OHL Weekend Notebook: Feb. 27, 2023

Ontario Hockey League
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The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice.

Historic weekend for Colts
The Barrie Colts had a trio of big success stories over the weekend, starting with three straight victories. Barrie defeated the Erie Otters 5-1 at home on Thursday before Saturday’s 6-3 win over the Oshawa Generals saw Marty Williamson become the winningest coach in franchise history. Williamson’s 306th regular season win behind the Barrie bench pushed him ahead of the late Dale Hawerchuk, placing him at the top of the franchise list. Sunday’s 9-4 road win over the Niagara IceDogs saw captain Brandt Clarke finish the game with a goal and an assist, with his first period tally giving him 135 career points, one more than Luch Nasato (1995-98) for the most by a defenceman in Barrie Colts franchise history. Sunday’s win also ensured the Colts a spot in the 2023 OHL Playoffs as they improved to 34-15-6-2 with their fourth straight win, one point back of first place North Bay in the Central Division.

Storm surging with four straight wins
The Guelph Storm gave fans a succcessful week at the Sleeman Centre, rattling off three straight wins in their pursuit of home ice advantage in the OHL Playoffs. Monday’s 6-2 Family Day win over Owen Sound led into a 7-3 victory over the Soo Greyhounds Friday night as Max Namestnikov scored a career-high four goals, with three coming on the man advantage. Storm captain Cooper Walker forced overtime in Sunday’s win over the London Knights, tying the score with 1:08 remaining before Washington Capitals prospect and Guelph local Jake Karabela struck 1:47 into the extra frame. St. Louis Blues prospect Michael Buchinger finished the week with eight points (1-7–8) from the blue line while veteran shooter Braeden Bowman racked up nine of his own (4-5–9). Guelph is currently tied with Owen Sound for fifth in the Western Conference, two points back of fourth place Saginaw.

Sting go on offensive tear
The Sarnia Sting dropped a 4-3 shootout decision in London on Friday, and proceeded to fill the net on Saturday and Sunday. The Sting got a late start in Saginaw due to bus difficulties on Saturday, but didn’t skip a beat, thumping the Spirit 6-1. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ty Voit earned first star honours with a goal and two helpers, continuing his production into Sunday’s 8-2 home win over North Bay with three helpers. Anaheim Ducks prospect Sasha Pastujov was the first star of Sunday’s win, recording two goals and two assists to give him 80 points (33-47–80) in 48 games this season. Nashville Predators prospect Nolan Burke wrapped up the weekend with 40 goals on the season, one of three OHL players to hit the mark this season. Sarnia holds down third place in the Western Conference with a record of 31-17-5-3.

Wolves do their part with perfect road trip
The Sudbury Wolves need wins and they collected three more on the road over the weekend, taking six points away from a three-in-three set. The Wolves defeated the Niagara IceDogs 5-2 on Friday night before David Goyette scored goals 33 and 34 in the third period of Saturday’s 5-4 triumph over the Erie Otters. 2023 NHL Draft prospect Quentin Musty picked up four primary assists in Saturday’s win while Nate Krawchuk improved to 10-6-1-0, making 38 saves. The Wolves wrapped-up the trip with a 3-1 win in Hamilton on Sunday as Nicholas Yearwood’s second of the season was the difference-maker and Kocha Delic earned first star recognition with a goal and an assist. The win pulled Sudbury to within two points of sixth place Hamilton in the Eastern Conference.

Barlow nets two game winners
2023 NHL Draft prospect Colby Barlow continues to come through in big spots for the Owen Sound Attack. The Orillia, Ont. native scored his 39th of the season 1:16 into overtime as the Bears edged the Rangers 3-2 behind a 48-save performance from rookie netminder Carter George. Barlow was back at it at the Bayshore on Saturday, scoring goals 40 and 41 on the season as the Attack let a big lead slip away, only to salvage two points on Barlow’s league-leading 12th game winning goal. Landen Hookey’s first OHL hat trick headlined the 7-5 win over the London Knights as the Attack sit tied for fifth in the Western Conference.

