With the first half of the Ontario Hockey League season mostly complete, now is a good time to look back on some of the memorable moments – and noteworthy stats – before teams return to action December 27.
• THE STANDINGS •
- The London Knights are at the top of the league, with 60 points and a 29-5-0-2 record. They also lead the OHL with 145 goals-for and are third-best with 88 goals allowed in 36 games.
- The Peterborough Petes rest at the other end of the spectrum, with a record of 8-23-3-1 and 20 points in 35 games. Their 140 goals-against is not the most in the league, however; that honors belongs to the Ottawa 67s.
- The Oshawa Generals, Barrie Colts, Sarnia Sting and Knights top their respective divisions, while the Owen Sound Attack are second-best in the league with 49 points.
- Going into the break, the Generals are on a three-game winning streak, as are the Soo Greyhounds and Erie Otters. Sarnia has won eight of its last nine, while the Colts are on a two-game winning streak.
• THE LEADERS •
- A pair of Ice Dogs are at the top of the rankings; Ryan Strome leads the league in points (62), while Brett Ritchie leads the league in goals (27), tied with Boone Jenner of the Oshawa Generals. Strome also tops the OHL with a plus-34 in 32 games played.
- Charles Sarault (Sarnia) leads the league in assists (41).
- Connor Brown (Erie) has 12 power-play goals on the season, while Owen Sound’s Cameron Brace has four shorthanded goals.
- Belleville’s Jordan Subban is five-for-five in shootouts this year.
- A trio of players have each scored game-winning goals in overtime twice this season: Mark Schiefele (Barrie), Nick Cousins (Soo), and Seth Griffith (London).
• KITCHENER’S GOLD AT HOME •
One of the most notable aspects of this season so far has been Kitchener’s home record. Although the Rangers have lost the past few games at the Aud, they won their first nine games at home before dropping a 4-3 decision to London.
In their first 13 games at home, Kitchener lost only twice – with both losses coming to the Knights. Of the team’s 19 wins on the season, 11 have come at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium – an outstanding 58 percent.
The Rangers have dropped their last four home games (to Guelph, Belleville, Ottawa and Erie) but will look to rebound when they return home on December 28 against Barrie.
• LONDON’S 21…. AND COUNTING •
One streak that has caught much attention lately – and may continue – is the London Knights’ franchise-record-breaking 21 game winning streak, which dates back to November 2. Since then, the team has accrued wins over a number of OHL teams including Belleville, Guelph, Sudbury, Kitchener, Barrie, Brampton, Niagara and Sarnia.
Twenty different Knights players have at least one point during the streak, with a number of players racking up multi-point games and multi-game streaks.
Bo Horvat is on a nine-game point streak, having scored seven goals and six assists since November 30. Chris Tierney is on a four-game point streak, while Matt Rupert has points in six of the last seven games.
Leading the way for London during the streak has been right winger Seth Griffith, who has 12 goals and 23 assists in the past 21 games and has been pointless in just three games during the Knights’ winning streak.
Griffith also leads the team with 58 points (25-33) on the season; he is third in the league in that category.
Center Max Domi, who is second on the Knights in points scoring this season, has 11 goals and 13 assists in the 21-game winning stretch.
The Knights will look to continue the record-breaking streak when the Windsor Spitfires roll into town on December 27.
• NO ROOKIE MISTAKES •
Leading the way for rookies this season has been 15-year-old Connor McDavid, who has scored 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points in 35 games this season; he leads the OHL in all three statistics, as well as the points/game average (1.14).
Kingston’s Spencer Watson has scored 29 points in 34 games with the Frontenacs, while Ottawa’s Dante Salituro and Brampton’s Blake Clarke each have 28 points in 36 games.
McDavid is second on the Otters in scoring (behind captain Connor Brown), while Watson is a pair of points shy of Darcy Greenaway for the Frontenacs point lead.
Other names near the top of rookie scoring in the OHL include Nikolay Goldobin and Sergey Tolchinsky, along with Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang.
• IN THE CREASE •
Rangers netminder Franky Palazzese leads the league with a 1.94 GAA average, with Malcolm Subban (Belleville) coming in second with a 2.17 GAA. Palazzese also leads the OHL with his .935 save percentage, with Subban once again behind him with a .932.
Subban has a 15-7-3-0 record, while Palazzese has a 6-3-1-4 record. Kevin Bailie, Jordan Binnington and John Gibson are also near the top of the rankings for goaltenders.
World Juniors hopefuls Garret Sparks, Jake Paterson and Oscar Dansk are also in the top 20 in the OHL in goals-against average.
Ontario Hockey League action returns with a pair of games on December 27. Saginaw visits Plymouth during a 2 p.m. game, with Windsor taking on the Knights in a 7 p.m. matchup.