Another difficult week for the OJHL west division as the teams combined to go 4-8 but all 4 of those wins came against divisional opponents. Once again Milton lead the way picking up 2 wins and moving within 2 points of Buffalo although the Jr Sabres do have 5 games in hand. What about those very same Jr Sabres. Buffalo lost both games this week and it is getting to the point where you have to wonder if this is more than just an aberration. Buffalo is now 0-5-1 since their 9 goal outburst against Lindsay.
Georgetown and Hamilton were the other winners this week. Hamilton picked up a big 2 points Monday at home against the red hot Milton Icehawks which halted their own 6 game winless streak. Georgetown only played once and picked up a big W against Hamilton. The Raiders only played 7 games in November and finished with a 3-3-1 record. With 9 games in December and 5 of those against west division opponents, now is the time to make a run to catch Buffalo before it is too late.
It was another tough week for both Burlington and Orangeville. The Flyers traded scoring leader Peter Angelopoulos to St. Michaels and dropped both games while the Cougars also dropped both games slipping farther back in the playoff picture.
Game of the Week Review
Burlington @ Milton
Entering this game the Milton Icehawks were looking to bounce back from a surprising defeat to the hands of the Hamilton Red Wings and continue with their recent winning ways. The Burlington Cougars however were looking to get back into the win coloumn and continue their charge to the playoffs. This also marked the 2nd time Burlington coach Pete Richards had faced Milton since trading his son Cooper there in October.
Both teams were looking for early starts in this one and it looked like Milton would be able to set the early tone as they were given a power play just over 2 minutes into the game. It was Burlington however that would strike first as Daniel Campbell picked up Burlington’s 3rd SHG of the season and the Cougars were quickly up 1-0. This however would be a bad time to get up for popcorn as Josh Pace, Cooper Richards and Shane Bennett would make it 3-1 in 3:51 starting 25 seconds after the Campbell goal. Milton would take that advantage into the 2nd period and held a 1st period shot advantage of 16-13
The Cougars would strike again early in a period this time it was Viktor Meuller who would strike as he pulled the Cougars within 1. Just like the first period this seemed to wake up the Icehawks as Gottzmann, Elliot and Bennett would strike in quick fashion. This time however it would take 4:25 to score the 3 goals two of which came on the power play. The big loss for the Cougars that period was Tyler Lepore getting an automatic game misconduct for a hit from behind. With Milton up 6-2 having Lepore in the lineup would have been useful in hopes of a comeback.
Once again the Cougars would strike early in a period as they came out in the 3rd with hopes of a comeback. Riley Dunda would find the back of the net and the Cougars were within 3. The Cougars would get a 2 man advantage a couple of minutes later but once the first penalty ended Shane Bennett would complete the hat trick with a short handed goal to go along with an earlier power play marker and even strength goal. Before that penalty expired however the Cougars would strike as just 15 seconds later they would pull themselves back within 3. No matter how hard they pushed though it wasn’t to be as the Icehawks would hold on for a 7-4 win and jump back into the win column.
West Division 3 Stars
1)Jeremy Gottzmann (Mil)
Another big week for the former Burlington Cougar as he is really starting to gel with his Milton teammates. Jeremy picked 2G and 5A in 3 games this week including a 4 point outburst Friday night against his former team.
2)Josh Lafrance (Ham)
Josh came up big for the Red Wings on Monday night as he paced the team with 2 goals in a win over the Milton Icehawks .
3)Shane Bennett (Mil)
Another monster game for Shane Bennet as he picked up 3g and 2 assists against Burlington on Friday and added another assist against Hamilton on Monday. He has 16g and 9A in his last 12 games.
Rookie of the Week
TJ Fergus (Mil)
The 16 year old defender has quietly been putting up great numbers on the Milton blueline this season. On Sunday in a 4-2 win against Orangeville TJ had a 2 point night with a goal and an assist.
Team of the Week
Was going back and forth between Milton and Georgetown on this but decided to settle on the Raiders. Even though they only played one game the came out victorious against the Hamilton Red Wings. With Buffalo continuing to struggle it is important that the Raiders pick up points as they try to reel them in.
Honourable mention: Milton Icehawks
Game of the Week Preview
Wellington Dukes @ Milton Icehawks Saturday November 30th
The Milton Icehawks are hot! That is for certain as they are 7-1 in their last 8 starting with their remembrance day upset in Buffalo. Included in this run was a victory on the road against the Wellington Dukes where Milton scored 2 late 3rd period goals to force extra time. It will also be remembered for Ben Blacker giving a masterful 51 save performance in what ended up a shootout victory. Milton is now 13-1-3-0-1-15 and 2nd in the West while Wellington is 15-1-3-0-3-8 and are in a 3 way tie for 2nd in the East 1 point back of 1st.