‘Tis the season for teenage hockey players to get some much-needed rest – to go home and spend time with family and friends. Though there will not be any hockey for he next 9 days we will look at what has happened in the OHL over the past 7 days as the league reaches the seasons halfway point.
The Hot 3
Peterborough Petes: They started in the honourable mentions now they’re here. How unreal has Peterborough been? Obviously, a rhetorical question but you can feel free to scream an answer at your computer/smart phone.
The Petes are the hottest team in the OHL right now – riding an 8 game winning streak. Even more impressive, the only two losses over the last 10 games have been after regulation, earning them a point in each loss to total 18 of a possible 20 points. Impressive considering the team didn’t have the strongest start and has been going through issues regarding the team’s future in Peterborough. Maybe a Christmas miracle? Or has this team turned things around? I honestly expected this streak to end this past week but the team proved me wrong. First a 3-1 win over the London Knights Thursday night (ending London’s 5 game win streak), a 4-3 OT win over Kingston – who gave them a fight but couldn’t end the streak. Then they ended the week with a 5-2 win over North Bay, extending the Battalions losing streak to 4 games.
Dylan Wells had a strong game Sunday in goal stopping 33 of 35 shots faced. Forward Logan DeNoble had a solid week for the Petes and ended it with an excellent game against the Battalion scoring 2 goals and adding a pair of assists. One assist came on the game-winning goal. Logan also got the game winning goal for Peterborough Thursday night against London.
With many teams struggling in the East, Peterborough has managed to climb into 2nd place in the conference. Will the team be able to maintain this coming off the Christmas break?
NOT SO FANCY STAT: Peterborough’s 8 game winning streak equals the wins of all the other teams in the East’s winning streaks combined.
Not only are they playing well, but Peterborough is having fun too. Check out these glorious ugly-Christmas-sweater jerseys the Petes wore for their win over London:
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds: The Dogs had a busy week without any snow cancellations. The team entered the Christmas break with 5 of a possible 6 points. They started the week off with a 4-3 OT loss to Sudbury but was able to bounce back with a 5-3 win over Saginaw and a massive 8-1 win last night against Sarnia. Boris Katchouk was huge for the Soo putting up a pair of goals and assists last night including the GWG. Bobby MacIntyre also had a big game posting a goal and a pair of assists, while goalie Joseph Raaymakers made 29 saves. Though Sarnia has struggled over the last 5 games there is no doubt the Soo hoped to go into the break hot and they did that with such a dominant win. They head into the break tied with Erie
Boris Katchouk was huge for the Soo putting up a pair of goals and assists last night including the GWG. Bobby MacIntyre also had a big game posting a goal and a pair of assists, while goalie Joseph Raaymakers made 29 saves for the win. Though Sarnia has struggled over the last 5 games there is no doubt the Soo hoped to go into the break hot and they did just that with such a dominant win. They head into the break tied with Erie for the top spot in the league – riding a 8-1-1-0 record over the last 10 games.
Erie Otters: Raddysh and Strome are with Team Canada and Alex Debrincat hat left for Team USA’s camp so you expect that the team would have some struggles. What? They aren’t?
Okay, so the team hasn’t played much since last week. They had one game against Windsor and managed to pull off a 4-3 win without any of their top players. Troy Timpano had a solid game for the Otters making 33 saves on 36 shots faced. Ivan Lodnia stepped up for the team scoring 2 goals (including the game-winning goal) and an assist. The two goals gave him a total of 15 on the season. Scary to see this team so strong against another top team, while their three best players are away for the World Juniors. Imagine how they will look when those guys come back.
Honourable mention to the Owen Sound Attack: The Attack have been attacking all competition lately! Well, at least over the last 4 games where they have gone undefeated. 8-2-0-0 over the last 10 games and not looking like they are planning to slow down anytime soon. Thursday, they ended up with the night off having their game with Barrie canceled. Good news for Barrie since they probably wanted to avoid that game losing 6-1 the meeting before. (I know as a Colts fan who did a preview for the game, I was fine with the cancellation…)
The team heads into the break coming off a 6-2 win over Sudbury. This game was over 13:40 in the first period when Matt Schmalz scored the game winner. The goal was his 6th of the season. The team generated 47 shots on goal and went 2 for 6 on the power play. Jonah Gadjovich had a huge game scoring 2 goals while getting 12 shots on goal earning him the first star of the game. Nick Suzuki had another great night for the team scoring a goal and getting a pair of helpers. Emanuel Vella got his 5th start of the season and the win has his record at 3-1-0-1 on the year. The team played a strong defensive game in front of him and he had only faced 23 shots. The team continues to be tough to score against only allowing 93 goals against this year which is the 4th least goals against in the OHL. Only Windsor, Erie and London have allowed fewer goals.
Kind of hot
Oshawa Generals have a pretty solid lead on the East which is good because they haven’t had much luck lately. If you compare streaks of the East to the West, well, the East looks pretty weak. We know, shocking, right? Oshawa has 6 wins in their last 10 games and have won 2 of their last 3 games. One loss came in OT so the team still managed to get a point. Despite their hot streak, Peterborough has a lot of work to do in order to catch the Generals at teh top of the Eastern conference.
Sudbury Wolves have lost their last 2 games this week. They’re 4-5-1-0 in the last 10 and while the team sits second in the Central Division, teams like Mississauga and Niagara are right on their heels. Windsor also has losses in their last couple of games which is tough considering how hot they had been. Saginaw and Hamilton also continue to struggle heading into the break losing their last two games..
Barrie won one and got out of playing a game with Owen Sound as well. That is as close to a winning week as my Colts have seen in recent in a long while.
With the break, we won’t likely have one of these next week but should return the following week. Thanks for reading and have a happy and safe holiday.
In the meantime, everyone loves a good Teddy Bear toss video:
— OHL Steelheads (@OHLSteelheads) December 18, 2016