surprised at home by the visiting Kingston Fronts (see comments above).  They travel across the border to Saginaw Michigan to take on the slumping Spirit squad.  Saginaw returns from Sault Ste Marie after dropping a close contest 5-4. Four Sting players registered 2 points in that game.
Look for Houser to get the start in the nets for the visitors as the Knights try to bounce back on the road.
My prediction London 5 – Saginaw 1

Niagara @ Barrie
Niagara travels to Barrie to complete their 3-in-3 weekend.  Barrie played Thursday night but not Friday. Thursday night’s game in Niagara was a fabulous goaltending performance by the Colts’ Alex Fotinos – he was peppered with 24 shots in the 3rd period (48 in the game) and only surrendered two goals.  He was awarded with the first star of the game in a losing 2-1 effort.  The Dogs are still getting used to each other and the line juggling by Coach Williamson to find the right combinations.
Last night the Dogs were in Sudbury to compete against Sgarbossa and the newly polished-up Wolves lineup.  Niagara prevailed 5-2 on strong play by Dougie and Freddie Hamilton (3 pts each). Ritchie continues to be good on the puck as well as Kuhnhackl.  Beukeboom was his hard into the boards in the first period and did not return. 
Strome was mauled in front of the Sudbury net and had his nose broken – he returned to the game but did not play in the 3rd period.  Dougie Hamilton was penalized for a head shot and will probably receive some attention from the league office – but should be able to play in this match.  Dougie also hit Scheifele hard during Thursday’s match and he left the game favouring his arm and did not return.  Without Scheifele the Colts will have a difficult time mustering up enough offence to keep up with the strong Icedogs.  Festarini with the strong game last night should be watching Visentin in the pipes tonight.  The depth of both rosters will be tested tonight.
My prediction Icedogs 5 – Colts 2

Sudbury @ Belleville
Sudbury comes off a home ice loss to the Niagara Icedogs (see above). They had a good first period but uneven play down the stretch allowed the visitors to capitalize on their mistakes and take the win away from the Wolves.  Sgarbossa  and Dodero with the goals.  Sudbury and Belleville are in the very tight Eastern Conference standings. Sudbury with the same point total as the host Bulls – Belleville with one more regulation win. Both teams are 2 points away from 4th place and 3 points ahead of 9th place. Sudbury has been more successful in the past 10 games – but Belleville is coming off a strong win @ Brampton Thursday night. Since Nov 1 the Bulls have gone back and forth with wins and losses. 6 wins – 2 losses – 6 wins – 4 losses – 2 wins – 5 losses and now a win.
My prediction Belleville 3 – Sudbury 2 OT

Erie @ Owen Sound
In the rematch – back to back – doubleheader – daily double – etc etc etc ... the two teams tangle again. Last night it was 3-1 for the home team Owen Sound Attack.  Erie had the first period lead on a goal from newly acquired Fox – but the Attack dug down and went ahead midway through the second period.  Both teams had 6 powerplays but only Owen Sound would take advantage.  In today’s game, look for the Otters to come out strong to start – and if their powerplay can capitalize they will stand a better chance to prevail.  
My prediction Otters 3 – Attack 2

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