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OHL Weekend Notebook: Nov. 23, 2021

 

The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice.

A teal-ly good week in the OHL
The San Jose Sharks have a number of prospects in the OHL this season, and two of them are the League’s top performers of the week. North Bay Battalion forward Brandon Coe recorded eight points (3-5–8) in three North Bay victories, helping the Troops hold down top spot in the Eastern Conference. Coe played in 17 games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda last season and is still looking to sign an NHL contract after being selected by the Sharks in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Ben Gaudreau of the Sarnia Sting is the OHL Goaltender of the Week, stopping 97 of 103 shots to help the Sting earn five of a possible six points. Gaudreau was San Jose’s third round pick this past summer.

Boys in green atop League leaderboards
The North Bay Battalion are among the OHL’s hottest clubs, having earned points in five straight to sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 12-6-0-1 record. The Battalion won all three games last weekend, defeating Ottawa 3-0 on Thursday, Oshawa 4-2 on Friday and Niagara 7-3 on Sunday. The green machine features three players inside the OHL’s top-10 scorers including Brandon Coe (9-24–33) in second, Kyle Jackson (11-18–29) in fifth, and Matvey Petrov (15-12–27) tied for seventh. Between the pipes, Joe Vrbetic is one of two OHL goaltenders with two shutouts this season, and on the back end, Ty Nelson (4-12–16) leads OHL rookie defenders in scoring.

Trout keep finding ways to win
The Mississauga Steelheads got the better of three Central Division opponents this past weekend and now have at least a point in 10 straight games. The 10-4-1-1 Steelheads defeated Niagara 7-1 on Thursday, shutout Barrie 3-0 on Friday and scored another seven on Sunday in a 7-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves as Luca Del Bel Belluz scored his first OHL hat-trick. Veteran forward James Hardie leads the club with 12 goals and captain Ethan Del Mastro owns a League-best plus-20 rating. Draft eligible centre Owen Beck is one of the OHL’s top faceoff men, winning 59.5 percent of his draws while recording 14 points (6-8–14) through 16 games. The Trout lead the League with an average of 38.6 shots-per-game while surrendering a League-low 24.3.

Evangelista’s back-to-back quartets
London Knights captain Luke Evangelista marked up the scoresheet in a pair of wins over the Kitchener Rangers last weekend. Evangelista posted back-to-back four point efforts, becoming the first Knight to do so since Mitch Marner in February 2016. The Nashville Predators pick has points in 14 of 15 games this season for a total of 27 (15-12–27).

Robertson goes off for 10 points, Sproule’s streak continues for Petes
The Peterborough Petes had mixed results in a high-scoring weekend of action, and a pair of offensive trends continued. Tucker Robertson now leads the OHL in scoring after 10 points (4-6–10) across three games that saw Peterborough go 1-2. He collected his first OHL hat-trick in Thursday’s 10-6 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs before racking up six points (1-5–6) in a 9-3 win over the Ottawa 67’s on Sunday. The six points in a game are the most by a Petes player since Semyon Der-Arguchintsev recorded six back on March 16, 2018 in Oshawa. Robertson is producing at a two point per-game clip with a total of 34 (15-19–34) through 17 outings. Emmett Sproule continued his League-high point streak as well, stretching it to 17 games on Sunday. He’s approaching Nick Robertson’s high watermark from the 2019-20 season, a streak that reached 19 games in January and February.

Edmonds carrying offensive load for Frontenacs
Overage winger Lucas Edmonds continues to be a very important addition for the Kingston Frontenacs. The former seventh round OHL Priority Selection choice logged another week of multi-point efforts, extending his point streak to seven games as the Fronts took five of a possible six points. Edmonds now has 30 points (10-20–30) through his first 16 games, 10 more than the next highest producer in the Kingston lineup. Los Angeles Kings prospect Martin Chromiak missed a pair of games to illness this past weekend, but Edmonds picked up the slack with help from Jordan Frasca, Shane Wright and Francesco Arcuri. The Fronts will be tested next weekend with a three-in-three against a trio of hot Eastern Conference opponents in North Bay, Hamilton and Mississauga.

Guzda wins Colts debut, Cholach returns with a goal
Mack Guzda was sharp in his first game in new surroundings. The overage goaltender made 23 saves in his Barrie Colts debut Saturday night after being acquired from the Owen Sound Attack on Friday. The 20-year-old is 6-4-0-1 on the season with a 3.09 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. Guzda wraps up his tenure in Owen Sound third in career games played (140) and fourth in wins (63). Additionally, the Colts had a big body back on their blue line Saturday night. 6-foot-4 Vegas Golden Knights prospect Artur Cholach returned from a six-game absence due to injury with his first career OHL goal.

Portokalis scores three in first three games with Attack
While they said goodbye to Mack Guzda, the Owen Sound Attack got early returns from their newest addition up front. William Portokalis scored in his Attack debut on Friday night in Guelph, helping the Bears skate to a 3-2 shootout in. He tacked on two more Saturday night at the Bayshore as the Attack defeated the Saginaw Spirit 6-3. The third-year veteran joins the Attack following two seasons with the Mississauga Steelheads who selected him in the second round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Belanger back for 67’s
It was a weekend to forget for the Ottawa 67’s, but they did gain a body on the blueline. Nineteen year-old rearguard Alec Belanger made his season debut on Thursday in North Bay, making his way back from a hand injury. The former third round pick comes back to a fairly crowded blueline in the nation’s capital. The Barrie, Ont. native scored 10 goals and added 22 assists for 32 points over 61 games during the 2019-20 season.

D’Amato scores first AHL goal
Named an Erie Otters co-captain at the beginning of the season, Daniel D’Amato looked good in some unexpected AHL duty with the Henderson Silver Knights. D’Amato impressed as a non-roster invitee to the Vegas Golden Knights’ rookie faceoff tournament squad during the pre-season and the franchise clearly took note. The 20-year-old from Maple, Ont. scored in a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Eagles on Saturday, marking his third straight game with a point. In five games, he put up a goal and two assists. The AHL website reports that D’Amato was returned to the Otters on Monday, setting him up to potentially slot back into the Erie lineup on Thursday at home to the Soo Greyhounds. D’Amato has eight points (1-7–8) in 11 games with the Otters this season.

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