Othmann productive as Petes look to solidify home ice
The Peterborough Petes won back-to-back games last week, stretching their winning streak to four as Brennan Othmann collected six points (2-4–6) across Thursday and Friday’s victories. The maroon and white defeated the West Division-leading Windsor Spitfires on Thursday as Othmann faced off against former U16 AAA teammate Shane Wright in the Seattle Kraken prospect’s return to the lineup. Othmann picked up three assists on Thursday before tacking on two goals and an assist in Friday’s 5-2 road win over the Oshawa Generals. Petes netminder Michael Simpson has been lights out of late, recently recording back-to-back shutouts as he’s won all four of the club’s games on their current run. Peterborough enters a new week holding a two-point edge on fifth place Mississauga in the Eastern Conference.

Generals close-out weekend with overtime thriller
With every point precious at this point in the season, the Oshawa Generals battled to two more big ones on Sunday night as Calum Ritchie set up Dylan Roobroeck for the OT winner in a 5-4 victory over visiting Ottawa. Veteran 67’s forward Logan Morrison forced overtime with his tying goal in the last minute, but Oshawa scooped up the extra point as Roobroeck scored his 14th of the season on a highlight reel feed from Ritchie. Sophomore forward Matthew Buckley scored twice, with both goals coming shorthanded. He’s the first General to score twice shorthanded in the same game since Michael Del Zotto last did so on Jan. 13, 2008 against Kingston. The Gennies hold down the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with a current three-point edge on Kingston.

Brochu moves into second in all-time Knights goaltending wins
Overage veteran Brett Brochu is officially the second-winningest goaltender in London Knights history. The Belle River, Ont. product made 30 saves and stopped three shootout attempts in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Sarnia Sting, moving ahead of Gene Chiarello (1996-2000) with his 85th career win. The Knights have 11 games remaining on their schedule, and Brochu is currently eight wins shy of Michael Houser’s (2009-12) all-time franchise record of 93 career victories. The Knights currently sit atop the Western Conference standings with a record of 40-15-2-0.

Firebirds’ Day earns fourth straight win on Sunday
It’s been back-and-forth in the Flint Firebirds crease all season, but Nathan Day has chiseled out more playing time lately as the 18-year-old earned back-to-back wins over North Bay and Saginaw at home this past weekend. Day made 26 saves in Sunday’s win, including a late game-saver to deny Matyas Sapovaliv on the doorstep as Flint remained within two points of fifth place in the Western Conference, defeating the rival Spirit 3-2. Amadeus Lombardi reached the 80-point plateau with his 38th goal of the season in Sunday’s win while Chicago Blackhawks prospect Gavin Hayes stretched his current point streak to 11 games. The Firebirds have another pair of games at home next weekend when Windsor and Guelph visit the Dort Financial Center.

Record-breaking Heyes red hot for Frontenacs
Gage Heyes made Kingston Frontenacs history on Sunday. The 18-year-old from Oshawa, Ont. scored nine seconds apart in an 8-4 loss to the Windsor Spitfires, a new Frontenacs all-time franchise record that eclipsed the mark of 10 seconds previously set by Geoff Schneider on Dec. 1, 1990 against Ottawa. Heyes has been productive despite Kingston’s current seven-game losing skid, recording seven points (3-4–7) in his last three outings.

Troops clinch playoff spot despite disappointing results to end weekend
The North Bay Battalion had things buttoned-down on Friday in Saginaw as Winnipeg Jets prospect Dom DiVincentiis recorded a 33-save shutout in a 4-0 blanking of the Spirit. It was an uphill battle from there though as North Bay fell 5-3 in Flint on Saturday and dropped an 8-2 decision in Sarnia on Sunday. Seattle Kraken prospect Ty Nelson provided a silver lining, setting a new single season goal-scoring mark by a blueliner during the Battalion franchise’s existence in North Bay with his 20th and 21st over the weekend. Nelson is six points shy of Michael Vernace’s 2005-06 franchise mark of 72 points from the blue line. The Battalion are playoff-bound but their lead atop the Central Division has shrunk to just one point as the Barrie Colts are winners of four straight and coming on strong. The Battalion is back at home on Thursday to face the Sudbury Wolves.

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