Shootout
By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘Joshua Leivo’
Posted: January 25th, 2013

Erie Otters (15-24-3-5) at Kitchener Rangers (26-14-1-5)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Kitchener Memorial Auditorium – Kitchener, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Upcoming schedule: Saturday vs. Kitchener, 7 p.m.
What to expect: The Otters enter a home-and-home series with the Midwest Division rival Rangers trailing eighth-place Saginaw by 11 points in the chase for the final playoff spot in the OHL’s Western Conference. They are seven points behind No. 9 Windsor. … The Otters play 11 of their 21 games against division opponents – Kitchener (four times), London (three), Owen Sound (twice) and Guelph (twice). Those teams hold four of the top five spots in the conference standings. … The Rangers are third in the division and fourth in the conference. They are 17 points behind frontrunning London and six behind third-place Owen Sound. … The Otters and Rangers have split the first four games of the eight-game season series, with each team winning once at home and on the road. Erie won the past two meetings 6-2 and 4-3 in a shootout Dec. 14-15. … Otters officials are awaiting word from the league today on defenseman Adam Pelech, who could be suspended for his knee-on-knee hit against Saginaw LW Zach Bratina Wednesday night. Pelech received a five-minute kneeing penalty and game misconduct. … G Oscar Dansk (concussion) remains day to day. He hadn’t returned to practice as of Thursday. … Rookie C Connor McDavid has four goals in his last 14 games after totaling nine goals in 13 November games. However, he has 14 points in those past 14 games. He still leads the league’s rookie scoring race with 49 points, eight ahead of Sarnia RW Nikolay Goldobin. … The Rangers are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games. … The Rangers rank 16th in the league with 134 goals scored and 19th on the power play (16.1 percent). But they are third with 118 goals against and second on the penalty kill (85.4 percent). … G John Gibson, a Pittsburgh native, ranks among the league leaders with a 2.41 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. … LW Joshua Leivo ranks among the top 20 scorers with 52 points. … Frank Corrado joins Pelech (34 points) among the top 10 defensemen with 31 points.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 17th, 2012

This week, I’ll break down all 20 OHL clubs division by division and unveil my predictions for the 2012-13 season. Today, let’s look at the Eastern Conference’s Central Division (listed in alphabetical order):

Barrie Colts
Coach/GM: Dale Hawerchuk/Jason Ford
2011-12 finish: 40-23-3-2, 2nd division, 3rd conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Ottawa in conference semifinals
Key players: LW Tanner Pearson (37 goals, 54 assists, 91 points; signed with Los Angeles), C Mark Scheifele (23-40-63 in 47 games; signed with Winnipeg), G Mathias Niederberger (29-14-1-2 record, 2.68 goals-against average, .918 save percentage, 3 shutouts), C Zach Hall (19-40-59), D Ryan O’Connor (8-28-36)
Key losses: C Colin Behenna (26-48-74), C Ivan Telegin (35-29-64; signed with Winnipeg)
Outlook: The continued emergence of standouts like Pearson and Scheifele, and the play of Niederberger in his first season, sparked the Colts to a 25-game improvement in the win column. Now these Colts could be tough to contend with this year.

Brampton Battalion
Coach/GM: Stan Butler
2011-12 finish: 36-22-3-7, 3rd division, 4th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Niagara 4-0 in conference semifinals
Key players: RW Barclay Goodrow (26-26-52; Carolina prospect), G Matej Machovsky (24-13-0-4, 2.36, .902, 5 SO; Ottawa prospect), D Dylan Blujus (7-27-34), D Cameron Wind (2-19-21, +16), LW Brandon Robinson (15-9-24)
Key losses: C Sam Carrick (16-23-39; signed with Toronto), LW Ian Watters (16-14-30)
Outlook: Defense is the name of the game in Brampton, which has featured one of the league’s top defenses the past several seasons. Machovsky anchors this year’s unit, while a defense led by Blujus and Wind provide plenty of help.

Mississauga Steelheads
Coach/GM: James Boyd
2011-12 finish: 33-28-1-6, 5th division, 6th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Barrie 4-2 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: LW Riley Brace (33-49-82), D Dylan DeMelo (7-40-47; signed with San Jose), C Kristoff Kontos (15-32-47), D Stuart Percy (4-30-34, plus-50; signed with Toronto), D Trevor Carrick (6-13-19)
Key losses: G Brandon Maxwell (33-22-1-3, 2.92, .913, 6 SO), LW Jamie Wise (31-17-48)
Outlook: This club has a new owner – Mississauga, Ontario, businessman Elliott Kerr, and nickname. But the Steelheads’ new goaltending tandem of Spencer Martin and former Otter Tyson Teichmann will have the biggest impact on this team’s success.

Niagara IceDogs
Coach/GM: Marty Williamson
2011-12 finish: 47-18-0-3, 1st division, 1st conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-1 in league finals
Key players: C Ryan Strome (30-38-68 in 46 games; signed with N.Y. Islanders), D Dougie Hamilton (17-55-72, +37; signed with Boston), D Jesse Graham (4-37-41, +25; N.Y. Islanders prospect), RW Brett Ritchie (24-21-45; signed with Dallas), G Chris Festarini (16-10-0-0, 2.85, .904, 2 SO; former Otter)
Key losses: G Mark Visentin (30-9-0-2, 1.99, .926, 10 SO; signed with Phoenix), C Andrew Agozzino (40-48-88), LW Freddie Hamilton (35-51-86; signed with San Jose), C Alex Friesen (26-45-71; signed with Vancouver), RW David Pacan (29-35-64)
Outlook: Festarini faces serious pressure as Visentin’s replacement in net. But Festarini has plenty of experienced talent – led by Strome and Hamilton – in front of him that will help keep the puck out of the net as well as score a lot of goals.

Sudbury Wolves
Coach/GM: Trent Cull/Blaine Smith
2011-12 finish: 36-26-4-2, 4th division, 5th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Brampton 4-0 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: LW Joshua Leivo (32-41-73), D Justin Sefton (3-16-19, 143 penalty minutes; San Jose prospect), LW Nathan Pancel (23-21-44), D Frank Corrado (3-23-26, +26), C Matthew Campagna (8-23-31 in 45 games)
Key losses: C Michael Sgarbossa (36-46-82; signed with San Jose), D Josh McFadden (19-53-72; signed with Florida), G Johan Mattsson (23-11-2-1, 3.16, .910), LW Andrey Kuchin (25-40-65), RW Derek Schoenmakers (26-24-50; traded to Windsor)
Outlook: The Wolves spent little time in the playoffs the past two seasons, as they were swept both times. But the departure of skilled leaders like Sgarbossa, McFadden, Mattsson and Kuchin might keep these Wolves out of the playoffs entirely.

- Victor Fernandes

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