Shootout
By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘connor murphy’
Posted: September 19th, 2012

This week, I’ll break down all 20 OHL clubs division by division and unveil my predictions for the 2012-13 season. Today, let’s look at the Western Conference’s West Division (listed in alphabetical order):

Plymouth Whalers
Coach/GM: Michael Vellucci
2011-12 finish: 47-18-2-1, 1st division, 2nd conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Kitchener 4-3 in conference semifinals
Key players: LW Stefan Noesen (38 goals, 44 assists, 82 points; signed with Ottawa), C Mitchell Heard (29-28-57; signed with Colorado), RW Alex Aleardi (36-29-65), LW J.T. Miller (25-37-62; signed with N.Y. Rangers; G Matt Mahalak (19-8-0-0 record, 2.66 goals-against average, .923 save percentage, 3 shutouts; Carolina prospect)
Key losses: G Scott Wedgewood (28-10-2-1, 3.02, .911, 3 SO; signed with New Jersey), D Beau Schmitz (14-40-54, +37; signed with Carolina), C Andy Bathgate (19-44-63)
Outlook: The Whalers had a chance to reach the Western finals last season, but they lost Game 7 at home to Kitchener. They lost some key players off that team, but the Whalers still have are strong enough to make a deeper run this season.

Saginaw Spirit
Coach/GM: Greg Gilbert/Jim Paliafito
2011-12 finish: 40-22-4-2, 3rd division, 5th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-2 in conference semifinals
Key players: C Vincent Trocheck (29-56-85; signed with Florida), LW Brandon Saad (34-42-76; signed with Chicago), LW Garret Ross (25-29-54), C Eric Locke (20-20-40), D Dalton Young (5-15-20)
Key losses: LW Josh Shalla (40-36-76; signed with Nashville), RW Michael Fine (22-45-67), C John McFarland (20-21-41; signed with Florida), D Brad Walch (5-18-23, +21)
Outlook: Trocheck and Saad headline an offense that ranked fifth in the league a season ago with 259 goals. Now they have to solidify a defense that allowed 259 goals, the fourth most in the league. Clint Windsor and Jake Paterson are the keys in net.

Sarnia Sting
Coach/GM: Jacques Beaulieu
2011-12 finish: 34-27-2-5, 2nd division, 4th conference
Playoff finish: Lost 4-2 to Saginaw in conference quarterfinals
Key players: C Alex Galchenyuk (0-0-0 in 2 games; signed with Montreal), G J.P. Anderson (27-23-2-4, 3.03, .908, 3 SO), LW Reid Boucher (28-22-50), D Connor Murphy (8-18-26; signed with Phoenix), D Alex Basso (9-27-36, +5)
Key losses: RW Nail Yakupov (31-38-69 in 42 games; signed with Edmonton), C Brett Thompson (32-38-70; former Otter), C Ryan Spooner (29-37-66; signed with Boston), LW Tyler J. Brown (21-27-48), D Adrian Robertson (10-28-38, +13)
Outlook: Yakupov, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, isn’t expected to rejoin the Sting. But Galchenyuk, the No. 3 pick in the draft, returns after missing nearly all of last season with a knee injury. But can the Sting overcome other key losses?

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Coach/GM: Mike Stapleton/Kyle Dubas
2011-12 finish: 29-33-2-4, 5th division, 9th conference
Playoff finish: Did not qualify
Key players: C Nick Cousins (35-53-88; signed with Philadelphia), G Matt Murray (13-19-0-1, 4.08, .876; Pittsburgh prospect), D Ryan Sproul (23-31-54, +16), RW Andrew Fritsch (13-19-32 in 35 games; Phoenix prospect), LW Michael Schumacher (26-24-50)
Key losses: C Brett Findlay (20-36-56; traded to Peterborough), C Carson Dubchak (16-16-32)
Outlook: The Greyhounds are trying to avoid a third straight season out of the playoff picture. But does Stapleton, the Otters’ former associate and assistant coach, have enough talented depth to make that happen in a challenging conference?

