Adam Mascherin hat trick – Mascherin has scored 103 regular season goals in the OHL, his hat trick on December 5th was his first, despite registering 17 two-goal games during his career. He’s also scored a goal seven straight games.
Ryan Merkley – He has been kicking some serious butt offensively with points in 18 of his last 19 games, with 7 goals and 22 assists in that span. He’s also the only OHL Dman currently leading his team in scoring.
Saginaw Spirit – I wrote about the Spirit a few weeks back, about how I think they should be contenders, and they continue to convince me that should be the case. They haven’t relied on one or two guys, but have been getting input up and down the line up lately. In fact, Cole Coskey is their only player averaging more than a point per game.
The Shorthanded Soo – The Hounds have been the OHL’s best team over the last month or so, and while there are many reasons why, their penalty kill is definitely one of them. It’s the fifth best PK in the OHL (81.6%) but they’ve scored a league-high 13 shorthanded goals, the next highest team has eight. They also led the OHL with 22 shorties last season. Boris Katchouk leads the league with seven shorthanded goals.
World Juniors – Who makes it and who wont. Every year it seems there are a handful of omissions from Canada roster, how many OHLers will be in Buffalo, and how will that impact their club teams during their month-long absence. A handful of OHLers could be impact players for Canada, as well as other countries.
Victor Mete – Speaking of the WJC, now that the Montreal Canadiens have loaned teenage Dman Victor Mete to Team Canada, what does that mean for him when the tournament ends in July. I’m sure the London Knights would welcome Mete back with open arms.
Kitchener special teams – Kitchener has been very curious on special teams this season, as their powerplay and penalty killing success varies significantly whether they are home or away. At home, their powerplay is 7th (25.4%) while they are 16th (14.7%) on the road. Their penalty kill is the other way around, their PK is 16th at home (75.8%) but it’s the OHL’s best PK on the road (86.1%).
Those ‘Hounds, so hot right now – The Greyhounds have won 18 straight, lead the OHL in points and are the top ranked team in the latest AOHL Power Rankings and CHL top ten rankings. They haven’t lost since a 6-3 defeat vs Sarnia at the end of October, they’ve been on fire since and have bested the Sting twice during their recent streak.
Aaron Luchuk – Leads the OHL with 28 goals, and is second with 51 points. Windsor as a team has scored 101 goals. You do the math, Luchuk has factored in on just over half of Windsor’s goals this season, and has almost twice as many points as the next highest Spit. (That is helped by Logan Brown only playing in 15 games so far, in which he’s scored 13 goals and 24 points).
Owen Sound’s Attack – Offence hasn’t been the issue, as only Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie have scored more goals than Owen Sound, but are averaging an eye opening 4.1 goals against this season. I knew they’d take a hit in that department with the graduation of Michael McNiven, but I didn’t think it’d be this significant. The Attack acquired Olivier Lafreniere this week to help stabilize things, which is desperately needed for the 8th place Attack.
Mississauga – Just as it looked like they were turning things around the team is struggling once again with nine straight losses. I can’t imagine they’ll improve much with some top players at the WJC. If they don’t improve, maybe they look at moving Mikey McLeaod and Nic Hague?
Hamilton Bulldogs – A team with solid goaltending and an experience blue line, they were just missing some scoring. I think they got that when they added Caamano and Moore from Flint. It’ll be interesting to see who in the East responds as we approach the trade deadline.