It wasn’t the greatest week for the OJHL west division but if it is any consolation the damage was limited as there weren’t many games scheduled Overall the division was 1-7 in non-divisional games. The Milton Icehawks picked up 2 big wins. One win came against division leading Buffalo and another on the road against Wellington. League leader in defenseman scoring Nick Desimone of the Buffalo Jr Sabres committed to Union College on Sunday so congratulations on that. Orangeville was able to pick up their 3rd win of the season Sunday as they hosted the Burlington Cougars. Burlington in turn dropped both games this week pushing them farther back in the playoff race. Georgetown only played once this week which will be recapped in the game of the week. The Hamilton Red Wings struggles continue as they lost all 3 games and are now on the outside looking in with the playoff picture.
Game of the Week Review
St. Michaels Buzzers vs Georgetown Raiders
As mentioned in last week’s preview this game was a rematch of last season’s SW conference semifinal where St. Mikes prevailed 4 games to 1. Not only that but each team was undefeated against the opposing teams division with St. Mikes entering the game 5-0 against the West while Georgetown was 4-0 against the South.
The game started just as the hometown fans would have hoped as the Raiders struck quickly with 2 goals in the opening 12 minutes of the game as Jacome and Adams stalked them to a 2-0 lead. The Buzzers however are the top team in the South for a reason and made sure the capitalized 2 minutes later when given a power play as Bron Loiselle brought them back within 1.
The Second started with an early PP for the Raiders, a chance to build on their 2-1 lead. Bron Loiselle had other plans though as once again he proved dangerous on the special team this time with a shorthander to tie the game. At the halfway more the Buzzers to a hit as their star Jake Evans took a 2 and 10 for head contact. The Raiders however were unable to pounce as the teams went into the intermission tied at 2. The buzzers held a shot advantage in both periods and through 2 were outshooting the Raiders 24-18
The Raiders came out flying in the 3rd making sure they left everything on the ice. They picked up an early powerplay in the period but were unable to cash. It seemed though that it was only a matter of time before they broke open this tie game. The Buzzers however proved that all you need is a bounce to go your way and it was Providence College commit Matt Alvaro who would provide that. With 7:13 left in the 3rd Alvaro would put one home to give the Buzzers their 1st lead of the game. The Raiders showed no quit but were unable to slip one past George Argiropoulos as they outshot the Buzzers 18-7 in the 3rd. David Italiano would ice it with an empty netter for the 4-2 Buzzers win. The Raiders win streak was finally over and Michael McNiven would pick up his first OJHL lose ending quite the run to start his season.
West Division 3 Stars
1)Kane Elliot (Mil)
A big week for Kane Elliot as he picked up 3 points against Buffalo on Monday then followed that up with 2 against Wellington including the game tying goal in the 3rd and the shootout winner. 2 goals and 3 assists locks up the 1st star of the week for him.
2)Tyler Lewis (Mil)
The '95 born goalie filled in admirably for Ben Blacker while he was away highlighted by a big 49 save performance against the Buffalo Jr Sabres.
3)Peter Angelopoulos (Ora)
The big forward picked up 4 points this week including a 3 point effort in a win against Burlington on Sunday afternoon
Rookie of the Week
Ben Blacker (Mil)
In his first OJHL game in nearly a month due to commitments with Team Canada East for the World Jr A Challenge. Ben stepped in and outdueled former OHL and U17 silver medalist Tyson Teichmann as he set a career high with 51 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Wellington Dukes.
Honourable mention: Lucas Smilsky (Ora) The ’97 born winger had 2g and 1a in 3 games including a big 2 points in a Sunday win against Burlington.
Team of the Week
The week started off with a matinee remberance/veterans day matchup across the border at the First Niagara Centre in Buffalo where they upset the division leading Jr Sabres 5-2. On Friday they visited the Dudley Hewitt Cup host Wellington Dukes and lead by the return of Ben Blacker back from the World Jr A Challenge were able to skate away with a 3-2 shootout win.
Honourable mention: the OJHL west was 0-7 in non-divisional games so nobody is an honourable mention this week.
Game of the Week Preview
Buffalo Jr Sabres @ Georgetown Raiders Saturday November 23rd
The top 2 teams in the OJHL west division faceoff in Georgetown on Saturday although both are coming in off of losses this past week. The Jr Sabres enter this one with 36 points from a 16-0-1-1-1-4 (W-OTW-SOW-OTL-SOL-L)record. The Raiders have 26 points from a 9-1-2-1-1-9 record. The past 10 games sees the Sabres sporting an 8-1-1 record (wins-losses-OTL/SOL) while the Raiders are 7-2-1.