That Kid From Austria – Ottawa’s Marco Rossi Impresses On OHL Day In Cornwall

Fall has finally made its warm greeting into Canada and you know what that means. It’s hockey season! After a dreadfully hot summer it felt great getting into the crisp atmosphere of a hockey arena again. And I started my 2018/2019 season with quite the barn burner.

The Ottawa 67s and Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League graced the City of Cornwall with their exhibition presence on Labour Day. It was the first time the OHL had returned to Cornwall since 1993 when the Royals moved to Newmarket.

I didn’t think I was going to hop into scouting mode for an exhibition game but after a couple minutes into the first, I was kicking myself for not bringing a notepad.

Only one player really stood out to me and that’s unusual. I’ll usually pick a couple guys on each team to look at but this time was different. I could only focus on one kid because he was just that good.

I went into this game blind. I’ve been away from the major junior world for a bit now so I didn’t know who was who on the roster. I didn’t know who to look for and I didn’t know if any of these kids were drafted. What I do know is that one kid stole the show.

Mf131db750823a6f50d71d513d4fd0be2arco Rossi is a 16-year-old centre from Feldkirch, Austria.

You read that right.

Austria.

And you know what? This kid is going places.

Unbeknownst to me, Rossi was selected 18th overall in this year’s import draft by this 67s. He committed early which tells me he’s serious about his future. Picking the OHL at an early age is a hard-enough decision to make for North American skaters let alone somebody from across the pond. Commitment is half the battle.

What I saw on the ice was something I’ve seen lacking a lot in today’s junior game. One is hunger and the other is a hockey mind. Marco Rossi was the hungriest guy the ice. He never stopped from puck drop to the game ending horn. Lazy he is not a word in his vocabulary.

He created space if needed and played with his head. Always thinking. He was constantly moving, looking for any opportunity to present itself. He went hard to the net and was one of the only few on both teams who consistently got in the front of it.

It seemed to me that his hockey knowledge is vastly wise for his age. The maturity of play from this 16 year old is astounding. I mean, he still looks like a baby. Even with that white turtleneck tucked underneath.

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At 5’9 and according to Elite Prospects, 156 pounds, Rossi just flew up and down the ice. There is no worry about cement skates here. His skating ability is right up there on the list of his greatest assets. His edges are so clean, crisp and full of speed. Don’t even get me started on his back check. Which brings me back to the hunger. His hunger for the game made everybody else look a couple speeds slower then normal. Kingston was slow to begin with so they looked like molasses out there whenever Rossi was around.

Another thing I liked about him was that he really wasn’t afraid to throw a check and follow through. So many guys don’t finish their checks these days so it was refreshing to see. There is definitely a hint of the North American style play in his game already.

Rossi clocked in the first goal of the 3-2 shootout win for the 67s. Again, Rossi made the space and the play for himself and provided quite the stick handling procedure and accurate shot. Rossi liked to shoot in this game so it will be interesting to see how he adapts in the OHL. Last season he notched 51 points in 34 games with the GCK U20 Lions in the Elite JR. A league over in Switzerland. That looks great on paper but it might be difficult to translate that into high numbers on North American soil.

Hockey prodigy’s coming out of Austria are not unheard of but they are few and far between. Austria has been a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation since 1912 when they introduced their men’s team. They haven’t claimed a medal since the men claimed bronze in 1947. They are at almost 10,000 players registered with 75 outdoor and indoor rinks in the country. Compare that with Canada who has 631,000 registered players and 8,300 outdoor and indoor rinks. You do the math.

 

 

The National Hockey League is home to a few Austrians. Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner and Michael Raffl were likely dreamt about by a young Rossi as he skated on the rink. Is it premature to compare him to these fellow Austrian greats? I’d say yes if we were comparing styles of play. But if we’re just talking chances of making a GOOD career out of if? This early snapshot says he’s definitely on the radar. He’s already being lauded as a high pick in the 2020 draft.

What is going to help is he got picked up by a great team. Last year Ottawa was running near the bottom rungs in the standings. That’s a terrible position for the team but it’s great news for a skilled player. More ice time to go around.

I’m hoping for the best with Marco Rossi. He got me excited not only about hockey again but major junior hockey in general. Let’s see how he gets settled with the atmosphere of being on a Canadian hockey team and everything that goes with it. Hopefully his energy and determination will translate well onto the scoresheet. He is a much-needed breath of fresh air on the ice.

