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February 20th - Game Day Previews

by Dwayne Williams

Family Day !! Lots of great action in the ‘O” today  - all 7 contests are afternoon games.
My crystal ball is back from the repair shop and it’s working great! Yesterday I was a perfect 4 for 4 in game day predictions – including Brampton as the winner in overtime,  Ottawa allowing only one goal, the Spirit winning by two goals – London did win but not by as big a margin.
Here we go again folks!

Erie finishes off it’s Eastern road trip with a stop in at the Belleville Yardman Arena.  The young Otters team has not fared well on this trip – losing at Kingston 9-3 and then at Ottawa on Sunday 6-1. In those games Jake Evans scored 2 goals, Anthony Cortellessa scored once and Jake Evans notched his seventh goal of his rookie year. The Otters were outshot 33-57 and 37-47.
After 3 consecutive losses, the Bulls pulled things together and won a pivotal home game on Saturday 8-3 vs. the Majors.  In that game Stephen Silas had 2 goals and a helper, Captain Judson had a goal and 2 assists and Adam Payerl bounced back with 2 goals and a +4 rating! (I called him out for a -5 rating in a recent game). The Bulls and the Majors are deadlocked at 55 points - the Petes are one point ahead and the Generals are 2 points ahead at this point.  Fans will be excited to see the Timbits Jamboree during the intermission break.
My prediction Erie 2 Belleville 4

The Rangers have dropped three straight games (including a 4-3 SO loss to London) and seem to be cruising in third spot of the Eastern conference. With a little over 10 games to play in the regular season they are running out of time to challenge the #1 ranked London Knights and will not likely be caught in the standings by the Owen Sound attack (trailing the Rangers by 11 points). Tobias Rieder leads the team in points with 34-31-65, M Catenaccie with 21-35-56 and rookie R Faksa with 23-28-51. Cody Sol has accumulated an impressive +33 rating which is third best in the league.
Guelph is in the #9 slot trailing the Greyhounds by one point for the final playoff spot. They are coming off a big win at Plymouth 9-1. In that game Garret Sparks allowed one goal on 31 shots – Ryan Horvat had 4 points and a handful of others had multipoint games.  The Storm scored three times on eight powerplay chances.  These two teams will meet up again on Feb 26 at Guelph.
My prediction Kitchener 3 Guelph 4 (OT)

Looking at the standings this game should not be close BUT the Fronts have been playing some really good hockey lately – whereas the 67’s have gone a mediocre 5-4-1-0 in their past 10 games.  Yesterday Ottawa had an expected big win vs. the last place Erie Otters 6-1. Toffoli added to his league leading point total with one goal and one assist (6 goals and 5 assists in his last 7 games). Cody Ceci is second in defenceman scoring with 52 points.  Shane Prince is tied for second place in game winning goals(7).
Ottawa currently trails the idle Icedogs by 1 point for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Frontenacs have scored 21 goals in their last 3 games.  This offensive outburst was the key reason for them winning against Guelph 6-3, Peterborough 5-4 and Erie 9-3. The team has four wins in a row as well. They are not officially eliminated from the playoff picture, but are not throwing the towel in on the season at all.  This month (7 games) Greenaway has tallied 6 goals and 7 assists – Jenkins has 2 goals and 8 assists and Kujawinski  has 7 goals and 3 helpers.  Cody Alcock was on fire last game with 3 goals and 1 assist.
My prediction Ottawa 3 Kingston 5

Sudbury comes off a solid game vs. Brampton yesterday where they earned one point in an overtime loss.  They were outshot by the Battalion 41-20 but were still able to match them on the scoreboard.  Michael Sgarbossa continues to add to his impressive season totals (39 goals and 40 assist) with a hatrick and an assist in this game– and leads the league with 15 powerplay goals. Josh McFadden had 1 goal and 1 assist and Joshua leivo had 3 assists. The Wolves trail Barrie by a single point and trail Brampton by 4 points in the Eastern Conference.
Mississauga is on the outside looking in today. They are in 9th place in the standings – but have the same point total as the eighth place Belleville Bulls. The Petes lead both teams by a single point – and the Generals lead them by 2 points.  The Majors did not help their cause by losing at Belleville on Saturday. They fell behind early (2-0) and were never able to recover.  Riley Brace had 2 goals and Justin Rasmussen had the other marker. Kontos, Wise and Partanen were -3 on the night.  Of their remaining 12 games, only one is a Western Conference opponent (Erie on Feb 28) – and 6 of those games are played on home ice.   Spongebob Squarpants will be on hand from 1 – 2 today – get your tickets !!
My prediction Spongebob 1 ... whoops .. Sudbury 4 Mississauga 2

