We’ll call this one the bi-week review, and it was a good one at that! Looking back at the season preview, the first 2 weeks proved that predictions can just be a random guess that makes one look either super smart or like someone who doesn’t know what’s going on. In any case, here is the weekly review for the North Division.
Game of the Week:
Newmarket Hurricanes (1) vs Stouffville Spirit (7) Sunday Sept 15, 2013
Yes Newmarket makes the review list for a second time (See West Division Review) however this matchup with the Stouffville Spirit was supposed to be a miss match. Newmarket had started the season with 4 straight wins entering this game, and Stouffville was only playing their second game of the season (their first game was a 3-2 loss to Milton at home).
The start to this game was face paced and mostly dominated by Newmarket. Matt Marsden scored the opening goal at 7:40 to put Newmarket ahead, but that was the only offense the Hurricanes would be able to generate. Stouffville would answer back at the 11:45 mark when Christopher Brill-Morgan put the puck past starting Hurricanes goalie Jake Danson to tie the game, followed by Matthew Dunlop scoring at the end of the opening frame to give Stouffville a 2 - 1 lead.
In the second period, Newmarket started to get into a bit of penalty trouble. A double minor for roughing to Matt Marsden resulted in two quick powerplay goals for Stouffville as Robert Powers and Joseph Deveny each got on the board. The second period was the complete opposite of the first, with Stouffville outshooting Newmarket by a wide margin (15-6).
In the final frame, it all fell apart for Newmarket; the team got into more penalty trouble capped by a fighting major to Shaquille Hickey that also had an instigator and aggressor penalty attached to it. Stouffville will score 3 more times to chance Danson from the goal and wrap up their first win of the season. Newmarket did not look like the team that started 4 - 0, and with divisional matchups so important this season it can be a big result. One thing is for sure, any divisional game from here on out is bound to be a physical game!
North Division 3 Stars
1) Brodie Tutton (Pickering Panthers)
- 6 goals and 3 assists after the first 4 games for Pickering. Tutton has become the veteran go-to-guy who has stepped up his overall play. This uncommitted forward has found great chemistry with new line-mate Mike Walker on Pickering’s top line. The two scored a goal each in their latest victory over Wellington.
2) Tanner Shaw (Pickering Panthers)
- This spot would be given to Mike Walker, but we’ll say he can be a 1a) to Tutton. Insead this weeks second star will go to another Panther in D-man Tanner Shaw. In his first 4 games with Pickering, Shaw has proven that he can be both a solid defenseman blocking shots and killing penalties, while also helping out offensively (he has 1 goal and 7 assists).
3) Brandon Francisco (Newmarket Hurricanes)
- With his team starting the season with 4 straight wins, Francisco is certainly a big reason for that. In those 4 games, the Bradford Ontario native scored 2 points in 3 of them and had a point as well in a 7 - 4 win over Mississauga.
Honorable Mention: Daniel Mannella (Stouffville Spirit)
Started both games for the Spirit. So far Mannella has only allowed 4 goals against (2.03 GAA) while facing 62 shots (.935 SV%)
North Division Rookie of the Week: Nik Coric (Newmarket).
5 goals and 2 assists in 5 games helping his teammate Francisco and the rest of the Hurricanes reel off 4 straight wins. The 5’10” hometown forward has adjusted nicely into the Hurricanes line-up and will look to continue his impressive start.
Team of the Week: Newmarket Hurricanes
When you go 4 - 1 in your first (two) week(s) there is no debate as to who is the team of the week in the North. Newmarket opened the season with wins in Whitby, Pickering, Mississauga, and Georgetown and while their last game in Stouffville was a bit of a wake-up, starting the year in the road for 5 games can wear a team down. However it won’t get any easier for Newmarket as the team faces Oakville, St. Michaels, and Aurora in the coming week (2 of those 3 at home).
Honourable Mention: Pickering Panthers
A 2 - 2 record usually doesn’t warrant a mention, but the Panthers have played very well to start this season. Both of their losses come in games when the team trailed 4 - 2 at one point before losing to Newmarket (7-4) and Milton (5-4 in a shoot out).
Game of the Week Preview:
Pickering Panthers vs Stouffville Spirit (Friday September 20)
We saw what Stouffville can do in a divisional game, and Pickering has played strong of late. This game has the potential to be a high scoring, physical affair. Can Brodie Tutton and Mike Walker keep up their scoring pace? Will Daniel Mannella continue to provide solid goaltending for the Spirit? Game time is 7:30pm at the Pickering Recreation Centre.