 

Hey, has anybody made Marco Polo/Barber Pole joke yet?? Get at it Ottawa 67s fans!!

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One on One with former Cornwall Royal, Jeff Reid

Originally published in the June 2014 issue of Sports Energy 

When it comes to the Cornwall Royals, fans always bring up the glory days of winning back to back Memorial Cups in the early 80’s. While that was a significant event in the team’s history, Cornwall had always iced a strong team until the early 90’s when the team was sold and relocated to Newmarket, Ontario.

(Photo: March Hockey collection.)
(Photo: March Hockey collection.)

Jeff Reid was a part of Cornwall’s last 3 seasons. Hailing from far away Owen Sound, Ontario, Reid started his hockey career like every other young lad in the country, following in his father’s footsteps. His days with the Junior B squad of the Owen Sound Greys led him to be drafted by Gord Woods and the Cornwall Royals in the 11th round.

Jumping at the chance to start his minor hockey career, Reid made the seven hour trek to the Seaway City and was placed with a passionate billet family, the Alexanders. “I had the same billet family the whole time I was there,” Reid recalls. “Mrs. Alexander really welcomed me and my roommates and made the transition of being away from home very easy.”

His first two years with the squad saw him play under the likes of Marc Crawford and John Lovell. Crawford taught them what it took to play professional hockey. “He participated in lots of the drills and would actually compete with us.”  Crawford, having just retired from professional hockey himself, was not afraid to compete with the team he was in charge of. “Many times he would finish his checks on us.” Reid remembers, “He actually bag-skated himself after a bad loss. He said he couldn’t play for us but he could skate for us. That was pretty powerful.” Lovell came in during the Royals last season in town. “Outstanding coach. I learned a great deal about hockey and how to be a good person from him.”

cornwall_royals_1991-92_front Reid remembers the incredible talent the team had. “Being able to watch and play with Owen Nolan was awesome. Score goals, hit and fight at the drop of the hat. He was an all-around hockey player.” Other names coming to mind were the great John Slaney, the late Guy Levesque, one of his roommate’s Ryan Vandenbussche and of course, his linemate Chris Clancy. “He was my big brother out there. He made me be able to play like I was 6’2”.”

The tandem of Reid and Clancy didn’t stop with the Royals. After his junior career, Reid turned professional and played with various minor pro teams across the United States. Teams such as the Las Vegas Thunder, Orlando Solar Bears and Raleigh IceCaps. Upon retiring from playing, an opportunity arose to headman the men’s hockey team at the University of Guelph. His assistants? Two aforementioned Royals alumni, Chris Clancy and John Lovell. “I was a young head coach and stayed with Guelph for nine years.” Reid says, “It took me a few years to figure out that hockey was a high priority, but the big picture was getting a degree and possibly having a pro opportunity after school. School was paramount.”

“Major junior isn’t for everyone and lots of players are late bloomers. The main difference between the OHL and collegiate is understanding what the players’ goals are.” Reid offers a bit of advice for future players. “I’m biased but Major Junior is the best of both worlds. Work to get your dream of playing professional hockey and if it doesn’t work out, school is there and paid for.”

As he reminisces about his time in Cornwall, Reid says the fans are the some of the memories that stick out the most. “The fans were very passionate about the Royals. The hockey was incredible.” In the same breath, he remembers the great Orval Tessier giving him his chance to excel. As Reid was a late draft pick, he got his chance after Winnipeg Jets prospect Jason Cirone was away at their camp and blew out his shoulder. “Orval signed me to a roster card. I was very grateful for the opportunity and went on to say I needed a new pair of skates.” Tessier didn’t say much and a couple of weeks later called Reid back into his office. “On his desk were a new pair of skates. He ordered them with two inch steel blades. He told me he was going to get me to 5”10 somehow.”

Reid has just finished up the hockey season as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. Here’s to seeing him behind the bench for a few more years to come.

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How the OHL can survive in Cornwall. Again.

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Word on the street is the Plymouth Whalers are on the move out of Michigan. First place that ownership would like to re-locate to is Chatham, Ontario. If sold, Cornwall could be the first place on the market. We have to realize that Cornwall is starting to grow and grow rapidly no matter what the nay-sayers say. The OHL would become a major attraction to the city.

Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time Cornwall has housed an OHL team. The second half of the Royals life played out in the OHL from 1983-1992. Poor attendance is what caused its demise and eventual move to Newmarket. Now, the franchise is known as the Sarnia Sting.

