Pre-Season Pulse: Saturday September 2nd


2017 OHL Pre-Season Showcase – HarborCenter, Buffalo, NY:

Luke Kutkevicius and Mathew MacDougall scored shootout goals as the Windsor Spitfires edged the North Bay Battalion 4-3 to open Day 2 of the OHL Pre-Season Showcase. The Spits climbed out to a 3-0 lead behind goals from Aaron Luchuk, Kirill, Kozhevnikov and MacDougall before the Battalion rallied back to tie things at three. New acquisition Luke Burghardt got the Troops on the board with a pair of goals late in the second period before Justin Brazeau picked up the equalizer at 11:21 of the third period. North Bay netminder Julian Sime was steady in the crease, turning aside 38 shots in the loss while Windsor’s Michael DiPietro made 21 saves of his own.

Jonathan Ang and Adam Timleck had two goals and an assist each as the Peterborough Petes doubled up the Kitchener Rangers 6-3. After Kitchener’s Riley Damiani opened the scoring, the Petes stormed back with four straight from Detroit Red Wings prospect Zach Gallant, Timleck, Ang and Tampa Bay Lightning pick Chris Paquette to go up 4-1 early in the third. Timleck and Ang would add goals while the Rangers kept things interesting with third period markers from Jonathan Yantsis and Liam Peyton. Peterborough’s Dylan Wells made 25 saves in goal to record the win as the Rangers took the shooting column 28-22.

The defending OHL champion Erie Otters improved to 2-0 in the OHL Pre-Season Showcase as Chad Yetman scored the third period game winner in a 4-3 victory over the Flint Firebirds. Overage winger Patrick Fellows scored twice and sophomore Carson Edwardson also found the back of the net as Erie outshot Flint 33-32 in a fast-paced game. The Otters managed to go 3-for-9 on the power play while holding Flint to an 0-for-7 mark on the man advantage. Luke Kirwan scored 5:11 into the first period for Flint before Nicholas Caamano and Hakon Nilsen scored third period markers 30 seconds apart to tie the score at three. Yetman banged in a power play rebound at 9:39 to secure the 4-3 victory for the Otters. Anand Oberoi made 30 saves in the Erie crease to record the win.


Other OHL Pre-Season action:

Cam Hillis scored the shootout winner for the Storm who picked up their first win of the Pre-Season on the road against the Steelheads.  The 2016 second round pick also added an assist on a Ryan Merkley second period tally for his first point since committing to the club in August.  Forward Barret Kirwin scored for the second straight night and Matt Hotchkiss netted the game-tying goal shorthanded midway through the third period from captain Garrett McFadden who finished the night with two helpers.  Florida Panthers first rounder Owen Tippett led the Trout offense with a pair of goals in the club’s Pre-Season debut, with draft eligible Ryan McLeod scoring a goal and an assist, and defenceman Austin Osmanski contributing two assists.  Nico Daws picked up the win with 18 saves plus three shootout stops following an Anthony Popovich start that included 19 saves of his own.  Jacob Ingham stopped 27 for the Trout.

The Spirit opened the Pre-Season with a win in dramatic fashion on home ice scoring three unanswered in the final frame.  Damien Giroux’s game-winner in the final minute completed the comeback following third period goals by Max Grondin and Cole Coskey.  Fourth overall pick Nicholas Porco impressed in his debut with a multi-point performance scoring a goal and adding an assist.  Philadelphia Flyers first round pick Morgan Frost opened the scoring for the Greyhounds with recent commit Keeghan Howdeshell and Anaheim Ducks prospect Jack Kopacka also finding the back of the net in the club’s first September contest.  A pair of NHL prospects battled in goal with New Jersey Devils pick Evan Cormier earning the win with 20 stops opposite Los Angeles Kings prospect Matthew Villalta who turned aside 30 despite the loss.

The Sting got some revenge against their highway 402 rivals in the second set of a home-and-home to open Pre-Season action.  Kings prospect Drake Rymsha continued his hot start in September scoring the game-winner with two assists for his second straight three-point effort.  Jordan Kyrou opened the scoring for Sarnia, Adam Ruzicka and Jordan Ernst tallied for the second straight game, and Swedish import pick Hugo Leufvenius collected his first multi-point game with a goal and assist.  Veteran Connor Schlichting added the empty-net marker for a two-point game of his own.  The Knights scored a trio of power play markers including two from Evan Bouchard, and a single from Josh Nelson.  Goaltending duties were split on both sides of the ice with Justin Fazio (20/22) and Blair Coffin (13/14) winning opposite Connor Hicks (9/12) and Jordan Kooy (19/21).

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