The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors play their first home game of the Ontario Hockey League season when they host the two-time defending Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET).
Mississauga won its first regular-season game last Friday in a convincing 4-1 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs.
The Majors had the majority – minus two players taking part in NHL training camps – of their lineup on the ice against Kingston. They will add the last two key players for Friday’s contest.
Forwards Riley Brace and Gregg Sutch have been reassigned to the Majors from their respective NHL camps and will take to the ice for the first time against Windsor.
Mississauga has dipped to second overall in the Canadian Hockey League overall rankings for Week 2, but Sutch is excited to hit the ice to help his club regain that top spot.
“There is no better team to come back to right now than the Majors,” said Sutch.
“It comes with a challenge because the bar is pretty high for us this year. I’m excited and I’m a lot more confident coming into this year. I had a good pre-season and I’m hoping I’m another big body that helps this team.”
Don’t count out the Spits
Despite losing first-overall pick Taylor Hall and linemate Adam Henrique to the pro ranks, the Spitfires will pose a challenge for the Majors.
Windsor has named world junior stud defenceman Ryan Ellis the team’s captain for the this season and he’s sure to see a lot of ice time in all situations. He’s the team’s power-play quarterback and will be expected to immediately jump into the Spitfires’ offence now that he has returned from his NHL training camp in Nashville.
The Spitfires are also looking solid between the pipes with American junior national team star Jack Campbell taking the reins.
Campbell looked shaky in Windsor’s 4-0 loss to the Sarnia Sting last Friday, but the 2010 11th overall pick should return to form as he settles into his first OHL season.
Additions key for Majors
Mississauga has found its offence early with the off-season additions, and will look for more of the same against Windsor.
Left-winger Justin Shugg, who scored 39 goals for Windsor last season, had a great opening game for the Majors, scoring a goal and adding a helper.
Centre Chris Doyle, who split last season between the Prince Edward Island Rocket and Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is still getting used to the Ontario game.
Doyle has 240 points in 235 career QMJHL games and the Majors hope he quickly returns to his 2007-2008 form, a season in which he scored 30 goals and added 42 helpers.