Pre-Season Pulse: Saturday September 16th
GUELPH 5, PETERBOROUGH 3
Top 2018 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Merkley earned first star honours with a goal and three assists as the Guelph Storm defeated visiting Peterborough 5-3. Philadelphia Flyers second round pick Isaac Ratcliffe also had a productive night with a goal and two helpers as the Storm outshot the Petes 47-31 and held them to 0-for-9 on the power play. Goaltender Anthony Popovich turned in a 28-save performance while Liam Hawel, Barret Kirwin and Matt Hotchkiss also scored for the Storm. Peterborough goals came from youngsters Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Nick Robertson and Pavel Gogolev while netminder Hunter Jones made 42 saves. The Storm are 3-2-0 in pre-season action while Peterborough falls to 1-3-1.
NIAGARA 5, KITCHENER 2
The Niagara IceDogs scored three times in the opening three minutes of action and eventually defeated the Kitchener Rangers 5-2 on the road Saturday afternoon. Ondrej Machala, Matthew Philip, Philip Tomasino, Andrew Somerville and Kyle Langdon provided goals while Danial Singer and Jonathon Schaefer each recorded a pair of assists. Niagara won despite surrendering nine power play opportunities, two of which the Rangers capitalized on. Jake Henderson and Riley Damiani scored second period goals for Kitchener. Stephen Dhillon made 28 saves in Niagara’s first win of the pre-season. The Rangers fall to 2-3-1.
HAMILTON 3, BARRIE 2 – SO
Rookie forward Connor McMichael tied the score at two with 3:27 to go in the third period before Montreal Canadiens prospect Will Bitten led the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 3-2 win in a shootout. Bitten’s shootout winner put the Bulldogs past the Barrie Colts on the road as netminder Nick Donofrio turned aside 33 shots. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Matthew Strome had a goal and an assist in the win as Hamilton improves to 3-0-0 in the pre-season. Barrie native and Colts overage candidate Tyler MacArthur found the back of the net 2:47 into action while Russian rookie Andrei Svechnikov also tallied. Rookie goaltender Kai Edmonds made 23 saves in the loss as the Colts drop to 2-2-1.
ERIE 4, LONDON 2
Rookie forward Maxim Golod scored the game winner 6:04 into the third period as the Erie Otters doubled up the London Knights 4-2 in Komoka, Ont. Gera Poddubnyi, Cade Robinson and Alex Gritz also had goals for the Otters while veteran winger Kyle Maksimovich tallied a pair of assists. The Otters held the Knights to 0-for-5 on the power play and won despite being heavily outdone in the faceoff circle. London goals came from Liam Foudy and Liam Whittaker as Erie’s Troy Timpano made 25 saves on the night. Erie is 3-2-0 in exhibition play while London is now 2-2-0.
FLINT 9, SAGINAW 2
After a 6-1 drubbing in Saginaw on Friday, the Flint Firebirds returned the favour on home ice, defeating the Spirit 9-2 behind multi-goal efforts from Jake Durham, Max Kislinger and rookie Ethan Keppen. Flint scored nine times on 28 shots, going 2-for-6 on the power play as Ryan Littlejohn, Hunter Holmes and C.J. Clarke also got in on the scoring. Overage centreman Ryan Moore had three assists as the Firebirds scored three shorthanded goals in their first victory of the pre-season. Ben Badalamenti and DJ Busdeker responded with goals for the Spirit. The Firebirds improve to 1-4-0 in the pre-season while Saginaw is 2-1-1.
OWEN SOUND 5, NORTH BAY 2
Overage forward Ethan Szypula had two goals and an assist to lead the Owen Sound Attack over visiting North Bay 5-2. OHL pre-season scoring leader Alan Lyszczarczyk continued to produce, recording a goal and an assist along with Chase Campbell while defenceman Sean Durzi recorded a pair of helpers. 2018 NHL Draft prospect Aidan Dudas also found the back of the net for the Bears while Zack Bowman turned aside 15 of 16 shots over 40 minutes. Daniel Walker and Kyle Potts had goals for the Battalion while Julian Sime made 28 saves in defeat. Owen Sound outshot North Bay 33-17, improving to a perfect 4-0-0 in pre-season play. The Battalion sit at 3-1-1.
SARNIA 5, WINDSOR 2
Overage defenceman Jordan Ernst potted a hat-trick as the Sarnia Sting avenged a Friday night loss in Windsor with a 5-2 home ice triumph over the Spitfires. The Spits climbed out to a 2-0 lead on second period goals from overage winger Jake Smith and rookie forward Daniel D’Amico. Ernst scored with 3:25 left in the second to cut the Windsor lead in half before third period goals from Curtis Egert and Brayden Guy sandwiched a pair from Ernst just 1:18 apart in the late going. The Sting netted a pair of late empty net goals to make the final 5-2. Sarnia veteran Justin Fazio made 23 saves in the win as the Sting improve to 2-2-0 in the pre-season. The Spitfires suffered their first loss and drop to 4-1-0.