As we approach the halfway point of the 2013-14 OJHL season, one thing is becoming more clear as each week passes by: The North Division will be battling for 3 playoff spots with all 5 East Division teams playing superb hockey. Entering Sunday night’s games, all 5 East teams had at least 30 points or more, while the Aurora Tigers (who lead the North) had only 28. Newmarket has slipped a little bit, and with Pickering picking up some valuable points over the last week, the Hurricanes find themselves only 3 points ahead of the Panthers. Lindsay began to look like they were about to enter the playoff picture, but a heavy weekend which saw them go 0-3 in 3 days is a little deflating.

The Tigers meanwhile continued their impressive play and the Stouffville Spirit had a bit of a light schedule this week but still managed to go 1 - 1. Lindsay had an opportunity to collect some points with a 3 game weekend, but ended up losing all 3 games picking up only a single point in the Overtime loss to Aurora.

North Division Game of the Week Review: Aurora Tigers 4 - 3 Lindsay Muskies OT

Aurora entered this game on a high note having scored 11 goals last week, while the Muskies were gearing up for 3 games in as many days starting with this one at home. Lindsay would get off to a good start as Mathew Lewis put one past Aurora starter Kevin Entmaa at the 1:53 mark and the Muskies held the lead for over half of the first period. It wasn’t until Taylor McCloy continues his hot streak with a goal at 12:55 to tie the game, followed by Drake Board at 14:03 to give the Tigers their first lead. Stefan von Engelbrecten would make it a 4 goal period with his  8th of the season and the game was tied at 2s after the first period.

The second period started just as fast for the Muskies (actually a little faster) as veteran Vince Herlihey quickly put one past Entmaa just 27 seconds in and Lindsay would hold onto that one goal lead until the third period. After 40 minutes, the shots were about even but Aurora had the edge 24 - 20.

Entering the final period, there was the feeling that this game was going to end in a battle, and it sure did. The 3rd was full of opportunities and shots for both sides but neither side could tie or pull ahead. It wasn’t until the 10:51 mark before another veteran, this time for the Tigers, Robert Angiolella scored his 9th to tie the game once again, and for the first time this season the OJHL North Division game of the week went into Overtime (shocking I know!).

Aurora would only need 2 shots however in the extra frame, it was Adam DiBrina who would end the game for the Tigers and gain the extra point in the standings. For Lindsay, it was a tough defeat after a well fought game.

North Division 3 Stars:

Honourable Mention: Robert Angiolella - Aurora Tigers

- The Richmond Hill ON native is hot right now. On a 5-game point streak Angiolella has 4 goals and 4 assist dating back to November 8.

3. Mike Nedoszytko - Pickering Panthers

- The Scarborough ON native has himself a three game point streak going on, coming into this week he had scored 2 goals (which came last Sunday Nov 10 vs Georgetown). On Friday night versus Whitby in a 6-5 loss, Nedoszytko collected 3 more assists, before getting one more Sunday night in a 4 - 1 Panther Victory over Lindsay

2. Brodie Tutton - Pickering Panthers

- Tutton has quietly gone on a bit of a point streak himself for the Panthers. Entering Friday’s game against Whitby Tutton had a goal and 2 assists in his previous 3 games. Tutton scored 2 goals in the losing effort to the Fury, followed up with an assist in Sunday’s game agains the Muskies.

1. Joseph Vocino - Lindsay Muskies

- Also on a 5-game point streak, Vocino collected 4 assists in three back-to-back-to-back games for the Muskies, all in a losing effort. In his last 5, the Pickering ON native has 2 goals and 5 assists.

North Division Rookie of the Week: Chris Sekelyk - Pickering Panthers

What a week it was for the rookie from Toronto ON; first Sekelyk was released from the Lakeshore Patriots, then signed with the Panthers, and in his first game he scored a powerplay goal on Friday night against Whitby. He only has 3 goals on the season, but the Panthers think highly of this rookie and given the opportunities he could flourish into a Top 6 forward in Pickering.

North Division Team of the Week: TIE - Pickering Panthers and Aurora Tigers

The Tigers earn the team of the week honours once again simply because they have been able to continue to win one goal games and hold their lead in the North Division. This week the Tigers went 2 - 1 scoring 11 goals and giving up 10. Last week they earned the honour with their defensive play, this week it is because of their offense.

The Pickering Panthers earn a share of the team of the week honours once again despite going 1 - 1 on the weekend. In the middle of a 4 game home stand, the Panthers battled the Whitby Fury Friday night coming back from a 4-1 deficit before losing 6-5; followed by a dominating 4-1 victory over the Muskies Sunday. The win Sunday saw the Panthers score 2 shorthanded goals (both by Riley Devine) which was their 6th and 7th as a team, which now leads the OJHL.

North Division Game of the Week Preview(s): Take your Pick:

Aurora Tigers at Stouffville Spirit - Thursday November 21, 2013 - 7:30pm EST
Lindsay Muskies at Aurora Tigers - Sunday November 24, 2013 - 7:30pm EST

The North Divisions top team is in the spotlight this week for two games. Why? Because both games have the potential to be a battle of rivals. The Stouffville Spirit have had a light November schedule to this point, so they should be well rested for Thursday nights game, keep an eye on this one. Meanwhile the Sunday matinee between the Tigers and the Muskies is a rematch of last weeks game-of-the-week which went into overtime. Now Lindsay will be on the road and will look to avenge their home loss.