Friday Highlights: McCourt’s first trick caps record-setting night in Flint


Riley McCourt (14, 15, 16) completed his first OHL hat-trick with the overtime winner to send his Flint Firebirds to a record-setting sixth straight win in a 4-3 tangle with the visiting Erie Otters. McCourt netted two in a row for a 2-0 cushion in the second period before the Otters responded with goals from Daniel D’Amato (14) and Austen Swankler (12) to even things up. Brennan Othmann (11) and Maxim Golod (19) traded late goals to send the game to extra time where McCourt scored his third of the night 3:57 in to extend his team’s win streak. Anthony Popovich turned aside 36 of the 39 shots he faced while Erie’s Daniel Murphy totaled 39 saves on 43 attempts.  The Firebirds’ record jumps to 28-17-1-1 as they remain third in the West Division, trailing only three points behind the Windsor Spitfires. The Otters drop to 20-17-3-6 and remain eighth in the Western Conference, just one point ahead of the Soo Greyhounds and one point behind the Owen Sound Attack.


An old school East Division rivalry ended up pretty one-sided as the Peterborough Petes’ recent woes continued. The Oshawa Generals took a 7-2 decision thanks to two-goal performances from Philip Tomasino (33, 34) and Kyle MacLean (8, 9) as Oshawa climbed to within seven points of the second place Petes in the East Division. Nico Gross (8) got the scoring started just 29 seconds into action and the Gennies never looked back. Brett Neumann (34) and Ryan Stepien (7) both scored shorthanded markers while 2020 NHL Draft prospect Oliver Suni finished the night with three assists. Nick Robertson (36) and Curtis Trolley (1) were Peterborough scorers as the Petes were outshot 37-30. Oshawa’s Jordan Kooy made 28 stops for the win as the Generals improved to 23-16-4-2. The Petes have now lost four straight, falling to 28-17-2-1. The two clubs meet again on Saturday in Peterborough.


The Ottawa 67’s saw five different scorers in a 5-2 win over the East Division rival Hamilton Bulldogs for their eighth straight victory. Fifth year OHL vet Austen Keating (22) found the back of the net early in the opening frame before the Bulldogs responded with two in a row from Liam Van Loon (2) and Logan Morrison (20). The Barber Poles then scored four unanswered off the sticks of Daylon Groulx (3), Marco Rossi (29), Nikita Okhotyuk (2), and Jack Quinn, who found the empty net for his league-leading 39th goal. The shots totaled 29-22 in Ottawa’s favour, with Cedrick Andree making 20 saves for Ottawa and Hamilton’s Marco Constantini earning 24 on the night at the other end. The 67’s continue to soar atop the OHL standings with a record that improves to 38-7-0-0, while the Bulldogs drop to 19-22-4-1 on the season and continue to maintain seventh place in the Eastern Conference.


The Soo Greyhounds defeated the Frontenacs 5-2, scoring five in a row from five unique scorers in their one and only visit to Kingston this season. Following a scoreless first period, Ethan Ritchie’s first OHL goal opened the scoring for the Fronts midway through the middle frame. The Soo came alive with goals from Montreal Canadiens draftee Jacob LeGuerrier (6), Zack Trott (19), Cole MacKay (21), Rory Kerins (23), and Joe Carroll (15). Kingston’s Nick Wong (10) netted another in the game’s remaining minutes to complete the scoring. Ryan Dugas saved 26 of the 31 shots he faced in net for the Fronts while the Greyhounds’ Bailey Brkin stopped 23 of 25. Kingston continues to sit fifth in the East Division with a 14-27-2-2 record to their name, and the Greyhounds’ third straight win bumps them up to .500 at 23-23-2-0. They sit ninth in the Western Conference, trailing the Erie Otters by just one point.


James Hardie (26, 27) notched two goals and an assist and Florida Panthers prospect Cole Schwindt registered four helpers as the Mississauga Steelheads skated past the Central Division rival North Bay Battalion 6-2 on home ice. Mitchell Russell (18) struck in the game’s opening minutes for a brief Battalion lead until the Trout came flying back with five of their own from Ty Collins (11), Calvin Martin (13), Hardie, and Aidan Prueter (8). North Bay rookie Liam Arnsby scored his third of the season to cut into the lead, but the Fish came back with one more from Dallas Stars prospect Thomas Harley (17). The Fish have earned three straight victories with eight wins in their last 10 matchups, as they remain four points below the division-leading Sudbury Wolves with a 22-23-2-1 record on the year. The Battalion continue to sit in the division’s fifth place slot as their season record drops to 11-34-2-0.


