The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice. Here are 10 of the leading stories from this past weekend.
Brochu and the Knights turn in another perfect weekend
Following a perfect weekend, the London Knights have now claimed victory in six straight games.
They doubled up on the Windsor Spitfires 6-3 in Thursday night’s Sportsnet match, skated past the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-1 on Saturday, and then defeated the Guelph Storm 4-2 the following night. Leading scorer Connor McMichael enjoyed a five-point weekend (1-4-5) to extend his point streak to 10 straight games in which he’s put up nine goals and eleven assists for 20 points.
Rookie netminder Brett Brochu boasts 10 straight wins in net for London. He’s taken the reins in the Knights crease after overage netminder Dylan Myskiw was handed an eight-game suspension. Brochu is the first Knights rookie to win 20 games in a season since Ryan MacDonald (28) back in 2003-04.
Colts usher in Miller era with three straight wins
The Barrie Colts rounded out the weekend with a perfect six points in their first three games with new interim head coach Todd Miller behind the bench.
The Colts blanked the Oshawa Generals 5-0 Thursday night before edging them 3-2 in overtime on Sunday. They defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs in a back-and-forth 8-7 overtime decision on Saturday, with overager Aidan Brown potting the OT winner. Ahead of Saturday’s puck drop, the club retired former Colt Bryan Little‘s number 18.
Third year skater Ethan Cardwell put up four first period goals in his team’s 8-7 thriller over the Bulldogs. Overager Josh Nelson’s overtime heroics landed his team the win the following night, as he finished off the weekend with four goals to his name.
The team relieved interim coach Warren Rychel of his duties earlier in the week.
Quinn and his 67’s remain unstoppable
The Barber Poles continued their perfect streak as well, finishing in the familiar win column in both weekend matchups. They extend their win streak to six as they hover atop the league standings with 72 points.
NHL Draft eligible Jack Quinn continues to lead all OHL skaters in goals, scoring a pair in Sunday night’s 5-2 win over the Saginaw Spirit to reach goal number 37.
Goaltender Will Cranley stopped all 27 shots that came his way in a 6-0 blanking of the Niagara IceDogs on Saturday, recording his second straight shutout. It marks the first time a 67’s goaltender has registered back-to-back shutouts since Chris Perugini in January 2010.
Rangers maintain the pace
The Rangers may have fallen short on Sunday, letting a 4-1 lead slip away to the Mississauga Steelheads, but their single point earned kept their streak alive and well, extending their recent record to 11-0-3-0.
The Blueshirts put up a big 7-4 win over the struggling Sarnia Sting on Friday that saw three-point nights from Reid Valade (2-1-3) and Riley Damiani (0-3-3). OHL veteran Liam Hawel has also put up consistent numbers; his last seven appearances have been two-point games, and he rides a league-high 11-game point streak that has included 20 points (4-16-20).
The Rangers haven’t seen a regulation loss in their last 14 games, and continue to sit at the top of the Western Conference with a 28-11-5-2 record.
Perfetti climbs into OHL scoring lead
Highly touted NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti surpassed Marco Rossi as the league’s leading point scorer. The 18-year-old recorded seven points over the course of his last three games, including a four-point night (2-2-4) in his team’s 5-4 comeback win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Friday. His goal in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the top seeded Ottawa 67’s pushed his total to 82 points (28-54-82) through 46 games in his second OHL stint.
Comebacks weren’t hard to come by this past weekend.
The Kingston Frontenacs held a 4-0 cushion heading in the early minutes of the third period in their tilt with the visiting Saginaw Spirit on Saturday, until they were upended by a barrage of five goals from the opponent. Cole Perfetti netted two and Damien Giroux squeaked in the game winner with just three seconds left on the clock.
Sunday afternoon saw the Mississauga Steelheads reel in four unanswered goals, including an overtime winner, to erase their 4-1 deficit at the hands of the Kitchener Rangers and earn the win 5-4. They were led by Cole Schwindt’s natural hat-trick that included the OT winner 45 seconds in.
A notable mention goes to the Flint Firebirds for climbing back from trailing 5-3 with four unanswered third period markers to ultimately triumph over the Guelph Storm 7-5 on Friday. Guelph had scored five straight to erase a 3-0 deficit of their own, but eventually let their lead slip away.
Wright jumps back on top
Kingston Frontenacs rookie Shane Wright found himself back in the rookie scoring race’s first place slot following a busy week.
The 16-year-old centreman reached 42 points in just 40 games after a seven-point week that saw four goals and three assists in three games, including the overtime winner in Monday’s 2-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Wright has been neck-and-neck with Peterborough rookie Mason McTavish, who now trails seven points behind him.
Firebirds keep things hot
The Flint Firebirds also remained hot over the course of the weekend, earning their fourth consecutive win after defeating the Guelph Storm in a 4-1 contest Saturday night.
Ty Dellandrea, who was named the OHL ‘On The Run’ Player of the Week, has had two-goal showings in his last four appearances, finishing off the week with 10 points in just three games (6-4-10).
Sophomore Riley Piercey’s impressive performances have included a four-point showing (2-2-4) in last Wednesday’s 7-4 toppling of the Soo Greyhounds, kickstarting a seven-point (3-4-7) total in his last three games. Fourth year overager Jake Durham’s two consecutive three-point nights also played an integral role in his team’s winning ways over the course of the week.
McCourt becomes club’s new leading blueliner
Riley McCourt arrived at a milestone with his Firebirds over the weekend when he reached an accumulative 91 points, becoming the club’s all-time point leader as a defenceman. The 19-year-old hit the mark when he helped teammate Evgeniy Oksentyuk score the game winner in his team’s 4-1 win over the Guelph Storm.
McCourt’s 47 points (13-34-47) through 45 games in his third full OHL stint places him fifth among his fellow OHL D-men.
Guelph can’t weather the Storm
The Storm’s struggles continue as they exit the weekend on a 10-game losing skid, dropping back-to-back games to the Flint Firebirds before falling to the London Knights on Sunday afternoon.
Their inability to land in the win column has pushed them down to seventh in the Western Conference, after posting division-leading numbers just months ago.
The Storm are without a win since Feb. 3.