The leaves are beginning to change, the temperature is starting to get colder (though Mother Nature seems to be a little confused), and another Thanksgiving has pasted by. So while we are either finishing our large family meals or licking our fingers cause we already have, let’s take a moment to reflect and remember those who sacrificed their lives and fought for our freedom so that we may be able to live in this beautiful country of ours! For them, I am thankful.
The North Division this week saw the resurgence of the Newmarket Hurricanes, a team that for the last two weeks seemed to be in a bit of a disarray. Having dropped some important games the Hurricanes lost their grasp of first place to the Pickering Panthers last week, and with games against Milton, Aurora, and Mississauga it wasn’t going to be easy for them to turn the ship around. This week also saw the opposite happen for the Aurora Tigers who failed to pick up any points in a back-to-back situation against division opponents. Which leads us into this weeks...
Game of the Week Review: Newmarket Hurricanes 6 - 4 Aurora Tigers
For the second straight week the Tigers were the highlight of the Game of the Week, this time because they were heading into a weekend with two games against divisional opponents. On Friday night in Pickering, the Tigers found themselves down 4 - 0 before the halfway point of the first period! Starting goaltender Kevin Entmaa was pulled after less than five minutes of play, and despite a valiant effort to comeback, the Tigers could never recover from that first period start.
Unfortunately for Aurora, the next night turned out to be a bit of a similar story. At home to Newmarket, the Tigers gave up 4 goals in the first period again as Newmarket scored on the powerplay, shorthanded, and even strength from 4 different goal scorers. Trevor Petersen, Justin Maiolino, Nik Coric, and Brandon Francisco helped the Hurricanes dominate the first period despite only having 16 shots on goal.
Aurora came out of the dressing room ready to play for the second period as Adam DiBrina got the Tigers on the board only 56 seconds in and the comeback attempt was one again for the second straight game. Dylan Kikura brought the game to within 2 goals with his powerplay marker at 10:57 but they Tigers couldn’t hold it for long as Thomas Beretta scored just 15 seconds later to restore the 3 goal lead for Newmarket. Kory Kennedy would get Aurora’s third goal of the period at 13:04 but despite outshooting Newmarket 14 - 11 in the second and outscoring 3 - 1, the Tigers trailed 5 - 3 heading into the final 20 minutes.
It would be a fairly quiet for both teams until they traded goals in the final two minutes to make it a 6 - 4 final for the Hurricanes. Aurora dominated the shot counter with a total of 40 shots to 34 from Newmarket. The two back-to-back losses would hurt the Tigers in their attempt to gain ground in the North and now sit at the bottom of the division standings tied with Lindsay with 9 points.
North Division 3 Stars for Oct 8 - Oct 14
3. Robert Powers (Stouffville Spirit)
- The 94 born defenseman leads the team now in points after getting 3 assists vs Oakville (Oct 10) and scoring 2 goals and adding 2 more assists in a win over North York (Oct 13).
2. Brandon Francisco (Newmarket Hurricanes)
- The Bradford ON native was on fire this week helping his team go 3 - 0. Francisco racked up 3 goals and 4 assists in those 3 games.
1. Ian Farrell (Newmarket Hurricanes)
- Farrell too was on fire in his teams last 3 games, collecting 2 goals and 6 assists earning him this weeks North Division 1st Star Honours.
North Division Rookie of the Week: Nick Thomakos (Stouffville Spirit)
After scoring his first two OJHL goals last week, the Uxbridge native continued to impress for the Spirit scoring a hat-trick in Whitby on Oct 11, he followed that up with an assist in North York. In 10 games played the 16 year old has 5 goals and 6 points.
Team of the Week: Newmarket Hurricanes
This is an easy one here as the Hurricanes went 3 - 0 this week and reclaimed their position as the number one team in the North Division. With Aurora struggling this week and Pickering, Stouffville, and Lindsay only playing one two games over the course of seven days, it was an opportunity for Newmarket to collect some valuable points and they did just that! They will look to continue that this week with games in Pickering and at home to take on the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.
Game of the Week Preview: Pickering Panthers at Newmarket Hurricanes (Thursday Oct 17, 7:30pm)
It’s the battle for top spot in the North Division with only 3 points separating these two teams. Pickering has a tough weekend ahead after this game playing Kingston (at home Friday) and then travel to Trenton (Sunday), so the points for them in this game are crucial.
Happy Thanksgiving Canada! and Happy Columbus Day to our friends and any readers from South of the Border!