Saturday Highlights: DiPietro victorious in 67’s debut
OTTAWA 5, GATINEAU 1
Michael DiPietro made 24 saves in his Ottawa 67’s debut, helping them defeat the Gatineau Olympiques 5-1 on home ice. The 67’s rebounded from a 2-1 Friday night loss in Gatineau as Tye Felhaber (31, 32, 33) climbed into the OHL scoring lead with his second hat-trick this month. While Felhaber scored in his fifth straight game, Mitchell Hoelscher (5) and Matthew Maggio (4) also tallied while Austen Keating had three assists. Pier-Olivier Lacombe (5) scored the lone Gatineau goal as Ottawa outshot their cross-river QMJHL opponent 33-25. The Ottawa win came before a crowd of 4,309 at TD Place Arena as the 67’s improved to 23-4-3-1.
SUDBURY 5, GUELPH 4 – SO
A see-saw battle saw the Sudbury Wolves climb out to a 4-1 lead on visiting Guelph before the Storm rallied back with three consecutive to tie things at four and force overtime. When the solved nothing, the two clubs went to an eight round shootout where Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Shane Bulitka and Drake Pilon scored goals to give the Wolves a 5-4 victory. Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was the difference, providing 34 saves over 65 minutes before stopping six of his eight shootout opponents. Sudbury’s sixth straight win sees the Wolves improve to 19-8-1-1, putting together their longest string of victories since the 2013-14 season. Ryan Merkley (5), Dmitri Samorukov (2), Isaac Ratcliffe (20) and Keegan Stevenson (8) provided Guelph goals while Liam Hawel had a pair of assists. Guelph falls to 14-8-3-4.
OWEN SOUND 5, LONDON 1
The Owen Sound Attack put an end to London’s 15-game winning streak as rookie goaltender Andrew MacLean made 42 saves in a 5-1 victory on home ice. Kevin Hancock (25) had a goal and an assist while Nick Suzuki had two helpers, pushing the Bears to victory despite being outshot 43-28. Markus Phillips (2), Kaleb Pearson (5), Zachary Roberts (5) and Mitchell Russell (4) added goals for Owen Sound while Adam Boqvist (9) provided the lone London goal in the Knights’ first loss since October 26th. The Attack improve to 16-11-1-2 while London continues to lead the Midwest Division at 21-5-2-0.
KINGSTON 7, SARNIA 5
Brett Neumann (19, 20, 21) netted his second hat-trick of the season, converting on a penalty shot in the process as the Kingston Frontenacs took a 7-5 road win in Sarnia. Tied 5-5, overage captain Ryan Cranford (8, 9) scored the game winner midway through the third period before Neumann completed his hat-trick with 2:42 left on the clock. Neumann finished with three goals and two assists while Cranford also had a career-high five points, finishing with two goals and three helpers. Matt Hotchkiss (6) had a goal and an assist for the Frontenacs while Jakob Brahaney (4) also found the back of the net. Jamieson Rees (2) scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal before Ryan McGregor (12), Curtis Egert (5), Nolan Burke (1) and Jacob Perreault (14) also scored for Sarnia. Kingston snaps a five-game road losing skid, improving to 9-21-1-0 while Sarnia falls to 14-14-2-2.
HAMILTON 4, FLINT 2
The Hamilton Bulldogs pulled away from the Flint Firebirds late as Chicago Blackhawks prospect MacKenzie Entwistle (14, 15) broke a 2-2 tie with 4:19 remaining in the third period. Entwistle’s second of the afternoon stood as the game winner as Brandon Saigeon (21) and Arthur Kaliyev (22) also tallied in a 4-2 Bulldogs home ice victory. Kaliyev was in on all four Hamilton goals, finishing with a goal and three assists while goaltender Nick Donofrio provided 22 saves. Jack Phibbs (4) and Jake Durham (20) scored for the Firebirds while Evan Morrison earned third star honours, making 23 saves in his OHL debut. The Bulldogs outshot the Firebirds 27-24 and went 3-for-4 on the power play, improving to 14-14-2-0. The Firebirds fall to 3-27-2-0 following their seventh straight loss.
SAGINAW 5, ERIE 3
The Saginaw Spirit had a big second period, scoring three times to take control of the game in a 5-3 road win over the Erie Otters. Rookie netminder Tristan Lennox made 25 saves for his first OHL victory while Spirit goals came from Cole Coskey (13), Damien Giroux (12), Blade Jenkins (10), Ethan Cardwell (1) and Nicholas Porco (11) as the Spirit outshot the Otters 37-28 and went 3-for-4 on the power play. Jenkins finished the night with a goal and two assists while fellow New York Islanders prospect Bode Wilde and overage winger Albert Michnac each chipped in with two assists. Petr Cajka (13), Joseph Mack (4) and Gera Poddubnyi (16) scored for Erie as the Otters lost their sixth in the last seven on home ice. Defenceman Kurtis Henry picked up two assists and Daniel Murphy made 32 saves as Erie fell to 12-17-1-0. The Spirit reverse two-straight losses, improving to 15-11-1-2.
NIAGARA 5, NORTH BAY 2
Edmonton Oilers prospect Kirill Maksimov (19, 20) launched the teddy bears with his first of two on the night as the Niagara IceDogs stretched their winning streak to five, defeating the visiting North Bay Battalion 5-2. Jason Robertson (31) scored in a sixth straight game, extending his point streak to 15 while Matthew Philip (7) and Elijah Roberts (3) added empty netters. Maksimov scored the game winner 7:15 into the third period, breaking open a 2-2 tie as the IceDogs claimed victory, outshooting the Battalion 40-31. Stephen Dhillon earned his 75th career OHL win with a 29-save performance. Nick King (4) and Matthew Struthers (13) scored for the Battalion while Christian Purboo made 35 saves. The Troops suffer a sixth straight loss and fall to 11-17-1-1. Niagara sits tied for first in the Central Division with an 18-7-4-0 record.