Interesting week in the OJHL North Division in which the only news to come from the last 7 days involved a trade. Back on Oct 23, the Newmarket Hurricanes addressed a hole in their line-up acquiring goaltender Bo Bessette from the St. Michael’s Buzzers in exchange for F Thomas Beretta. Beretta had 4 goals and 12 points in 16 games for Newmarket and joins a very strong offensive core in St. Mikes. The Hurricanes meanwhile get Bo Bessette who was 5 - 2 with a 2.36 GAA and 0.937 SV% when he joined the team, and the Hurricanes put the North York native to work, starting him in their next 2 games giving him an opportunity to the the number one goalie after Jake Danson (released) and Jophery Gregoire struggled to take the reigns in Newmarket.
Overall, it was about a .500 week for all 5 teams having no effect on the overall Division standings, but here’s one thing to consider going forward. All 5 teams in the East Division have more points that all 5 teams in the North, which means when it comes to playoff seeding, only 3 teams from the North will make it in (Pickering currently holds the 8th seed). With a fairly light October complete, the North Division will see an increase in scheduled games in the month of November, including a bunch of Division match-ups (Pickering and Lindsay play each other twice!). For now, let’s take a look back at the week it was:
Game of the Week Review: Stouffville Spirit 1 - 6 Lindsay Muskies (Friday Oct 25, 2013)
A game between the two bottom North Division teams was bound to provide some entertainment and for the home crowd at the Lindsay Recreation Centre, it sure turned out to be just that. The first period was a see-saw battle as both teams went back and forth with chances but with little results. Stouffville found themselves on 3 powerplays but couldn’t capitalize. The Spirit did outshoot Lindsay 18 - 12 in the first, but Muskies starting goaltender Mathew Robson held the fort.
Stouffville got off to a better start in the second frame, with Carter Cummings getting his second goal of the season and the Spirit getting a 1 - 0 lead. However some penally problems for Stouffville would prove costly as Stefan von Engelbrechten and Peter Barral scored back-to-back Powerplay goals to give Lindsay their first lead in the game. Barral would add his second of the game with just five minutes to go, and despite being outshot once again (17 - 15) the Muskies carried a 3 - 1 lead into the second intermission.
The third period was all Lindsay, even though they spent some time in the sin bin. Facing three powerplays, the Muskies managed to hold Stouffville to just 10 shots and also found the back of the net 3 more times themselves. At the final buzzer, the Spirit were 0 - 9 on the PP, and had surrendered 6 unanswered goals after getting the first of the game. Final shots were 45 - 40 in favour of the Spirit.
North Division 3 Stars For Oct 22 - 28
Honourable Mention: Nicolas Lepone (Pickering Panthers)
- 1 goal and 2 assists over a 3 game weekend. Lepone’s assists came on two goals from Robert Cammalleri, one of which was an OT winner.
3. Rober Cammalleri (Pickering Panthers)
- Kind of spoiled this one. Cammalleri had 2 goals and 1 assist in 3 games and yes it did include that OT winner against Aurora on Saturday night.
2. Vince Herlihey (Lindsay Muskies)
- Herliehy continues to provide a fairly young Muskies team with points. His 4 assists this weekend now give him 19 points in 17 games.
1. Peter Barral (Lindsay Muskies)
- Snapped a scoring slump in a big way. Scored 2 goals in Lindsays big win over Stouffville and added a goal and assist 3 nights later in a tough 3 - 2 loss to Buffalo.
North Division Rookie of the Week: Michael Carcone (Stouffville Spirit)
Carcone earns Rookie of the Week honours for the second time this month. After going quiet since his first honours, Carcone turned playmaker this week getting 3 assists in a losing effort to the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. In 15 games the Whitby ON native has 3 goals and 10 assists.
North Division Team of the Week: Lindsay Muskies
This wasn’t an easy decision to make this week but I’m going to give the Muskies Team-of-the-week honours because they were able to play two tough games and finished the week 1 - 1. The first was a convincing 6 - 1 win against division rivals Stouffville, followed up with a strong outing against Buffalo before falling 3 - 2. The Muskies have seemed dormant so far this season, but yet they only find themselves 3 points out of the final North-East playoff spot and only 6 points behind both Newmarket and Aurora for the division lead. They’ve been strong on the Powerplay converting 15 of 71 opportunities (21.1%) and their goal differential is a respectable -6 (47 GF / 53 GA).
North Division Game of the Week Preview: Newmarket Hurricanes vs. Lindsay Muskies (Friday Nov 1, 7:30pm)
Another North division match-up and another game featuring the Lindsay Muskie, but this time it will be against the Newmarket Hurricanes. The Canes are coming off and 0-2 week and you know Bo Bessette will rebound from his first two games (losses) as a Hurricane. This could be an exciting, low scoring game. The weekend in general for the Muskies is an opportunity to gain ground in the North with this game Friday versus Newmarket and a game Sunday in Pickering.
The second month in the OJHL season is coming to a close and November has an increase in scheduled games, so make sure you stay connected with In the O radio for everything that goes on.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween and maybe save me some candy?