The Ontario Hockey League returned to normalcy this week as the Kingston Frontenacs run of success came to an end.
This was just one of the many stories, in this week’s OHL roundup.
Kingston Frontenacs (3-3-0-0)
After going 3-0 for the first time in 15 years, and remaining the only undefeated team in the Ontario Hockey League, the Frontenacs were snapped back to reality with their performance over the holiday weekend.
Kingston lost three straight games to Brampton, Oshawa and Sudbury and were out shot to the tune of 112-85.
Fortunately for the Frontenacs it wasn’t all bad news — every loss was the result of one bad period.
If Kingston can clean up its defence a little and play a full 60 minutes, they might be able to string enough wins together and finish above .500 for the first time in three years.
Ottawa 67’s (1-5-0-0)
The Ottawa 67’s continue to struggle this season after finishing as the Eastern Conference runner up in 2011-12.
Part of the blame falls on rookie goaltender Jacob Blair, who allowed 11 goals in only two games versus Sudbury, and Belleville.
Blair, and fellow netminder Keegan Wilson, rank among the league’s worst in goals against average, and have allowed the third most goals in the OHL despite playing in only six games.
Meanwhile, goaltender Michael Nishi, who was released a week before the regular season started by Ottawa, continues to play well with the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL, ranking 6th in the league in saves and 2.94 GAA.
Sarnia Sting (3-3-0-1)
With Nail Yakupov officially cleared by the CHL to play for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL, the Sting’s offence is sure to suffer from the loss of the team’s most dynamic offensive player.
However, Sarnia more than doubled its season output by scoring 11 goals, and winning two of three games over the weekend.
And it was this year’s third-overall draft pick, Alex Galchenyuk, that finally broke out of his mini-slump to begin the season.
Galchenyuk potted three goals and six points after scoring only three points in the first four games of the season.
Also breaking out of its slow start was the Sting’s power play unit, one that went 6-for-15 over the weekend after scoring only twice in its first 22 chances.
Kitchener Rangers (3-2-0-1)
The Kitchener Rangers lost both games this weekend, although one was in a shootout. However, what’s more concerning is their inability to score goals.
The Rangers have failed to score more than three goals in any game, sitting in second-last place with only 13 tallies in six games despite finishing sixth last season.
Luckily, Kitchener’s goaltending has been nothing shy of outstanding.
John Gibson leads the league in both goals against average, and save percentage, while his partner Franky Palazzese sits third and fourth respectively.
So despite the losses not all is lost in Rangerville, and once the Kitchener starts producing more offensively, they’ll look more like the team expected to compete for the Western Conference crown.
Oshawa Generals (6-1-0-0)
After losing their first and still only game of the season, Oshawa has won five straight and scored four or more goals in all of those contests.
Continuing to lead the way is OHL leading scorer Boone Jenner, who had a goal and four points over the weekend, as the Generals won both of their games.
Helping along the way were Scott Laughton, and rookie Michael Dal Colle. Laughton had three points and the game winner in overtime against Belleville, while Dal Colle, the first-year player from Vaughan, Ont., had two goals and two assists.
With the victories, the Generals will surely continue to hold onto the CHL top 10 ranking after cracking into the rankings at ninth last week.