The Ottawa 67’s hit the ice on Saturday, riding a 20 game point streak. The Barber Poles host the Sarnia Sting in the Arena at TD Place at 2:00pm. With a record of 16-0-3-1 in their last 20 games, there’s no question why the Barber Poles are ahead of the pack in first place of the OHL standings, but they do need to start looking over their shoulders as the London Knights are coming hot with a 10-game winning streak of their own. London is now only 8 points back from Ottawa in the hunt for first place.
With a few injuries getting in the way of the 67’s, keeping some key players out of the lineup such as Nikita Okhotyuk, Graeme Clarke and Marco Rossi, other players are starting to step up for the Barber Poles. Of course Tye Felhaber and Austen Keating are still leading the charge for the team, but forward Sasha Chmelevksi has been on fire recently, with a 5-game point streak that has seen him pick up 2 goals, 9 assists for 11 points in those past five games. Sam Bitten has also stepped up for Ottawa, after being placed on the second line following Graeme Clarke’s injury. Bitten has put up 11 points in his last 9 games. Felhaber leads the league in goals with 24, while Keating leads in assists with 26.
In the 67’s last game, they were defeated 2-1 in a shootout by the Oshawa Generals. This was only Ottawa’s second loss at home this season, as they had not lost in front of their own fans since September 23rd against Peterborough. André Tourigny’s squad will look to bounce back in front of their own fans against a team they have not faced yet this year, the Sarnia Sting.
Sarnia Sting (9-10-2-2)
Currently fourth in the West Division, this is not the start to the season the Sarnia Sting were hoping for. However, Sarnia have won their last two games, scoring 7 times in each of those games. One thing that could give an advantage to the 67’s is the fact that the Sting are playing in Kingston on the road Friday evening at 7:00 PM, which could see them a bit tired for the 2:00pm start on Saturday at TD Place. Swedish forward Hugo Leufvenius has been Sarnia’s most productive player so far this year, with 25 points in 23 games. The pair of NHL 6th round picks Anthony Salinitri and Ryan McGregor have also been doing well, both putting up 22 points so far this year, just like Calgary Flames prospect Adam Ruzicka. Goaltending has been an issue for Sarnia, as they have shared the duties between Ethan Langevin and Aidan Hughes, who have nearly played an equal number of games, but if we take a look at their stats, none of the two has been very impressive this year, both goalies having a GAA over 3.00 and a save percentage under .900%. Goal scoring has not been a problem for the Sting this year, with an above average total of 91. They however have allowed 100 goals, which is also above the league average.
- The Ottawa 67’s are the best home team in the OHL with a record of 9-1-0-1 on home ice. Sarnia’s away record is of 3-5-1-1.
- Both teams have an almost identical % on the penalty kill this season. Ottawa (79.8%) and Sarnia (80.0%).
- The OHL’s two leading rookies are 67’s forward Marco Rossi (27 points) and Jack Quinn (19 points). In third place comes Sarnia Sting forward Jacob Perreault (15 points).
- Not only does Tye Felhaber leads the league in goals with 24, but the 67’s forward has also scored the opening goal of a game 10 times this year, which is a league best.