Scouts will expound the preference to scout prospects in Friday games as opposed to Sunday games. The reasoning revolves around breaking down game conditions and optimal levels of excellence and energy a prospect can demonstrate and that means more in a Friday contest than a Sunday game.
A Friday game is normally the beginning of a weekend series where most games are played and prospects are approaching the games fresh and full of energy to showcase their best. In contrast, Sunday games are usually the tail end of the series as junior players gear up to go back to school on Monday or looking forward to the next week’s slate of games.
This is especially true when trying to assess a player that’s appeared in the three-games-in-three-nights (3-in-3) scenario.
Prior to the CHL seasons commencement, I broke down all three member leagues schedules highlighting the number of 3-in-3 sets played by each team. The entire breakdown is available here.
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds distinct advantage over all other CHL teams in 2013-14.
The northern Ontario town endured one lone 3-in-3 set all season, a distinct low amongst Ontario Hockey League teams and a far cry from the OHL team average of six.
There’s more. The Soo also enjoy 16 games played against an opponent dressing for the third game in their 3-in-3 set. Once again, the league average was six (6), so the Greyhounds almost tripled the league average.
In 2012-13, the Kitchener Rangers led the OHL with 10 such games. I hadn’t gone back before that season, but the game numbers are indeed random year over year but will expand on that when I do the schedules for the 2014-15 season, because I feel it’s an important to distinguish that scheduling is a random science of balancing availability, travel and convenience. It’s not exact and one season’s advantage can be the next season’s drawback.
Behind the Soo were the Windsor Spitfires (12) and the Oshawa Generals (10).
To date, the Greyhounds have played 15 of 16 games amassing a stellar 14-0-1 record. They played six games as a rested team (where they had not played the previous day) and 11 games were at home.
Being based out of Ontario – and given the information at hand – I wanted to break down the records of teams in each of those games. The results are in the table below.
|Sault Ste. Marie||5||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||16||14||0||1||6|
|Records of listed team versus an opponent playing in Games 1, 2, or 3 of a 3-in-3 set|
The table represents the team listed in the first column, the amount of games they played versus a team in Games 1, 2 or 3 during a 3-in-3 set and their record in those games. The Greyhounds have 29 points in 15 games played against a team in Game 3 of a 3-in-3 set with one more remaining on the schedule (entering the weekend of mar 6 thru 9).
Some of the other numbers are interesting. The Soo scored 4.9 goals per game in Game 3’s (scoring 67 goals) while averaging 3.6 goals in other games. Defensively they allowed 2.26 goals against in Game 3’s (33 goals allowed), and 3.06 in other games.
As of this writing, they’ve amassed 86 points en route to a West Division Crown, with 29 points versus opponents in Game 3’s representing 33.7% of their total.
Windsor sitting in second place in the division with 75 points sported a record of 7-3-1 against teams in Game 3’s, earning 15 points while 24 points were earned via team’s starting off their 3-in-3 set in Game 1’s.
Sudbury, in a battle with the North Bay Battalion for the division crown, had a total of three games this season against a team playing Game 3 having played two of them, garnering a point in each with shootout losses in both.
The East division leader Oshawa Generals strung together a 7-2 record garnering 14 points over division rivals Kingston – coincidentally matching the gap separating the Generals (88 points) and Frontenacs (74 points). Kingston has a 4-5 record versus opponents playing in Game 3’s. Those five losses could have really closed the gap and made it a closer race for the division lead.
In the Midwest Division, the first place Guelph Storm and second place Erie Otters each played three games against teams in Game 3’s, representing half of the OHL league average. The Storm have completed their three games with a 2-1 record, while Erie (1-1) has one game remaining and five points back of the Storm.
Sault Ste. Marie in their lone 3-in-3 set went 1-2 in 2013-14.
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