The Knights continue to clip along with the wins – their latest performance was a 5-1 domination of the visiting Kitchener Rangers. The Knights scored 2 goals in the first 5:31 of the game and kept the Rangers to the outside for the rest of the game.  The Knights were 2/5 on the powerplay – Brett Welchka with 2 goals (4 of his 10 career goals have been scored in the last 4 games) and Austin Watson with 3 helpers. Griffith and Genovese had a conflict with 45 seconds to play – each receiving a minor penalty and a 10 minute misconduct.  They are first in the OHL with a record of 42-12-0-1 and wins in 7 of their last 10 games.  Houser is #1 in the CHL with 40 wins on the season.
Sarnia has had numerous injury problems and have not been able to put together a healthy lineup in their recent games.  They are missing many defencemen including Basso who has a separated shoulder.  Hottot is questionable for today’s contest – and Thompson is bruised up from blocking a shot vs Guelph a few games ago.  Their last game at Saginaw was a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Spirit.  Sarnia is in fifth place in the Western Conference with 62 points. Do they have enough ‘left in the tank’ to hold off Spirit (1 point behind) and the Spits (6 points behind). They also trail the Attack by 1 point with a pivotal game coming up at Owen Sound on Wednesday later this week. The Sting have 8 home games in their remaining 13 regular season contests.
My prediction London 6 Sarnia 2

Barrie is in the thick of a tight battle in the middle of the Eastern Conference with Brampton and Sudbury. The Colts currently trail the Battalion by 3 points and lead the Wolves by 1 point. Barrie has won their last 2 games and their last 6 of 8.  Friday night they won at Kitchener 5-3 and then were victorious again on Saturday 5-1 vs. Oshawa. In those games the Colts outshot their opponents 39-31 and 37-27.  Top scorers were Beyers (4 points), Telegin (5 points), Pearson (2 points), Erlich (2 points) and Behenna (5 points).
Oshawa has been hot and cold. Their last game they lost to this same Colts team 5-1 and only managed 5 shots in the third period. Daniel Altshuller was tagged with the loss – allowing 5 goals on 32 shots.  Christian Thomas had the lone goal.  Friday night they pushed around the Bulls to the tune of 8-1.  Laughton had a hatrick and an assist – Maggio had 2 assists and a +4 rating.  Jensen and Petgrave were the #2 and #3 stars (Laughton was #1).
My prediction Barrie 4 Oshawa 3

Brampton is back on track with 3 wins in their past 3 games after losing 6 straight contests. Yesterday they held on to defeat the Wolves in overtime.  They outshot the Wolves 41-20 but gave up 2 goals on 8 powerplay opportunities.  Multipoint games were recorded by Zach Bell (2 assists), Sam Carrick (1 goal and 2 helpers) and matt MacLeod (2 assists). The Battalion are ahead of Barrie by 3 points and lead Sudbury by 4 points.
Peterborough is surrounded on both sides in the standings. They trail Oshawa by 1 point for the #6 spot and are being chased by Belleville and Mississauga (who are 1 point behind).  Of those 4 teams Peterborough and Mississauga only have 3 wins in their last 10 games – the other 2 teams have 5 wins.  Thursday night the Petes lost to a scrappy Kingston bunch 5-4. Saturday the Petes surprised the 67’s with a 4-3 win.  Against Ottawa, the Petes gave up three straight goals before scoring 4 of their own to earn the win.  Andrew Yogan had a superior game with 2 goals and 2 assists to go with his +3 rating.  Ritchie and Mathers had the other goals.  Against Kingston, the Fronts outscored the home team 2-0 in the third period – the Fronts were also 2/2 on the powerplay.  Yogan had another solid game with 1 goal and 1 assist. West and Ritchie each had 3 assists. Nosad notched 2 goals of his own  (6 total in his rookie season).
My prediction Brampton 4 Peterborough 3

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