Here’s what you need to know coming into this weekend’s games…
The Colts will be busy this upcoming weekend as they play three games in three nights starting Thursday night when they host the Ottawa 67’s. The following night, the team will be in St. Catherine’s as they face off again the Niagara Ice Dogs in a Central Division clash before returning home to BMC for a Saturday night tilt with the Owen Sound Attack.
The Colts look to pad their lead in the Central Division as they currently sit 3 points up on the North Bay Battalion. The Colts also look to gain ground on the Kingston as they trail the Frontenacs by 10 points for the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
Kevin Labanc continues to lead the OHL in scoring, collecting 112 points in 56 games this year and is in striking distance of Sheldon Keefe’s franchise record for single season point total. Labanc currently sits 9 point back of the 121 point campaign Keefe set back in 1999-00. Along with Labanc, Andrew Mangiapane continues his quality season, as he is currently second in the league in goals with 44, trailing only London’s Christian Dvorak who sits with 46 on the year. Mangiapane is also in striking distance of a Colts single season record as he sits 9 goals shy of the club record 53 set by Bryan Cameron during the 2009-10 season.
Barrie Colts vs. Ottawa 67’s (30-28-2-1)
The team from the nation’s capital will make their way north on the 400 as the Ottawa 67’s stroll into town. Thursday’s game will mark the third meeting between the two teams, with each team earning a win on the road in the first two meetings. The Colts and 67’s last played back on October 10th with Ottawa taking it by a score of 4-0, while the Colts beat them two week prior by the same 4-0 final.
Through 61 games this year, Ottawa has accumulated a record of 30-28-2-1 and sit 2nd in the East Division. At the moment, Ottawa sits 6th in the Eastern Conference with 63 points as they battle with Mississauga and Niagara for 4th spot in the conference. The 67’s power play ranked 10th in the OHL, operating at a 19.1% success rate while their penalty kill ranks 14th killing off 78.8% of their shorthanded chances.
Leading the way for the 67’s has been Dante Salituro. Salituro leads the team in goals with 32, as well as assists with 42, and points with 74. Salituro’s 74 point total is good for 13th in the league and his 32 goals are good for a three way tie for 14th with Erie’s Dylan Strome and Kitchener’s Adam Mascherin. Jeremiah Addison has also played a big role in Ottawa’s postseason push as the Montreal Canadiens’ prospect has notched 25 goals and 23 assists in 59 games. Stepan Falkovsky has been Ottawa’s most productive defenceman this year as the native of Belarus has posted 9 goals and 21 assists in 51 games while recording a team high +14. Austen Keating has been Ottawa’s top rookie as the native of Guelph has 13 goals and 15 assists in 43 games. Keating’s 28 points are good enough to crack the top 20 in rookie scoring as Keating sits 18th in the category.
Barrie Colts @ Niagara Ice Dogs (29-24-3-3)
The Colts will make their way to the Meridian Centre Friday night for a Central Division showdown with the Niagara Ice Dogs. The Colts and Ice Dogs have played 5 times this season, with Barrie leading the season series 3 games to 2. The last time they played was back on January 30th at BMC where the Colts would prevail 3-2. After Niagara scored the first two goals of the game, the Colts would reply with three unanswered goals as Julius Nattinen, Roy Radke and Dylan Sadowy found the back of the net to complete the comeback.
Through 59 games, the Ice Dogs have a record of 29-24-3-3 and sit tied for third in the Central Division with the Mississauga Steelheads. Along with the division, Niagara is also tied with the Steelheads for fourth spot in the Eastern Conference as both teams have registered 64 points. The Ice Dogs’ power play ranks 9th in the OHL as they converted on 19.2% of their opportunities while their penalty kill ranks 6th working at an 82.9% success rate.
Josh Ho-Sang leads the Ice Dogs in points as the New York Islanders’ prospect has 17 goals and 53 assists in 57 games. His 53 assists are good for 7th in league in that category. Between October 18th and December 8th, Ho-Sang put together a point streak of 19 games, which tied for the third longest streak of the season. Over-ager Jordan Maletta has been Niagara’s top goal scorer as the hometown kid has recorded 30 goals in 51 games. Vince Dunn has been Niagara’s best defenceman with 12 goals and 31 assists in 52 games. Dunn’s 43 points places him in a tie for 5th with Miles Liberati for scoring amongst defencemen. Ben Jones has been Niagara’s top rookie as the 7th overall pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection has 3 goals and 4 assists in 52 games.
Barrie Colts vs. Owen Sound Attack (28-21-7-3)
Following Friday night’s battle with the Ice Dogs, the Colts will return home to host the Owen Sound Attack. The game marks the fifth of six meetings between the clubs with the Colts leading the season series 4-0. Their last game took place on February 10th in Owen Sound, where the Colts shutout the Attack 5-0. Kevin Labanc recorded a hat trick plus an assist in a four point night while Julius Nattinen and Keigan Goetz also scored for Barrie. Andrew Mangiapane contributed with three assists in the win.
Through 59 games, the Attack have put together a record of 28-21-7-3 and sit 4th in the ultra-competitive Midwest Division. Owen Sound sits 6th in the Western Conference with 66 points as they are just two points ahead of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds who rest in 7th. Owen Sound clinched their playoff ticket after a 10-2 win over the Mississauga Steelheads last Friday night. The Attack’s power play currently ranks 11th in the league, successfully converting on 19% of their chances while their penalty kill has killed off 82% of their opportunities, good for 8th.
Bryson Cianfrone leads the Attack in points as the over-ager has recorded 47 points in 52 games which including 17 goals and 30 assists. Cianfrone, along with defenceman Santino Centorame, lead the team in plus/minus with a +12 rating. Another key contributor to Owen Sound’s line-up has been Ethan Sypula. Sypula is second on the Attack in points with 41 and is coming off a 4-goal performance against the Steelheads in their playoff clinching game. Petrus Palmu leads Owen Sound in goals with 19 despite playing in just 43 games. Santino Centorame has been the Attack’s top defencemen as the Mississauga native has 13 goals and 26 assists in 58 games this year. His 13 goals are good for a three way tie for second with Miles Liberati and Sudbury’s Patrick Murphy for goals amongst defencemen while his 39 points are good for a four way tie for 7th in defensive scoring. Nick Suzuki has been Owen Sound’s top rookie with 17 goals and 14 assists in 54 games. His 31 points are good for 13th in rookie scoring and third in rookies born in 1999, only trailing Erie’s Vanya Lodnia and Windsor’s Gabe Vilardi.