It was a big week for the OJHL West Division this week as Orangeville picked up their 1st win of the season with an upset over the Trenton Golden Hawks. Not to be outdone the Burlington Cougars went out Sunday and picked up their 2nd win of the season in an equally shocking upset over the #13th ranked team in the CJHL the Kingston Voyageurs. The Georgetown Raiders shook up their team by dealing their starting goalie after ’97 born Michael McNiven was assigned from the OHLs Owen Sound Attack. In his first game Michael would pick up the victory. The Milton Ice Hawks also bad a move by picking up former OHL defenseman Ramon Lopez who would pick up a goal in Saturdays win against Burlington. The division leaders from Buffalo and Hamilton had a quite week with each picking up a win in their only games against Burlington and Orangeville respectively.
Game of the Week Review
Trenton Golden Hawks @ Orangeville Flyers
Heading into this game the Orangeville Flyers were winless in 11 games and only had 2 points to their name but their recently play suggested that things could be turning around for the better. 2 3rd period leads against St. Mikes, a 3 goal 2nd period lead against Hamilton and tied with 5 minutes left in the 3rd against Lindsay but all ended up in losses.
After a 44 save performance the night before Taylor Welsh was back in net for the Flyers and another monumental game would be needed. Trenton came out firing in the first period but it was a 16 year old rookie for the for the Flyers who would find the back of the net first as Lucas Smilsky would notch his 3rd of the season to give the Flyers the lead. However some mid period penalty trouble would for the Flyers would get Trenton back in the game as Brady Wiffen would put home the power play marker. It was a period that would be dominated by Trenton as they would hold a 14-5 shot advantage after 1 but a quick reply by Peter Angelopoulos following the tying goal would give the Flyers the lead heading into the intermission. The 3rd time in 4 games they would hold such a lead, the only question is would they be able to hold onto it?
If you thought the shot clock was dominated by Trenton in the 1st period it was nothing compared to the 2nd as once again they dictated the play. Again it was penalties that hurt the Flyers as Trenton had the first 3 power plays of the 2nd which ultimately helped lead to a 19-3 2nd period shot advantage. Brady Wiffen once again was the man who was able to solve Welsh as his 2nd game came just as the 3rd power play expired. As the period came to an end the Flyers were finally able to get some calls their way but were not able to sustain much pressure and with a 33-8 shot advantage through 2 periods you had to wonder if Taylor Welsh could keep the game close.
The Orangeville Flyers were in need of someone to step up and take charge for the team who needed to find a way to win after so many close calls. It is no surprise that the man who stepped up was star forward Peter Angelopoulos. Already with a goal in the game Angelopoulos would put the Flyers up again with an unassisted shorthanded goal at the 7:08 mark of the 3rd. Not to be deterred the Golden Hawks continued to apply the pressure as they would send another 18 shots and the Orangeville net but once again it was Peter Angelopoulos to the rescue as he would complete the hat trick with another unassisted goal with less than 5 minutes to go. Trenton would not find the back of the net again and Orangeville in their 12th game would pick up their 1st victory behind a heroic performance from Taylor Welsh and Peter Angelopoulos.
West Division 3 stars
Taylor Welsh (Ora)
After appearing in relief in the 3rd period in a Monday loss to Hamilton Taylor Welsh stood on his head in back to back performances on Friday and Saturday. For the week Taylor would stop 104 of the 112 shots he would face including a 49 save performance that would lead Orangeville to their 1st win of the season
Jeremy Gottzman (Bur)
After missing almost a month due to injury Jeremy returned and added a much needed boost to the Cougars offence. After being shutout by Buffalo on Tuesday Jeremy would score 3 of the Cougars 6 goals the rest of the week including a 2 goal performance against Kingston in a big upset victory on Sunday
Mathew Thompson (Ora)
One of the hottest players in the league right now Mathew picked up 1g and 5a in 3 games for the Flyers this week and now has points in 4 straight games. Mathew along with Peter Angelopoulos form one of the most dangerous duos in the OJHL
Rookie of the Week
Connor Bramwell (Ham)
Hamilton only played one game this week but Connor scored 2 big 2nd period goals in helping the Red Wings pick up a big come from behind victory over the Orangeville Flyers. Connor now has 5 on the season and 3 in his last 2 games.
Honourable mention Michael McNiven (Geo) made 37 saves in his OJHL debut picking up the win
Team of the Week
Orangeville Flyers and Burlington Cougars
We have co-teams of the week this week as I couldn’t decide between the two. Both were only 1-2 on the week but they both ended with big home upsets, Orangeville over the Trenton Golden Hawks and Burlington over the Kingston Voyageurs. While both teams have put themselves in an early hole with their uneven play these are the types of wins that can turn a season around.
Game of the Week Preview
Milton Ice Hawks @ Buffalo Jr Sabres Wednesday October 16th
The Icehawks are coming off of 2 straight wins following a tough 7 game losing streak. New aquision Ramon Lopez has helped solidify their defence and it will be needed as they head to Buffalo to face the Jr Sabres who happen to have the 2nd highest point percentage In the OJHL at .773. This will be Buffalo’s first game in 8 days but it is always difficult for teams to travel to Amherst. Their overall team depth will challenge Milton in what should be a great game.