The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice.
Fronts fare well on northern swing
Entering the weekend short bodies on the blue line, everything worked out alright for the Kingston Frontenacs as they rebounded from a 6-2 loss in North Bay on Thursday with road wins over Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. The Fronts played the weekend without overage defenders Alec Belanger and Ben Roger as others stepped up in their absence. Dallas Stars prospect Francesco Arcuri posted back-to-back two-goal showings to wrap up the weekend with a League-leading 18 goals while Swedish winger Linus Hemstrom had points in all three Kingston contests, giving him 20 (7-13–20) in 23 games this season. Kingston holds an 11-9-1-1 record for third place in the East Division.
Stillman, MacDonell post four-goal efforts
The OHL saw its first two four-goal games of the season over the weekend, starting with New Jersey Devils prospect Chase Stillman on Friday. The Peterborough Petes forward scored four times in a 7-3 road win over the Mississauga Steelheads. He tacked on an assist, giving himself five points in the win and now sits one shy of the 100-point mark on his OHL career. Sarnia’s Angus MacDonell followed suit on Sunday in Oshawa, striking four times capped by the overtime winner as the Sting defeated the Generals 6-5. MacDonell’s second hat trick of the campaign sees him with 11 goals, three assists and 14 points through 21 contests.
67’s come back on Steelheads to keep streak alive
The Ottawa 67’s were in tough down 3-1 midway through their Sunday matchup in Mississauga. Sophomore defender Thomas Sirman scored to draw Ottawa within one before Nashville Predators prospect Jack Matier knotted the score with 18 seconds remaining. Montreal Canadiens prospect Vinzenz Rohrer scored 1:36 into overtime, giving Ottawa 4-3 win to stretch their winning streak to nine games. The 18-1-0-0 67’s are back in action on Monday night in Erie as they play a rescheduled matchup from Saturday. The Barber Poles have scored a League-high 94 goals while surrendering a league-low 46.
Spirit enjoy continued success on road
The Saginaw Spirit said goodbye to captain Josh Bloom this past week, but that didn’t hamper their success as wins in Niagara and Hamilton swelled their current winning streak to six games. Sebastien Gervais scored the winning goal 6:09 into the third period on Thursday night in Niagara as the Spirit skated to a 3-2 win. Nic Sima scored his first goal in a Spirit uniform in the first period of Saturday’s 5-2 win in Hamilton. Michael Misa scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season, with rookie defender Zayne Parekh picking up a helper on one of those. The Spirit lead the West Division with a record of 14-6-1-0.
Storm honour Callahan, earn back-to-back wins
The Guelph Storm are showing indications of turning things around, putting a four-game losing slide behind them with wins over Niagara and Kitchener over the weekend. Guelph came from behind to beat Niagara on Friday at home as third period goals from Charlie Paquette, a pair from Danny Zhilkin, and the second of the night from newcomer Max Namestnikov fuelled a 6-4 win. Namestnikov was back at it again on Saturday at home to the Kitchener Rangers, recording a goal and an assist as the Storm won 5-3. Boston Bruins prospect Matthew Poitras had two goals and two helpers, recording his second straight four-point effort. The Storm retired Ryan Callahan’s #24 jersey prior to puck drop on Saturday. The former 15th round pick went on to become the club’s all-time goal-scoring leader and played over 700 games in the NHL.
Knights take wins in Flint and Sault Ste. Marie
Steady overage veteran Sean McGurn stretched his point streak to 12 games and the London Knights prevailed in Flint and Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday and Sunday. London fell at home to the Firebirds on Friday night, coming back strong at the Dort Financial Center on Saturday as McGurn had a goal and two helpers while Londoner George Diaco picked up a goal and three assists for first star honours in a 7-4 win. San Jose Sharks prospect Max McCue tallied two goals and an assist as London went 3-for-9 on the power play. Outshot 42-19 on Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie, goaltender Brett Brochu rose to the occasion with 39 saves as 2023 NHL Draft pick Oliver Bonk scored the winner in a 4-3 shootout triumph. McGurn had another two assists as London improved to 11-7-1-0, three points back of first place Owen Sound in the Midwest.
Colts win a pair of one-goal games, Williamson earns 500th win
Too often on the wrong side of close contests so far this season, the Barrie Colts found a way over the weekend, defeating the Sudbury Wolves 4-3 on Friday before edging the Sarnia Sting 3-2 in overtime on Saturday at home. Barrie rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Sarnia as overage forward Evan Vierling netted the OT winner, sealing head coach Marty Williamson’s 500th career OHL win. Williamson becomes the ninth coach in OHL history to accomplish the feat. Arizona Coyotes prospect Anson Thornton was in the pipes on Saturday, making 36 saves to record the win against his former club.
New coaches come up empty
Newly installed coaches Derek MacKenzie of the Sudbury Wolves and interim bench boss Jeff Angelidis of the Niagara IceDogs are still looking for their first win. The Wolves saw a two-goal lead evaporate on Friday against the Barrie Colts, falling 4-3 before dropping a 6-2 decision to the Kingston Frontenacs on Sunday. Niagara suffered losses to Saginaw on Thursday and Guelph on Friday as their losing slide hits five games.
Rangers’ see-saw start continues
The Kitchener Rangers won back-to-back games over a capable North Bay Battalion opponent, but dropped consecutive decisions against Guelph and Windsor to close out the weekend. Kitchener’s search for consistency continues as the Rangers fell behind 3-0 in the first period in Guelph on Saturday and 4-0 in the first period of Sunday’s loss to Windsor. Goaltender Marco Costantini was pulled in both starts as the Rangers shrunk further from .500 with a record of 8-11-0-0. The Blueshirts have missed 6-foot-4 winger Mitchell Martin who has been sidelined with an injury since Nov. 8th. Their four-game home stand continues on Friday against the London Knights.
Generals slide hits nine games
The Oshawa Generals came close on Friday and Sunday, but saw their current losing slide stretch to nine games. The Gennies fell 3-2 at home to the Owen Sound Attack Friday night as Attack forward Colby Barlow scored the deciding goal with 3:43 remaining. The Generals fell victim to Angus MacDonell‘s four-goal outburst at home on Sunday afternoon as the Sarnia Sting took a 6-5 decision in overtime. Recent addition Ryder McIntyre scored his first goal as a General over the weekend. Overage captain Lleyton Moore leads the team in scoring from the back end with 16 points (2-14–16) over 19 games. Sophomore forward Matthew Buckley also returned to the lineup after being sidelined by injury to start the season. Oshawa’s four-game home stand continues on Friday at home to Peterborough.