Majors hope to bounce back against Peterborough

[audio:|titles=chris_majorspreview_podcast]Following an eye-opening 7-2 loss to the Ottawa 67’s on Sunday afternoon, the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors will try to right the ship as they host the Peterborough Petes Friday night at Hershey Centre.

The loss was the Majors’ first of the season and it dropped them from second to fifth place in the Canadian Hockey League’s weekly rankings.

Mississauga won its first three games before the loss to Ottawa, but turnovers and a hot opposing goaltender halted its early streak.

Ottawa’s Chris Perugini stopped 40 of the 42 shots he faced in stalling the Majors’ offence that had scored a minimum of four goals in each of their first three games.

Mississauga’s leading scorers Devante Smith-Pelly, Casey Cizikas and Justin Shugg were all held off the board and were a combined minus-two.

The Majors’ defence will need to keep an eye on Petes’ forward Matt Puempel. Hailing from Essex, Ont., he leads the league with nine points in five games and is averaging a goal per game through those first five contests.

Puempel was the CHL’s rookie of the year last season and put up 33 goals and 31 assists in 59 games and will be looked upon to provide Peterborough with some offence against Mississauga.

Anderson needs to be better

After two straight one-goal games to start the year, the Majors’ J.P. Anderson faltered against Ottawa, lasting just over 30 minutes and allowing six goals on just 22 shots.

Anderson has been riding a high since being signed to a pro contract by the San Jose Sharks after he was skipped over by all 30 NHL teams in his draft year.

Although the majority of scoring chances given up by the Majors were the result of a plethora of turnovers and sloppy neutral zone play, Anderson needs to be stronger in games where the defence struggles in order to win close contests.

Special teams needs work

If Mississauga wants to continue its success heading into their Memorial Cup season, its needs to be more effective on its special teams.

Against the 67’s, the Majors allowed three power-play goals and couldn’t score on two-man advantages of their own.

Gregg Sutch took the first two Majors penalties of the game, both slashing minors resulting in power-play goals against.

Mississauga needs to get their legs moving to minimize stick infractions if they want to keep up with the Petes.

Where is Chris Doyle?

The Majors picked up QMJHL convert Chris Doyle in the off-season in hopes of cashing in on the point-per-game pace he established while playing with the Prince Edward Island Rocket and the Victoriaville Tigres.

On a deep Majors roster, Doyle has slipped under the radar and hasn’t posted a point in his first four OHL contests.

If Mississauga is looking for a guy to step up against the 2-2 Petes, expect Doyle to be up to the task as he searches for his first OHL points.