First issue you’d have to tackle is an arena housing three teams. Well, Cornwall is not big enough to support two major players in the River Kings and this new OHL franchise so guess what? Bye-bye River Kings for good.  All of the drama it went through would have been done for absolutely nothing.

The CCHL Junior A Colts are a perfect feeder for the new OHL team. Send them over to the Benson Centre and fill that place night in and night out. It’s really a no-brainer that way. Ian McInnis and company know how to develop players to an elite level and they wouldn’t have to go further than down the street to reach that next level.

Next step to tackle? The 1970s barn of the Ed Lumley Arena inside the Cornwall Civic Complex.

org_634958262246787825For nostalgia’s sake, I love the Complex. It’s a great venue for hockey but let’s be honest with ourselves. It would never work for a modern team in this day and age. It needs major upgrades. Brand new score-board, sound system, get rid of the dungeon locker rooms, etc. Best bet might be to tear the damn thing down and start fresh. That turns into a city council issue though.

Kingston did it. They tore down the old police station and built the K-Rock Centre and look at the beauty of the Kingston Frontenacs right now. Just with a new arena, the team was given life again. Either way, we need something done about the Complex.

Going inside the Complex, or new arena, the concessions need a local business handling things. No more trying to save money by outsourcing to other cities. (Can you believe that the concessions right now in that arena is home to a business from Kingston? The arena, the city, nor the teams that play there get any kick back from it.) You need that money for your team to survive.

Alright, so we’ve got a team, got an arena, now what do we need. That’s right.

FAN SUPPORT.

Yeah, that means you.

This is pretty much a no-brainer too. Cornwall would have to, at the very least, have 2500 fans at every home game. That will be done and then some. There are so many people in this city that still cry for the good times that the Royals brought that they would come out in droves to support this new team. Season ticket drives would be off the charts.

Bascially, you would need at least 2,000 season tickets sold and then another 1,500 that would show up to games. Easy peasey if you consider that businesses will buy season tickets too!

It’s a money maker for the city too. How many people would come in from all over to watch major junior hockey? A hell of a lot. A lot of fans do OHL road trips. You could hit Ottawa, Cornwall and Kingston in one shot to the see the future of the NHL.

(Just don't do this. Photo: Rick Bowen)
(Just don’t do this. Photo: Rick Bowen)

Advertising wouldn’t be an issue because we only have one team occupying that arena now. Businesses would flock to have their logos appear on national television. In fact, you’d have big, national, corporate sponsors knocking at your door to throw money your way. That’s something no hockey team is Cornwall has ever had and that’s the beauty of Major Junior hockey.

Like any new hockey franchise starting out, you’re not going to make money off the hop. Hell, you might not break even. However with a little patience and perseverance, it can turn into a goldmine which is what any major hockey playing team will end up in Cornwall in due time. I’m serious. That includes the poor old River Kings.

Major Junior is a whole different breed of monster. The people who buy teams and invest in them know that they will most likely lose some cash at the beginning but that’s hardly the point. The point is the game of hockey.

Finally, I’m going to mention something that I will likely get backlash for.

DO NOT CALL THE TEAM THE ROYALS.

My god, they’ve come, conquered and are now a thing of the past. Let’s leave them that way! What happens if this new team sucks and is a gong show for the next 10 years? The name is now tainted and that’s all anybody will remember.

It’s a new era of hockey in Cornwall.

It’s time to face the future.

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For nostalgia’s sake, and because I know how much the people of Cornwall love talking about this team, here is a list of NHLers who played junior for the OHL version of the Cornwall Royals.

·         Scott Arniel·         Bobby Babcock

·         Eric Calder

·         Jason Cirone

·         Larry Courville

·         Craig Duncanson

·         Jeff Eatough

·         Dan Frawley

·         Doug Gilmour·         Jim Kyte

·         Nathan LaFayette

·         Alan Letang

·         Guy Leveque

·         Steve Maltais

·         Owen Nolan

·         Mike Prokopec·         Rob Ray

·         Joe Reekie

·         Ken Sabourin

·         Mathieu Schneider

·         Ray Sheppard

·         John Slaney

·         Mike Stapleton·         Jeremy Stevenson

·         Rick Tabaracci

·         Tom Thornbury

·         Mike Tomlak

·         Ryan Vandenbussche

·         Michael Ware

 

