The Ottawa 67’s will have a couple new faces in the lineup this weekend as they hit the road for a stretch of three games in three days.
After a busy week leading up to the OHL trade deadline, the 67’s are now home to overage forwards Kyle Maksimovich and Lucas Chiodo, who were acquired in a pair of deals mid-week. They won’t be the only additions for this trip though, as both forward Sasha Chmelevski and goalie Mike DiPietro will re-join the club after time away at the World Juniors.
With the new acquisitions, Ottawa now has four players in the top 15 OHL scores, including leading scorer Tye Felhaber, Austen Keating, Maksimovich and Chiodo.
The Barber Poles are currently on a two-game winning streak, scoring seven goals in their last game and shutting out the Barrie Colts the game before. Having won seven of their last 10, Ottawa is looking to add to their lead atop the OHL standings. No better way to build a strong team chemistry with the new guys than to go on a weekend three-in-three road trip.
Sarnia Sting (18-17-5-2)
6th place in the Western Conference with 43 points in the standings, the Sting is holding on to one of the final playoff spots in the west. Currently on a five game losing streak, Derian Hatcher’s team will be looking for a boost in confidence with a win against one of the top teams in the OHL, the Ottawa 67’s. After a rather quiet trade deadline, where Sarnia traded away key players Anthony Salinitri and Adam Ruzicka, the Sting will now mainly be led by Swedish forward Hugo Leufvenius and center Ryan McGregor. Both forwards are playing very well this year, both putting up more than a point per game. A player to watch as well from Sarnia is rookie Jacob Perreault, who leads all first-year players in the OHL with 37 points in just as many games. The last time these two teams played, the Barber Poles had defeated the Sting by a score of 8-4 in a game where Sasha Chmelevski had a four point night. Fortunately for the Sting, Chmelevski will not be in uniform for this meeting.
London Knights (26-6-4-1)
This one pits the league’s two top teams against each other. Already counting on one of the better rosters in the OHL, London had to replace Alex Formenton, who went down during Team Canada WJC camp a few weeks ago. The Knights made a splash during the trade period to acquire overage forward Kevin Hancock, the third leading scorer in the league. Hancock joins a very good team that also counts on two players who starred at the World Juniors in Evan Bouchard and Adam Boqvist. In nets, Joseph Raaymakers has been the man for the Knights since the start of the season, and has been lights out, with a record of 16-3-2-1. 67’s fans will remember the last meeting between these two teams, when Austen Keating gave the Barber Poles a last second win, beating the buzzer in overtime. This game will be broadcasted on Sportsnet, so make sure to tune in and watch.
Guelph Storm (20-12-3-4)
One of the more active teams on the trade market, Guelph have a whole different look from what they lined up with at the start of the season. Surprising a lot of people during the opening of the trade period by sending star defenseman Ryan Merkley to Peterborough in exchange of forward Pavel Gogolev and others, the Storm made what was one of the bigger splashes this week by acquiring Nick Suzuki, Sean Durzi and Zach Roberts from the Owen Sound Attack. Two other names worth mentioning, both members of Team Canada at the WJC are forward Maxkenz8ie Entwistle and defenseman Markus Phillips, who were recently acquired by Guelph in addition . Winners of 6 out of their last 10 games, the Storm are now trying to prove themselves to the rest of the OHL as serious contender, and they will look to make that statement by beating the top team in the league, the Ottawa 67’s.
- Sasha Chmelevski and Mikey DiPietro will be joining their teammates in Sarnia for the game on Friday. There has not been word on who will be in nets for the Barber Poles, but DiPietro will be dressed. Chmelevski will be in uniform starting Saturday against London.
- The acquisitions of Kyle Maksimovich and Lucas Chiodo means that the 67’s are adding a combined total of 42 goals, 64 assists for 106 points between both players.
- Tye Felhaber is currently on a 14 game point streak, in which he has put up 20 goals and 29 total points.
- With DiPietro making his return to the lineup, the 67’s now count on two goalies amongst the top five in the OHL for goals against average. Dipietro is 1st with a GAA of 2.26, while Andree is 4th in the league with a GAA of 2.53.