• Plymouth: 14-11-5-3, 36 pts/33 GP; 111 GF, 111 GA, 2-4-2-2 in last ten games, 6th in Western Conference
• Saginaw: 14-16-3-2, 33 pts/35 GP; 121 GF, 133 GA, 4-4-1-1 in last ten games, 9th in Western Conference
- THE LEADERS
Left winger Stefan Noesen leads the Whalers with 17 goals in 26 games, but he’s currently serving a 10-game suspension for a hit served in a December 8 game. Noesen has seven games remaining on the suspension and was recently ruled ineligible to play in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships. Behind him is right winger Garrett Meurs, who has 15 goals in 33 games for the Whalers.
A trio of Whalers forwards have 17 assists each on the season: centers Rickard Rakell and Ryan Hartman, as well as right winger Tom Wilson. Rakell leads the team with 30 points (13-17) and a plus-12 in 30 games.
Leading the way for the Spirit is center Vincent Trocheck, who leads the team in goals (24), assists (26) and points (50) and has played in 35 games this season. He also has a plus-18 on the season, best on the Saginaw squad.
Also averaging over a point per game on the Spirit are center Eric Locke and left winger Garret Ross, who have 38 and 35 points this season each, respectively.
- THE GOALIES
Matt Mahalek has led the way in goaltending for Plymouth, going 11-7-4-2 this season. He’s allowed 74 goals on 798 shots faced and has one shutout on the season. Mahalak also carries a 2.91 GAA and .907 save percentage.
Jake Paterson has been Saginaw’s main goaltender this season, but they’ll have to do without him for a while as he plays for Canada in the World Juniors. Rookie Nikita Serebryakov has played in 11 games for the Spirit this season, winning three and stopped 268 of 301 shots faced. His GAA is 3.65 and save percentage is .890.
- THE MATCHUP
The Kid’s Day matchup is the fourth between Saginaw and Plymouth this season. Plymouth took the first game at home by a score of 4-1, while Saginaw won the most recent two games by scores of 8-7 and 3-2.
The teams meet four more times this year: January 9, February 13, March 5 and March 10.
Last season, Plymouth took the season series, winning all eight games between the teams.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 734-453-8400, with Saginaw’s radio broadcast available here.
• Windsor: 14-15-1-5, 34 pts/35 GP; 92 GF, 119 GA, 4-5-0-1 in last ten games, 8th in Western Conference
• London: 29-5-0-2, 60 pts/36 GP; 145 GF, 88 GA, 10-0-0-0 in last ten games, 1st in Western Conference
- THE LEADERS
Left winger Kerby Rychel and center Brady Vail have combined for 64 points in 35 games this season with the Spits; Rychel leads the team with 19 goals, while rookie Josh Ho-Sang’s 20 assists are most on the team.
Right winger Seth Griffith leads the Knights in goals (25), assists (33) and points (58). Griffith is the third-leading points scorer in the OHL, behind Niagara’s Ryan Strome and Sarnia’s Alex Galchenyuk – both of whom are out from their teams due to World Juniors participation. Griffith is also tied for second in the league in goals.
Four London skaters are a plus-17 or better this season, and the Knights look to extend a 21-game winning streak on Thursday evening against Windsor.
- THE GOALTENDERS
Jaroslav Pavelka has been the main goaltender for the Spitfires this season, winning 13 of 28 games played. He’s stopped 905 of 990 shots faced and carries a 3.13 GAA and .914 save percentage. Pavelka is 15th in the league in GAA and eighth in the OHL in save percentage.
Kevin Bailie has won 17 of 25 games played for London this season, stopped 659 of 711 shots faced in over 1,300 minutes played. His GAA is 2.27 and save percentage is .927, third and fifth in the league in those statistics, respectively.
- THE MATCHUP
Of the ten times London and Windsor met last season, the Knights won seven of those games.
Tonight’s game is the third between the teams this season. London won the first game in a decisive 8-2 victory on October 6, while Windsor doubled up on London by a score of 6-3 on November 1.
The teams will meet three more times in the regular season: January 20, February 28 and March 10.