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With OHL season over, Kingston Frontenacs Sam Bennett turns his attention to the NHL Entry Draft

Although the Kingston Frontenacs surprised most and bowed out of the first round of the OHL playoffs, most would seem to call it a day on this year’s hockey season. However, for a select couple of Fronts, they now turn their attention to the National Hockey League Entry Draft taking place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(Photo: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
(Photo: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

This is a monumental time in a junior, heck, every hockey player’s career. It can justify all the decisions that were made soundly or made in haste. Three players on the Frontenacs squad are looking at being taken by teams in the first round. Roland McKeown, Spencer Watson and superstar Sam Bennett who seems to be in the race to be taken first overall.

A native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Bennett has been with the Frontenacs for two seasons. His resume for the past year is an impressive one. He won double gold last summer for Team Canada at both the World U18 Championship and the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament over in the Czech Republic. Returning in the fall on a high for the Frontenacs, Bennett managed to put together an impressive 24 game scoring streak before a minor injury put him out of commission for a few games. The NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked Bennett as the top North American player to be drafted in their mid-season ranking. I’m sure that rank hasn’t changed much.

Bennett managed to become almost a two point a game player. His final point total for the 2013-2014 season saw him notch 91 points in 57 games. Pretty impressive for a lad who suffered a mid season injury. He was an essential asset to Kingston as well in their limited playoff run. In 7 games against the Peterborough Petes, Bennett notched 5 goals and 4 assists.

There’s no doubt the Sam Bennett will be drafted into the National Hockey League this summer. The question now turns to what rank and to what team. He would be an essential asset to a club like the Buffalo Sabres or the already youngster filled Edmonton Oilers. We won’t find out where the teams fall for a few more weeks.

This week in hockey: tragedy and death. They’re just like us.

Bob_Probert_-_Darren_LangdonThey say bad things come in threes. That sentiment could not have been more true this week in the hockey world. Between the WHL’s Tim Bozon contracting meningitis and put into a coma, Matt Stajan and his wife losing their week old child, Rich Peverley collapsing mid way through the first period of a game and the tragedy of Terry Trafford, it’s times like these where you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. That bigger picture being these men that we look up to are just like us.

Behind the fame, notoriety, money and everything else that comes with being a professional hockey player, there’s something that we always fail to see. They are human beings with private lives and deal with problems and issues very similar to ours. We’re not much different when it comes down to the thick of things.

I remember when I was about 7 or 8, my Dad took me to see the Cornwall Aces play. The St. John’s Maple Leafs were in town and Brent Gretzky just happened to be suiting up for them that day. In the second intermission my Dad noticed that Walter Gretzky was sitting a few rows above us. He tried to coax me into going up and getting an autograph. “No, Dad! He’s a celebrity.” I replied. My father laughed and shook his head. “He’s not going to bite you. He’s just like us.”

He’s just like us.

snowIt’s hard to differentiate between hockey player/celebrity and human being at times. My Dad ended up going over and chatting with Walter Gretzky for the whole third period, he seemed happy to oblige; maybe even shocked that somebody actually picked him out of the crowd in little old Cornwall, Ontario.

I’ve read a countless number of hockey player autobiographies over the years and I don’t know how many times I’ve related to certain issues these hard driven characters have went through. They struggle with adversity in the same kind. Some more than others. Just remember to when you’re hearing all of these unfortunate stories that come out in the hockey world that they’re dealing with the same issues we all are. We’re all just trying to be accepted in this crazy society and world. They just happen to have the spotlight shine brighter on them with some not even wanting it.

It’s a thankless job to be a role model in today’s world. The world is flying by too fast and the next person to become said role model is just waiting around the corner. Hold on to these players you idolize as they won’t be around forever.

They’re just like us.

Commentary on the death of Terry Trafford

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As shocking as it was to hear of police finally finding Terry Trafford’s body; I think all of us were hoping that the outcome of this dilemma would not be on the tragic. However when reports came out of Terry’s girlfriend saying that he had threatened to commit suicide, I knew right then that this story would not have a peaceful ending.

While at the time of writing this suicide has not been confirmed but obviously rather speculated, I am drawing the conclusion that Trafford did indeed take his own life. As he was in the public eye as a hockey player with the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit, his story is getting a little more attention. The fact is, this happens every day.

