The Niagara IceDogs continue an extremely tough stretch of seven games in eleven days, with five of those games coming on the road, as they host the Ottawa 67’s tonight at 7pm. The IceDogs have gone 2-2 in the first four games of this stretch, defeating the Mississauga Steelheads and Saginaw Spirit, before falling to the Plymouth Whalers and Peterborough Petes. The IceDogs will be looking to get back into the win column tonight and improve on their 2-0 home record so far.
Thursday, October 11th, 2012 vs. Ottawa 67’s
The IceDogs return home tonight to host the rival Ottawa 67’s for the first time since the IceDogs defeated Ottawa to capture the Eastern Conference Championship back in April. While this may be Ottawa’s first trip to Niagara this season, the teams have already met in Ottawa, with the IceDogs taking home a 4-2 victory in Ottawa back on September 28th. Ottawa is off to a tough start to their season, sitting at 1-5 on the season, but Ottawa always plays Niagara tough and still has some firepower that can make them dangerous, so the IceDogs will have to be sure not to take them lightly. Led by Sean Monahan up front and Cody Ceci on the backend, the 67’s may not have the same level of depth that they have possessed in previous seasons, but they still have some very high end skilled players that can make any team pay.
Saturday, October 13th, 2012 at Sarnia Sting
After their home game on Thursday, the IceDogs will hit the road once again, heading to Sarnia to visit the Sting on Saturday night. While Sarnia may have lost 2012 NHL number one pick Nail Yakupov, who has moved on to the KHL this season, they do still have number three overall pick Alex Galchenyuk and overager Charles Sarault, who actually led the team in scoring a year ago. Sarnia also comes into the weekend riding a two game winning streak, so the IceDogs will need a strong performance if they hope to leave Sarnia with two points.
Sunday, October 14th, 2012 at Windsor Spitfires
Sunday afternoon will see the IceDogs wrap up their seventh game in eleven days by visiting the Windsor Spitfires. While the game is the IceDogs lone regular season visit to Windsor, the IceDogs have already visited the Spitfires once, having picked up a shootout victory in an exhibition game in Windsor last month. In goal, Windsor features a familiar face for IceDogs fans in former IceDogs goaltender Jaroslav Pavelka, who has started seven of WIndsor’s eight games so far. Up front, the Spitfires feature some solid firepower in Brady Vail and draft eligible forwards Kerby Rychel and Jordan Maletta. Windsor also features a second IceDog in defenceman Adam Bateman, who was traded to Windsor prior to last season after not reporting to IceDogs training camp. The game will be a tough one for the IceDogs, who will need a complete effort to pick up the victory and finish their weekend strong.
Having already played four games in the past week, the IceDogs will have to dig deep to find success this weekend. Combine the number of games with the length of road trips that the IceDogs have already made this season and things will certainly not come easy for the IceDogs this weekend. However, with an extremely tight battle for the Central Division lead already between the IceDogs, Barrie and Sudbury, the IceDogs cannot afford to take a weekend off. While it is obviously still very early, the Central Division and entire Eastern Conference is extremely tight and competitive this season, making it important for the IceDogs to continue their strong start to the season and stay at our near the top of the Central Division and Eastern Conference.
Don’t miss out on any of the action purchase your tickets now for tonight’s game at any IceDogs ticketing location and help us “Pack the Jack!”