Tyson Foerster (28, 29) put up another two-goal night and blueliner Brandt Clarke had four assists as the Barrie Colts toppled over the Niagara IceDogs by a lopsided score of 8-2. The Colts got off to an early 6-0 advantage thanks to Evan Vierling (5), Victor Hadfield (6), Foerster, rookie Jacob Frasca (5), and Ethan Cardwell (18). Cameron Snow (7) finally gave Niagara some life on the scoreboard towards the end of the second period. Barrie’s Aidan Brown (11) traded early third period goals with Niagara forward Lucas Theriault (5), and Anaheim Ducks prospect Mathew Hill notched his second of the year to earn the Colts their eighth goal, rounding out the 10-goal game. The IceDogs’ fourth straight loss keeps them eighth in the Eastern Conference, just four points behind the Hamilton Bulldogs with a 17-25-4-1 record. The Colts sit two points behind the Mississauga Steelheads at third in the Central Division, holding a 22-23-2-1 tally.


Danil Antropov (10, 11) scored twice and added an assist for first star honours as the Saginaw Spirit skated to a 6-3 win in Sarnia. Ryan Suzuki (10, 11) also had a pair of goals while Ilya Solovyov (4) and DJ Busdeker (14) added singles, helping the Spirit earn their 30th win. Sam Bitten (10), Ryan McGregor (19) and Ty Voit (4) scored Sarnia goals as the Sting dropped a seventh in a row, falling further out of the Western Conference playoff picture. Saginaw outshot Sarnia 44-26 as Sting rookie Ben Gaudreau was kept busy, making 38 saves. Saginaw’s Marshall Frappier earned the win as the Spirit climbed three points up on second place Windsor in the West Division. The Sting fall to 16-27-4-1.


The Guelph Storm built off Thursday’s momentum following a win in North Bay, overcoming an early 2-0 deficit with five unanswered for a 5-2 win in Sudbury. Pavel Gogloev (34, 35) scored two of those goals and added an assist while Jacob Roach (10), Daniil Chayka (8) and Jacob Maillet (1) also found the scoresheet. Nico Daws stopped 32 of 34 for Guelph. Isaak Phillips (7) and Owen Gilhula (9) scored Sudbury goals in the opening half of the first period with Owen Robinson drawing assists on both. The Storm have reversed a 10-game losing skid with back-to-back road wins, improving to 24-18-1-4 for third place in the Midwest Division. Sudbury falls to 25-22-1-0.


The Kitchener Rangers and visiting Owen Sound Attack combined for three goals in the first period and that’s all the offence fans would see at The Aud on Friday as the hometown Blueshirts skated to a 2-1 victory. Mike Petizian (15, 16) scored both Kitchener goals, doing so just 16 seconds apart near the midway point of the first. Owen Sound’s Matthew Philip (19) scored with four minutes remaining in the opening frame before Rangers netminder Jacob Ingham locked things down the rest of the way, making 38 saves on the night. Owen Sound outshot Kitchener 39-29 but came up with nothing to show for the effort, falling to 22-19-3-3, three points back of third place Guelph in the Midwest. The Rangers keep on rolling, improving to 29-11-5-2 for first in the Midwest Division. Kitchener remains undefeated in regulation over a span of 15 games.


The Windsor Spitfires led 2-0 after one period, but the host London Knights would prevail in a Western Conference war, skating to a 7-4 win behind yet another hat-trick from Connor McMichael (35, 36, 37). The Washington Capitals prospect finished with four points, recording his sixth hat-trick of the season as London rallied to defeat the CHL’s ninth-ranked Spitfires before a crowd of 9,036. Markus Phillips (2), Liam Foudy (17), Nathan Dunkley (11) and Luke Evangelista (20) scored other Knights goals, with Evangelista ending the night with a goal and three helpers. Nashville Predators prospect Egor Afanasyev (20, 21) scored a pair for Windsor while Will Cuylle (17) and Tyler Angle (23) also pitched in offensively. Knights rookie Brett Brochu earned his 11th straight win, stopping 37 of 41 as London was outshot 41-36. Xavier Medina took the loss in goal for Windsor with 29 saves to his credit. The 31-13-1-1 Knights earn their seventh straight win to remain within two points of first place Kitchener in the Midwest. The Spits lose on a second straight night, falling to 28-12-5-0.


More News
Spirit's Perfetti sets new club mark for points in a season
35 mins ago
Spitfires' Boka sets all-time franchise games played record
2 hours ago
OHL 'On the Run' Player of the Week: Tyler Tucker
7 hours ago
High-flying Firebirds lock down playoff spot
7 hours ago
Spirit back in OHL Playoffs after wild ride last spring
7 hours ago
Milestone Moments: February 23, 2020
12 hours ago