After an eight-game set in the OHL last night, the Saturday schedule had six games on the board, including the debut of Connor McDavid in the nation's capital and three teams go for their first win of the season.
Erie Otters 1 (at) Ottawa 67's 8
Tyler Graovac jump-started the 67's offense by scoring a natural hat trick in the first 8:07 of the game as the hosts blew out the Otters 8-1 for their first win of the season at the Scotiabank Place. The 67's got three points each from Remy Giftopolous (two goals, one assist) and Brett Gustavsen (one goal, two assists) while Jacob Blair was between the pipes to make 22 saves. The 67's also got goals from Sean Monahan and Connor Brown while the Otters' Connor Brown provided the lone goal for his team. The game marked the nation's capital debut of 15-year old Connor McDavid, who registered an assist.
Sudbury Wolves 2 (at) Plymouth Whalers 6
Rickard Rakell and Tom Wilson each scored twice and Matt Mahalak recorded 27 saves as the Whalers won their first game of the 2012-13 campaign with a 6-2 win at the Compuware Arena. Cody Payne and Matt Mistele also cashed in with one goal apiece and defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto registered three assists for the Whalers. Justin Sefton and Samuel Schutt found the net for the visiting Wolves.
Oshawa Generals 5 (at) Belleville Bulls 2
Boone Jenner registered two goals and an assist and Daniel Altshuller made 22 saves as the visiting Generals ruined the Bull's home opener with a 5-2 win at the Yardmen Arena. The Generals also got goals from Scott Sabourin, Brian Hughes and Tyler Biggs while Sergei Kuptsov and Jordan Subban provided the goal scoring for the Bulls. Malcolm Subban stopped 28 shots in the loss.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3 (at) Saginaw Spirit 2 (OT)
Nick Cousins scored the game-winning goal at the three-minute mark of overtime as the visiting Greyhounds rallied to beat the Spirit at the Dow Event Center. The visitors also got goals from David Broll and Michael Schumacher, who sent the game into overtime as he tied the game with 43 seconds left in regulation. It was a goaltending duel between two third-round picks from this past June's NHL Draft as Matt Murray (Pittsburgh Penguins) won this round by stopping 30 shots for the Greyhounds while Spirit netminder Jake Paterson (Detroit Red Wings) made 33 saves in a losing cause. Greyhounds defenseman Ryan Sproul registered three assists while Eric Locke and Frank Schumacher scored one goal apiece for the Spirit.
Sarnia Sting 2 (at) Owen Sound Attack 1
Connor Murphy scored a power-play goal, his first of the season, with 8:41 left in the third period, giving the Sting their first win of the season at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Memorial Centre. Charles Sarault scored a short handed goal 3:35 before Murphy's game-clincher and J.P. Anderson was back between the pipes to make 28 saves for the Sting. Keevin Cutting scored the lone goal for the host Attack, who got 40 saves from Brandon Hope in a losing effort.
Mississauga Steelheads 1 (at) Barrie Colts 4
Zach Hall scored twice and Mathias Niederberger made 32 saves as the Colts beat the visiting Steelheads at the Barrie Molson Centre. Andreas Athanasiou registered two assists for the Colts, who got goals from Anthony Camara and Erik Bradford. Dylan DeMelo provided the lone goal for the visitors, who got 35 saves from Tyson Teichmann.
Other OHL News: Nail Yakupov will be skating for the Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik of the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) instead of the Sarnia Sting during the current NHL lockout. Hockey Canada originally refused to sign Yakupov's international transfer card, which required three signatures (from his KHL team, Yakupov himself and Hockey Canada), but changed their tune earlier Saturday morning. According to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Yakupov illegally participated in two games for the KHL club while he was awaiting approval for his transfer card and as a result, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation were fined 5,000 Swiss Francs ($5,320 US Dollars). In his two-year career in the "O", Yakupov, who was selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in this summer's NHL Draft, was a force for the Sting as he scored 80 goals and 90 assists in 107 career games.
Photo of Boone Jenner courtesy Aaron Bell/OHL Images.