 
There are two things I’d like to talk about in this article. The first being depression. The teenage and early 20 years of one’s life is an internal struggle. More so now than ever before. There is an overwhelming societal desire to be the best in one’s life. While that is great to look at on paper and to think the fact is, not everybody is going to be the best. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay.

Society in this day and age throws things at you from every corner. You’re not good enough unless you have a college or university education. You have to be married and have kids by this age. You have to know exactly what you’re doing in life. If you don’t follow these things, you’re looked at as useless. It’s a broad spectrum that most of the media puts out there and after a while, it start to become a normal way to think.

Well, it’s not normal. It’s OKAY to not have a college degree, it’s OKAY if you’re not married, it’s OKAY if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life, it’s OKAY if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, WHATEVER. Everyone has the right to feel normal without prejudice and live life at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

When it comes to hockey (and this is the second point of this article), we tend to put players on a pedestal. We tend to think “Oh wow, look at how great of a player he is, look at how much muscle he has, he’s a millionaire, he’s probably raking in all the women”, when in reality we don’t know the demons they’re going through personally. (See: Bob Probert.) And that’s more or less society’s fault. I don’t know Terry Trafford’s real story but from reports I’ve read, he seemed to have taken his life because he was afraid of never making the NHL. That’s sad.

We want our hockey players to be manmade machines. Hockey players are some of the fittest and stronger individuals on the planet. Are they mentally? Not by a long shot. They have a lot to live up to and in this day and age at a lot younger age than their predecessors. Team combines are just weeks and months of rigorous testing. That has to put a lot on the stress of a player mentally. (And maybe even physically, case in point Richard Peverley but that’s a whole other topic).

Not only on the ice but off the ice as well. Do you go to major junior? Do you go to school or turn pro? What school should I pick? What workouts should I do? 25 years ago, players didn’t have to worry about this. (Mind you it was a whole different time).

This has pretty much turned into a rant but I’m tired of watching the way we put hockey players (and athletes in general) on such a high pedestal and think everything must be peachy with them because they are living the dream and we aren’t. I’ll bet you good money that there players out there who would PAY to be the little man once again.

We need to throw more into mental health initiates. It’s getting better but it’s not over by a long shot. Not until society as a whole changes its outlook.

A look at the OHL’s current top 10 scorers

The 2013-2014 Ontario Hockey League season has barely just started but out of the gate we have a few surprises popping out in terms of point leaders. The Erie Otters, Niagara IceDogs, Guelph Storm and Kingston Frontenacs keep their fire power ahead of the rest of the league and notched into the top 10. This top 10 list is up to date as of October 24th.

1. Connor Brown, Erie Otters – 29 points in 13 games. (11 goals and 18 assists)

(Photo: TerryWilson/OHL Images)
(Photo: TerryWilson/OHL Images)

A right winger out of Toronto, Ontario, Brown was selected in the 6th round of the 2012 entry draft by his hometown Maple Leafs. He’s currently in his third OHL season with Erie and is looking to be on pace to be a point a game player. His strong hockey sense keeps him in the loop to set up teammates on promising plays. One more year in junior should help him tremendously as he’ll most likely turn pro next year.

2. Brendan Perlini, Niagara IceDogs – 26 points in 12 games. (12 goals and 14 assists)

(Photo: TerryWilson/OHL images)
(Photo: TerryWilson/OHL images)

A native of Sault Ste. Marie,  Ontario, but born in Guilford, England,  this left winger will be eligible for next year’s NHL draft. Currently in his third OHL season, (second with Niagara, first OHL season with Barrie.) he actually spent some of his early junior career in England with the Guilford Flames of the EPL. He was cut from this year’s Team Canada squad at the Ivan Hlinka tournament but don’t count him out. A hard shot keeps him on the scouts radar. I see him being selected in at least the top 20 at the draft.

3. Carter Verhaeghe, Niagara IceDogs – 25 points in 12 games. (10 goals and 15 assists)

(Photo: TerryWilson/OHL Images)
(Photo: TerryWilson/OHL Images)

Sitting one point below his fellow teammate Perlini, Veraeghe is in his third season with the IceDogs and was drafted in the third round by Toronto last year. (Catch the pattern here? Toronto is deep with prospects. Could end up scary.) Veraeghe ended up being fourth in points with the IceDogs last season and stuck a gold medal under his belt with Team Canada’s Under 18’s. An even better year this year could do tremendous things for his professional career. His stock keeps rising and Toronto could possibly have a secret weapon on their hands. Continue reading “A look at the OHL’s current top 10 scorers”

Kingston Frontenacs remain only undefeated OHL team

fronts-logoAfter last night’s battle between the Soo Greyhounds and Kingston Frontenacs, only one team left with the title of being the Ontario Hockey League’s only undefeated squad.

