It was a feast or famine week for the OJHL West Division during week 4. Hamilton and Buffalo are riding high as both teams picked up 6 points as both teams are starting to put some space between themselves and the other teams in the division. Milton and Burlington both had weeks to forget as the Icehawks lost all 4 games and Burlington lost both of theirs giving up 18 goals in the process. Georgetown had ups and downs but were able to come away with a big interdivision win against Milton and Orangeville played arguably their best of the game holding 2 separate 3rd period leads against St. Mikes only to drop the game late.
Game of the Week Review
St. Michaels Buzzers vs Orangeville Flyers
My game of the week preview from last week Georgetown vs Milton didn’t turn out as I expected it was another game on Saturday that became a must watch. A mismatch on paper as the Orangeville Flyers were still looking for their first win and St. Mikes was named in the CJHL top 20 this past week this game was anything but.
Lucky for us though these games aren’t played on paper as the Flyers jumped on the Buzzers early lead by their top guns of Keegan Ackerland, Mathew Thompson and Peter Angelopoulos as the trio combined for the 4 assists on their first 2 goals. Wyatt Weppler and Austin Rigney were the goal scorers as Orangeville went into the 1st intermission with an unlikely 2-0 lead.
The 2nd period was a different story as the Buzzers came out with a mission. Ted Hunt was the first to get them on the board helping pull the Buzzers within one before Jake Evans tied the game with under 5 to go in the 2nd and we were tied at 2’s. While the Buzzers were able to pick up the goals the Flyers were still putting up a fight as they were out shooting the Buzzers through 2 periods of play 25-24
The 3rd period was back and forth action as the Flyers were desperate to snap their winless skid to start the season while the Buzzers were refusing to let 2 points evade them in Orangeville. Austin Rigney gave Orangeville the lead again with his 2nd goal of the game but it was a short lived lead that didn’t hold for 4 minutes as Filoso was able to level things for St. Mikes. In a period that saw feverish action and 25 shots throughout the 20 minutes it was Thanvir Bandesha who put the Flyers in the drivers seat again as he cashed in on an opportunity with under 4 to go. The only question now was could the Flyers hold on. The Buzzers pulled out all the shots throwing everything at the net and with their net empty and the final seconds ticking off the clock it was Jake Evans who, with his 2nd of the game was able to level the score as the Flyers were only 7 seconds away from their first win.
On to overtime we were and Orangeville seemed energized in spite of giving up the late goal as they came out flying in the extra period outshooting St. Mikes by a 2-1 margin but it wasn’t enough to end the game and we were off to a shootout. After Evans scored for the Buzzers and Stepanis scored for Orangeville it came down to the final shooters. It was here that the hopes of home town fans were finally dashed as Matt Alvaro put St. Mikes up for good and Ackerland was up able to extend it to extra shooters. St. Mikes picked up the victory 5-4 in a shootout.
West Division 3 Stars
1)Nick Desimone (Buf)
A big week for the East Amherst, New York native who picked up 3 goals and 4 assists in 4 games helping the Jr Sabres to 6 out of a possible 8 points
2)Matt Smith (Ham)
The ’95 born forward picked up 2 goals and 3 assists for the Red Wings this week in helping them pick up 6 out of 6 points. Was instrumental in the win against Milton on Monday where he picked up 4 of his points.
3)Austin Rigney (Ora)
While the Flyers didn’t pick up a win this week they did play arguably their best hockey of the season and the play of Austin Rigney on the back end was a big reason why. He was also able to help chip in with 3 goals
Rookie of the Week
Michael Ederer (Buffalo)
With 4 games in 7 days this week the Jr Sabres needed balance from their offence to survive and Ederer helped provide just that by scoring in each of Buffalo’s first 3 games of the week. His 3 goals on the week helped Buffalo pick up 6 out of 8 points from games against the likes of Georgetown, Newmarket, Kingston and Whitby all top foes in the OJHL.
Honourable mention: Alex Richie (Mil) 2g 1a in 4 games
Team of the Week
Hamilton Red Wings
6 points in 3 games for the Hamilton Red Wings this week as they are proving that their fast start is anything but an aberration. The scary thing about the Red Wings is that how young they are. This is a group that has a chance to grow together and cause some damage in the years to come.
The week started off with a home tilt up on the mountain against divisional foe Milton. A quick 4 goals in the opening period allowed them to cruise to a 7-4 victory. The next two weren’t as easy but showed that this is a team with a never quit attitude as they came from behind to win in a shootout against Cobourg after being down 2 in the 3rd period. On Sunday night the Toronto Jr Canadians jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead but Hamilton stormed back in the 2nd and eventually took home a 5-4 win.
Honourable mention: Buffalo Jr Sabres
Game of the Week Preview
Trenton Golden Hawks @ Orangeville Flyers Saturday October 5th 730 PM
It may be strange picking a team that has 2 points in 9 games to be in the game of the week but the Orangeville Flyers have been playing some of their best hockey. With the Trenton Golden Hawks coming in from the East Division were all 5 teams have winning records this may be the must watch of the week. The Flyers are starting to get more scoring depth and they will need it but they will also need big games out of their big guns and Peter Angelopoulos will need to start putting pucks in the back of the net again. This will be the 2nd game in 2 nights for Trenton a team that hasn’t played their best on the road. This is the type of game Orangeville needs to take if they want to turn their season around.