Five OHL hot spots

December 13, 2016

As only three points stand between the top four teams in the Western Conference of the Ontario Hockey League, the surging Saginaw Spirit has moved to within three points of the eighth-and-final playoff spot.


* With 48 points, the Erie Otters are first overall in the Western world, albeit just ahead of the London Knights who have 47 points, the Windsor Spitfires who have 46 and the Soo Greyhounds who have 45.

Erie, which has a record of 23-6-2, is 8-2-0 in its last 10 outings while getting superb goal-tending from Troy Timpano, who was acquired from the Sudbury Wolves in an off-season trade.

Timpano has a 21-2-0 record to go with a 2.27 goals against average and .912 save percentage.

* Rebuild? What’s a rebuild?

The defending Memorial Cup champions from London have 47 points from a record of 21-4-5 including a 7-1-2 mark in their last 10 outings.

* 10 straight games on the road has not affected Windsor, which has a 7-1-2 record during that span.

Overall, the Spitfires have 46 points from a record of 21-5-4 and goalie Michael DiPietro has posted three straight shutouts.

* Speaking of road success, the Greyhounds of the Soo have a 15-3-0 record away from home this season and are 22-8-1 overall for 45 points.

The Hounds have won 9 of their last 10 games and done so without injured captain Blake Speers, their leading scorer from last season.


In Saginaw, the Spirit has a record of 5-0-2 in its last 7 games to move to within 3 points of the Flint Firebirds for eighth place in the Western Conference.

Saginaw, which has a game in hand on Flint, has improved its record to 12-13-5, good for 29 points.

Flint, on the other hand, has lost 4 of its last 5 games and now has 32 points from a record of 15-14-2.

Of note, the two teams face off on Wednesday night in Saginaw.


Hamilton Bulldogs, who confidently served notice via president/general manager Steve Staois that they were legitimate Eastern Conference contenders this season, instead are 0-3-2 in their last 5 games and 2-6-2 in their last 10 outings.

Overall, Hamilton has a record of 13-12-5, which is good for fourth place in the weak-side Eastern Conference.

If Hamilton was in the Western Conference, it would be in ninth place and out of a playoff spot.

PHOTO: Windsor Spitfires goalie Michael DiPietro has shutouts in each of his last 3 starts. (Photo by Aaron Bell.)

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