To say it was a tough week for the North Division, it would be a bit of an understatement. Not only did the five teams combine for an 0 - 5 record at the Governors Showcase in Oakville over the weekend, but over the course of the full week the division had a combined record of 2 - 7 - 1. On one hand, no team fell behind, on the other no team was able to take advantage, so for now the North Division is in a similar situation as last week.
As aforementioned, this weekend was the OJHL’s Annual Governors Showcase which was held at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, ON. Over 120 scouts were in attendance to watch the League of Choice put on a show, and boy what a show it was. As a fan, you could not have asked for anything more than a weekend full of exciting hockey, but what we got was a real treat. This week we look back at the (tough) weekend it was for the North Division as the first month of the season comes to a close.
Game of the Week Review: Newmarket Hurricanes 0 - 6 Wellington Dukes
If you recall I kind of cheated and said all the games would be the game of the week for this week at the Showcase, however I did suggest that this Hurricanes/Dukes match up would provide some entertainment and would be one to watch. Right from the start of warm-ups, you knew it was going to be a long night for Newmarket, for when the team took to the ice they were in their white jersey’s; Wellington too was in white. So during the flood before the start of the game, the Newmarket Hurricanes were forced to switch into Oakville Blades blue uniforms, sending parents, scouts, and writers into a bit of frenzy trying to figure out who was who. Everyone got their laughs in, but for Newmarket that would be about all the laughing they would do.
It didn’t take long for Wellington to begin their assault looking for a 5th straight win, as Spencer Turcotte sniped a beauty from the side of the goal at the 9:10 mark. The Hurricanes had a bit of a push back, before 2 goals 38 seconds apart (Cody Gratton and Steven Deeg respectively) put Wellington up 3 - 0 after the first period. Newmarket dominated in the shot department, however Duke starter Lucas Machalski (94, Cambridge ON) was putting on a clinic.
The second period was more of the same for Newmarket, they were able to generate some scoring chances, however nothing was there to show for it. Late in the period Gratton would get his second of the game (14:47) followed by Deeg once again getting his second tally (17:02) and after 40 minutes Wellington was holding a 5 - 0 lead over a deflated looking Hurricanes group.
Once again the 3rd period started off with Newmarket generating lots of chances, but it remained 5 - 0 until Mike Soucier tucked home a rebound and gave Wellington the largest lead any team had at the Showcase. At this point, Newmarket was just looking to break the shut out, unfortunately for them Machalski had other ideas as he turned in a 38 save performance for the shut out. It was a tough loss for Newmarket, who were failed to make the CJHL Top 20 list this week after making the list 2 weeks ago.
North Division Stars for Sept 24 - 30
Honourable Mention: Calvin Higley (Aurora Tigers)
- Higley had 2 assists in the Tigers victory over Newmarket earlier in the week.
3rd Star: Michael Morgan (Stouffville Spirit)
- 2 goals this week earns this Markham Ontario native the 3rd star spot. Morgan has shown dominance in his game thanks to his great speed.
2nd Star: James Sterne (Lindsay Muskies)
- Sterne (Port Carling, ON) had 2 assists in the Muskies come-from-behind Overtime victory versus Pickering this week. He now has 3 points in his first 7 games this season.
1st Star: Kory Kennedy (Aurora Tigers)
- Kennedy had a strong week for Aurora collecting 1 goal and 2 assists extending his scoring streak to 4 games (2 G, 3A).
North Division Rookie of the Week: Jordan Oshowy
The Woodbridge ON native collected his first OJHL goal in a losing effort to Aurora back on Sept 26. But with his team struggling, it’s good to get that first one out of the way.
Team of the Week (Tie): Aurora Tiger and Lindsay Muskies
Because it was such a tough week for the Division, this week’s TOTW will be shared by the Tigers and Muskies who both went 1 - 1. Aurora defeated Newmarket in a big division match-up, while Lindsay’s victory was an impressive come-from-behind victory as they scored 2 goals in the final frame before sealing a victory in overtime at home against Pickering. With Newmarket struggling and Pickering and Stouffville still trying to go streaking, it was a good week for these two teams to stay close in the division. As September comes to a close the current standings in the North are as followed (with Preseason Predictions in parenthesis):
Newmarket Hurricanes - 10 points (1)
Pickering Panthers - 8 points (5)
Aurora Tigers - 7 points (2)
Lindsay Muskies - 6 points (4)
Stouffville Spirit - 4 points (3)
Game of the Week Preview: Aurora Tigers at St. Michaels Buzzers (Sunday Oct 6, 2pm)
The Tigers are starting to come on a bit, but inconsistency is still plaguing them. This might be an opportunity for Aurora who will be facing a Buzzers team that will be playing their 3rd game in as many days, playing in Pickering on Friday and Orangeville on Saturday night before this afternoon tilt. It could be a vary travel exhausted team the Buzzers, look for Aurora to try and get a early jump and catch St. Michaels sleeping.
Buckle up OJHL North Division fans, October is going to be fun!