The trade deadline came and went with the most notable move being Adam Burnett and Riley Dunda moving from Burlington to Hamilton as the Red Wings push for the final playoff spot in the South-West Conference. Aside from that the west division reverted back to its normal self by only winning 1 non divisional game this week. With 5 non divisional games coming up this week it will be a perfect time to turn things around as the division jockeys for playoff seeding.
Game of the Week Review
North York @ Georgetown
This Saturday night tilt in Georgetown was carrying extra importance this week as both these teams were close to each other in the South-West Conference standings and both have home ice playoff aspirations.
Both teams showed a desire for the 2 points in the opening 20 minutes as 28 shots found their way to the goalies. 16 for North York and 12 for Georgetown. The Rangers however were the only one to get rewarded as Gabriel Valenzuela found the back of the net behind Michael McNiven. That would be the only scoring in the period. Georgetown had a short PP at the end of the period but were unable to capitilaze and in fact took a penalty as time expired to end any chance of starting the 2nd on the man advantage.
The second period was more of the same, lots of great goaltending and not many penalties. In fact no penalties were called in the 2nd period which had great flow to it. Michael McNiven and North York goalie Jason Pucciarelli were putting on a goaltending clinic. Georgetown would hold a 10-7 shot advantage that period but both teams would put up donuts as North York clung to their lead. Through 2 periods North York held a 23-22 shot advantage.
It looked as though the lone marker in the 1st would be the only goal of the game till Liam Kerins finally got rewarded at the 11:21 mark of the 3rd. With a 2 goal North York lead the pressure was really on Georgetown to find an answer for Pucciarelli but they were handed a setback when Liam Clare got called for a hook shortly after the 2-0 goal and sure enough North York would capitalize. It was Kerins again with his 2nd of the night to push the lead to 3 and a visibly upset Liam Clare let the Refs know how upset he was before receving a 10 minute misconduct for abuse of the officials. With the net empty Matthew Whittaker would seal it at 4-0 and North York would take an important 2 points from Georgetown.
West Division 3 Stars
1)Jeremy Gottzmann (Mil)
Arguably the hottest player in the OJHL right now Jeremy added 2G and 4A to his totals this past week and now has 20 points in his last 10 games.
2)Mitch Reid (Ham)
The Redwings forward picked up 2 multipoint games this week and finished with 2G and 3A while helping the Wings pick up 2 out of a possible 4 points as they continue to fight for the playoffs.
3)Nolan Sheeren (Buf)
Nolan had 3 points in Buffalo’s improbable comeback win against Stouffville on Sunday. Incluided was the game tying goal with 5 minutes left as well as 2 assists and the shootout winner.
Rookie of the Week
Corey Caruso (Ham)
The rookie forward from Hamilton continued his solid season by picking up 5 points including a 3 point game in a win against Orangeville Monday night.
Team of the Week
Buffalo Jr Sabres
Thought about putting Milton in this spot but Buffalo gets the edge due to better competition. Despite giving up 4 goals in the first 4 minutes against Stouffville the Jr Sabres never quit. 3 goals in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd and Buffalo forced overtime before finally winning in the shootout. The win was important as Milton has moved ahead of Buffalo in the standings although Buffalo does have 5 games in hand against them.
Honourable mention: Milton Icehawks
Game of the Week Preview
Cobourg Cougars @ Hamilton Redwings Saturday January 18th
The Hamilton Redwings continue their quest for a playoff spot with a rare home Saturday night tilt. Coming to pay them a visit are the Cobourg Cougars of the OJHL. The only other meeting between these two teams this year came October 5th when Hamilton skated into Cobourg and picked up a 3-2 shootout win. In that game Corey Foster turned away 42 shots to help preserve the win. Cobourg will be coming into this match after facing St. Michaels on Friday night so it will be imperative of Hamilton to jump on them early.