Tonight I will be in attendence of the Niagara-Ottawa game, in Ottawa. This game will surely be a great test for both teams, as they will likely meet up at some point in the late rounds of the playoffs. Both teams sit 1-2 in the Eastern Conference, with only one point seperating the two teams. Both teams have 5 games remaining, so a win tonight for either team could make or break their chances at winning the conference.
The game tonight is likely to be a classic "shootout" as both teams have many offensive weapons. Including Islanders '11 top draft pick Ryan Strome,Bostons '11 to pick Dougie Hamilton, and the league's point leader Tyler Toffoli. The game tonight will showcase four of THN's top 59 prospects, and many more top prospects. What I find most exciting about this game is it will include five, yes five of the leagues top 15 scorers (1-Toffoli,5-Prince,7-Agozzino,9-F.Hamilton,15-Monahan). I cranked the numbers, and those five forwards make up 30% of the ''top 15's'' point totals!.
With all the high scoring potential this game has, I wouldn't be surprised to see the goalies take over this game. Niagara will likely start the leagues top goaltender, Mark Visentin. Visentin is the league leader in G.A.A(2.05)and Shutouts (10) which is a new single season record in the OHL, he's tied for 3rd in Save%(.923), and 4th in Wins(28). Petr Mrazek is likely to get the nod in net tonight. Mrazek, like Visentin,also sits high in goaltending statistics. He's 7th in G.A.A (2.78),8th in Save% (.918),2nd in Wins (29),tied for 6th in Shutouts(3),and sits 5th in the whole league with total Saves this season(1494). Either one of these goalies could win the game for their team, both have played well in the World Junior Championships, so I don't expect the pressure of this game to get to either of them.
This will be the third meeting of these two teams this season. Both teams have one win and one loss against one another. The first meeting came October.20th where Niagara beat the 67's 4-1. The second meeting came November.20th, the 67's got their revenge stomping on the IceDogs 5-2. These stats show proof that fans can expect a high pace, even game tonight.
Players to Watch:
1-Ryan Strome ('11 5th overall pick,NYI),Niagara IceDogs
2-Dougie Hamilton('11 9th overall pick,BOS),Niagara IceDogs
3-Tyler Toffoli('10 47th overall pick,LAK),Ottawa 67's
4-Mark Visentin('10 29th overall pick,PHX),Niagara IceDogs
5-Freddie Hamilton('10 129th overall pick,SJS),Niagara IceDogs
6-Sean Monahan(2013 Draft Eligible),Ottawa 67's
7-Jamie Oleksiak('11 14th overall pick,DAL),Niagara IceDogs
8-Cody Ceci(2012 Draft Eligible),Ottawa 67's
9-Petr Mrazek('10 151st overall,DET),Ottawa 67's
10-Shane Prince('11 61st overall,OTT),Ottawa 67's
I'll be tweeting through out the game so follow me on twitter for updates: @PuckCentralHQ