Windsor Spitfires
Coach/GM: Bob Boughner/Warren Rychel
2011-12 finish: 29-32-5-2, 4th division, 8th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-0 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: LW Kerby Rychel (41-33-74); C Brady Vail (22-30-52), LW Chris Marchese (18-25-43; former Otter), D Nick Ebert (6-33-39), RW Joshua Ho-Sang (No. 5 pick in OHL Priority Selection), LW Ben Johnson (18-20-38)
Key losses: C Alexander Khokhlachev (25-44-69; playing in Russia), C Zack MacQueen (18-20-38; son of former Otters coach Dave MacQueen)
Outlook: The unexpected departure of Khokhlachev will hurt thre Spitfires, unless forwards like Rychel, Vail, former Otter Marchese and first-round pick Ho-Sang pick up the slack. But will they have enough on defense and in net to win consistently?

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: January 6th, 2012

The new-look Sarnia Sting looked better than the new-look Erie Otters Friday night.

Ryan Spooner had two goals and an assist and J.P. Anderson stopped all 30 shots to lead the Sting to a 4-0 win against the Otters in front of 2,395 at Tullio Arena.

With the win, the Sting (20-14-1-4) snapped a two-game losing streak to the rebuilding Otters (5-31-1-1), which lost their fourth straight game.

The Sting unveiled the newly acquired Anderson, defenseman Adrian Robertson and forwards Spooner and Tyler J. Brown. Forward Dane Fox and defenseman Troy Donnay made their debuts for the Otters.

Fox and Donnay were acquired Thursday in the trade that sent veterans Greg McKegg, Brett Cook and Tyson Teichmann to London. The newest members of the Sting made an immediate impact.

Spooner and Brown assisted on rookie Connor Murphy’s first OHL goal, a power-play score that opened the scoring with 2:12 left in the first period. Then Spooner fired a wrist shot past Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov with 34.6 seconds left in the period. Robertson assisted on Spooner’s 100th career goal.

Meanwhile, Anderson stopped all 13 shots he faced. He was acquired from Mississauga St. Michael’s on Friday for former Otters draft pick Brandon Maxwell and two picks. The Sting built a 3-0 lead with 8:48 left in the second, as Craig Hottot’s shot trickled past Sadikov and just across the goal line.

Anderson continued his strong start, as he stopped 9-of-9 shots to keep his shutout bid intact. Then Spooner scored his second goal on an unassisted breakaway for a 4-0 Sting lead 4:37 into the third. Anderson capped his first shutout of the season and ninth of his career. Hottot had a goal and assist. Sadikov made 26 saves in a losing effort for the Otters.

In other news, McKegg had a goal and assist in his debut for the Knights, a 3-1 win in Sudbury on Friday. Cook had an assist and was a plus-1. Teichmann didn’t dress for the Knights. Derek Holden didn’t play for Windsor on Friday in Sault Ste. Marie. But former Otter Chris Marchese scored twice in the Spitfires’ 5-3 win. He has five goals and seven points in six games.

- Victor Fernandes

 

SUMMARY

 

Sting 4, Otters 0

Sarnia  2  1  1  —  4

Erie  0  0  0  —  0

1st Period — 1. Sarnia, Connor Murphy 1 (Spooner, Brown), 17:48 (pp). 2. Sarnia, Ryan Spooner 15 (Hottot, Robertson), 19:25. Penalties — Hottot (S) high sticking, :49; Dundas (S) interference, 10:03; Grant (E) cross checking, 17:12.

2nd Period — 3. Sarnia, Craig Hottot 14 (Thompson, DeAngelo), 11:12. Penalties — Basso (S) checking to head, 2:13; Donnay (S) high sticking, 9:11.

3rd Period — 4. Sarnia, Spooner 16 (unassisted), 4:37. Penalties — McGuire (E) cross checking, 6:32.

Shots on goal — Sarnia, 13-9-8—30; Erie, 11-8-11—30.

Goaltenders — Sarnia, J.P. Anderson 16-11-1-3 (30 shots, 30 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 3-12-1-1 (30 shots, 26 saves).

Power plays — Sarnia (1-3), Erie (0-3).

Referees — T. J Foster, Craig Spada. Linesmen — Ryan Wilson, Daryl Wolfe.

Attendance — 2,395.

 

Three stars

* Ryan Spooner, Sting (2 goals, assist) ** Craig Hottot, Sting (goal, assist) *** J.P. Anderson, Sting (30 saves, shutout)

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