OJHL North Division Weekly Review (Oct 1 - Oct 7)
Well things can certainly change in a week can’t they? After a disappointing 7 days, ending with a poor showing at the Governors Showcase last week, the North Division stepped it up this week. It wasn’t an easy task either for teams such as Pickering and Aurora who had to face strong opponents in St. Michaels, Wellington and Kingston (the latter two were just named in the CJHL Top 20 Rankings), but the North teams found that next gear and took on the challenge.
Game of the Week Review: Aurora Tigers 4 - 1 St. Michaels Buzzers
The game of the week was important for Aurora to take advantage of a road weary Buzzers team who was coming home for an afternoon game after 2 back-to-back road games in Pickering (loss) and Orangeville (SO win). Those first two hard fought games appeared to finally catch up to St. Michaels in this one, and they didn’t start off well either with OJHL SW Conference player-of-month David Italiano receiving a misconduct penalty for a warm-up violation (AUR Cameron Morrison would receive one as well).
It took almost 8 minutes of play and a Powerplay opportunity for the Tigers before they got the first goal of the game. Michael Laidley fired home his 4th goal of the season with last weeks North Division 1st star Kory Kennedy getting the lone assist. Ashur Elliot would tie it up for St. Michaels at the 11:17 mark, and the Buzzers looked like they were going to be in a good position heading into the first intermission. However with just under a minute to go, Adam DiBrina got his first of 2 on the night and the Tigers took a 2-1 lead into the dressing room and outshot the Buzzers 13-8 in that period.
The second period saw no scoring and a couple of penalties to Aurora, allowing the Buzzers to get some scoring opportunities to tie the game once again. Tiger’s goaltender Kevin Entmaa had other ideas as he turned away all 18 shots he faced in the period. Aurora could only muster 9 towards Buzzer’s starter George Argiropoulos.
Aurora would increase their lead to 2 early in the 3rd period, as Drake Board scored just 2:15 in and that would be about it for St. Michaels. They continued to fire shots at Entmaa who would stop all 13 he’d face, and with DiBrina’s second goal at 18:37 mark on an empty net, the Tigers walked out of St. Michaels Rink with a 4-1 victory and handed the Buzzers their second loss in 3 nights.
North Division 3 Stars for Oct 1 - Oct 7
Honourable Mention: Robert Powers (Stouffville Spirit)
- Powers was dynamite with 2 goals and 1 assist in helping his team dismantle Burlington last week
3. Kory Kennedy (Aurora Tigers)
- Last weeks 1st star stays hot with 2 assists in Aurora’s victory over St. Michaels.
2. Nicolas Lepone (Pickering Panthers)
- A natural hat-trick vs the Buzzers (his former team), Lepone showed confidence and drive as all 3 goals he scored came off of his own rebounds and staying with the play.
1. Vince Herlihey (Lindsay Muskies)
- While his team lost both games this week, Herlihey kept his team in each game with a goal and an assist. The hometown native now has 6 goals and 5 assists on the season.
North Division Rookie of the Week: Michael Carcone (Stouffville Spirit)
Carcone (Whitby ON) had a hand in helping the Spirit demolish Burlington last week, raking up a goal (the game winner!) and two assists. In 8 games the rookie has 2 goals and 5 assists.
Team of the Week: Pickering Panthers
The Pickering Panthers earn team of the week honours with a 1-1 record, but considering they had one of the tougher schedules this week it might be a sign of things to come. The Panthers started their week with a dominating performance against St. Michaels earning two points at home, followed up with an afternoon tilt in Kingston on Sunday to take on the streaking Voyageurs who before this game had won 8 straight games! Pickering managed to take Kingston to Overtime before eventually handing the Voyageurs their 9th straight win, but did pick up a crucial point giving them 3 of a possible 4 points on the weekend and a spot as the top seed in the North Division. This week will see Pickering play only one game, but it will be an important one against divisional rivals the Aurora Tigers!
Game of the Week Preview: Newmarket Hurricanes at Aurora Tigers (Saturday Oct 12, 7:30pm)
Aurora will be coming in on a back-to-back situation having played in Pickering the night before and Newmarket is looking to get back on course after having slipped from the CJHL rankings and the OJHL North-East conference standings. You know both teams are going to come and play in this one!