Over 3000 fans took in the big K’s game at the K-Rock Centre and it proved to be an outstanding matchup. The opportunity of being able to watch not only the power-packed Frontenacs but the finesse of Carolina Hurricanes’ Greyhounds prospect Sergei Tolchinsky and Edmonton Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse was a treat in itself.

Frontenacs goaltender Matt Mahalak kept the black and gold in tight the whole game. He earned himself the first star and notched an impressive win under his belt. The story of the evening was not even about the Kingston Trio of Sam Bennett, Roland McKeown and Spencer Watson, but that of Finnish sensation Henri Ikonen.

Ikonen. (Photo: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Ikonen. (Photo: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Ikonen returned to the lineup last week after being away at the Tampa Bay Lightning training camp. He proved that the teachings under Yzerman and company paid off as he scored his second and third goals of the year in the win. New Jersey Devils prospect Ryan Kujawinski added assists on both of Ikonen’s goals which prove the depth caliber on this red hot Kingston roster.

The question turns now to how long will the Frontenacs be able to keep up this undefeated streak. This upcoming weekend is another home stand when the 3rd place Central Division Sudbury Wolves invade the K-Rock and then two nights later, the 3rd place Mid-West Division and stacked Guelph Storm come to town. It won’t be an easy 4 points that’s for sure but with the talent and depth on this squad, it can be done.

Oshawa’s sharpshooter Michael Dal Colle named CHL player of the week

Dal Colle. (Photo: oshawagenerals.com)
Dal Colle. (Photo: oshawagenerals.com)

After garnering Ontario Hockey League player of the week honours, the Canadian Hockey League announced today that it named Oshawa Generals forward Michael Dal Colle their player of the week.

And rightfully so.

Dal Colle was on a tear for the opening week of the Ontario Hockey League. He lead the Oshawa Generals to two road victories notching up 7 points; 4 goals and 3 assists. Definitely a player to keep an eye on this season.

Dal Colle is eligible for the 2014 National Hockey League draft and is expected to go in the top 20. He earned himself his first taste of international competition when he struck gold with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in the Czech Republic back in August.

The Richmond Hill native is in his second OHL campaign with the Oshawa Generals. The Generals are back in action on the road in Guelph this Friday. Puck drop is 7:30.

Oshawa’s home opener is two days late when the Kitchener Rangers come to town.

Ryan Kujawinski, Darcy Greenaway lead Kingston Frontenacs to victory in home opener

Ryan Kujawinski. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Ryan Kujawinski. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

After throttling the Peterborough Petes by a score of 11-4 on Thursday night during the season opener, the Kingston Frontenacs didn’t let up steam for their home opener on Friday.  After giving a moment of silence in honour of Acadie Bathurst Titan prospect, Jordan Boyd who passed away on the ice last month, it was time for to usher in another Kingston Frontenacs season.

A historical night for their opponents, the North Bay Battalion who played their season opener as residents of North Bay once again after the OHL had left the city for so many years. They returned however, not to form.

In front of a passionate crowd of 4412, the Kingston Frontenacs put on a show for the hometown fans. New Jersey Devils prospect Ryan Kujawinski and Darcy Greenaway led the show with two goals each. Kujawinski is such a joy to watch, great hands and stick handling ability. He will be within New Jersey’s line up in the next few years.

Greenaway. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Greenaway. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

After scoring a hat trick in Peterborough the night before, Greenaway came back to Kingston and notched two in the home opener. Now with 5 goals on the season, Greenaway now leads the team in points. Remember, it’s still early in the season.

2014 draft prospects, Sam Bennett, Spencer Watson and Roland McKeown were a force on the ice as the Frontenacs seemed to over power the Battalion. The big lads used their body to their advantage against the somewhat smaller North Bay squad.

All in all, it was great to see the K-Rock Centre rocking again. An amazing and optimistic atmosphere filled the arena and made it a great game to watch. Kingston’s back folks. Hope the OHL is ready.

Kingston is back on the ice September 27th when head to Niagara and take on the Ice Dogs. Puck drop is 7pm.