OHL Power Rankings: Week 8 – Nov. 20, 2023
The Petes get some respect, and the Spirit are climbing back up the list! The Week 8 edition of the OHL Power Rankings sees some teams at the top get rewarded, and some teams in the middle in a bit of a logjam as we move into the second half of November.
Peterborough Petes – up eight spots to #2 this week
It was a show-me week for the Peterborough Petes, and boy, did they make an impression. The Petes set out for three on the road and scooped up wins in North Bay, Sudbury and Oshawa, getting a pair of overtime markers from captain Donovan McCoy while veteran forwards Owen Beck and Jonathan Melee buried hat-tricks. The defending champions have been grinding out points all season long, appearing in a league-leading nine games beyond regulation as Rob Wilson’s squad continues to be a competitive force in the Eastern Conference. The Petes have ascended the standings into first place in the East, boasting a 12-3-3-1 record. Overage blueliner Samuel Mayer has played a huge role, putting up 19 points (8-11–19) in as many games. Beck (59.4%) and Jax Dubois (60.2%) continue to excel in the faceoff circle for Peterborough.
North Bay Battalion – up three spots to #3 this week
The Troops fell short against their old nemesis the Peterborough Petes in overtime on Thursday, but rebounded nicely with wins over a pair of competitive northern foes in Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. Sophomore forward Ethan Procyszyn was the OT hero in the Soo Friday night before adding a goal and an assist in Sunday’s win over Sudbury. Anthony Romani continues to lead the way offensively with 32 points (17-15–32) as he scored the deciding goal in Sunday’s contest. Dom DiVincentiis returned from injury on Thursday but wasn’t in the lineup on either Friday or Sunday as the Troops found a way to win both contests.
Saginaw Spirit – up five spots to #4 this week
After a tumble down the list, the Saginaw Spirit are soaring upward, entering this week on a seven-game winning streak. New additions Rodwin Dionicio and Alex Christopoulos joined the team for 3-2 road wins in Erie and Niagara over the weekend as Saginaw improved to 11-7-0-1. Andrew Oke was excellent in the crease, stopping 61-of-65 shots in the two wins. Michael Misa has caught fire of late, with 18 points (8-10–18) over his last 11 games.
Owen Sound Attack – up two spots to #11 this week
The Bears opened the week with a franchise record-tying 12 goal explosion in Windsor on Thursday, putting a four-game losing slide in the rearview mirror. They proceeded to blank the Sarnia Sting 4-0 behind a 26-save shutout from Carter George before doubling-up Flint 4-2 thanks to two goals from Ben Cormier. Owen Sound has hung around the middle of the rankings over the past several weeks. Their six points in a three-in-three road trip all came without the presence of captain Colby Barlow in the lineup. The Attack are on the road again this week, visiting Barrie and Kitchener on Thursday and Friday before a home tilt against North Bay on Saturday night.
Brantford Bulldogs – up two spots to #15 this week
The Bulldogs are back onto the Power Rankings, winning five of their last six games as their latest triumphs came in Ottawa and Kingston over the weekend. Overage netminder Matteo Drobac stopped 54-of-56 shots as Brantford won 2-1 in Ottawa and 4-1 in Kingston. The Bulldogs received offensive contributions from Montreal Canadiens prospect Florian Xhekaj, who recorded five points (3-2–5) over three games last week, also factoring in Brantford’s 6-3 win over the Sarnia Sting last Wednesday. The Bulldogs have been in a lot of close games this season and are starting to get rewarded with a few bounces going their way.
Ottawa 67’s – down three spots to #5 this week
A long morning at the Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday got the week off on the wrong foot for Ottawa, as they came up on the short end of a 5-1 decision against the Kingston Frontenacs. The offence sputtered in Friday’s 2-1 loss to Brantford before the Barber Poles righted the ship on Saturday, besting the Mississauga Steelheads 5-2. The crease appears to be Max Donoso’s for the time being as his goaltending partner Collin MacKenzie is sidelined with an injury. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect and captain Luca Pinelli has been a constant threat for Ottawa offensively, lighting the lamp 17 times in 19 games. Ottawa will look for more secondary scoring this week as they prepare for a home-and-home with the Oshawa Generals on Friday and Saturday.
Mississauga Steelheads – down three spots to #6 this week
Another former top team on the OHL Power Rankings, the Steelheads split the week with a 6-3 win in Kingston followed by a 5-2 loss in Ottawa. Competition is fierce in the upper echelon of the Power Rankings right now, causing the Trout to slip a bit in Week 8 after losing to higher-ranked Ottawa.
London Knights – down three spots to #8 this week
The Knights started the week with a second straight win over the Guelph Storm before dropping a pair of decisions to American opponents as the Flint Firebirds put up seven at Budweiser Gardens on Friday. The Knights couldn’t get the job done in Erie on Saturday, falling 4-2. The Knights are on the road this week with stops in North Bay, Sudbury and Barrie.
Sudbury Wolves – down five spots to #9 this week
The Wolves surrendered seven goals in three consecutive outings, losing all three last week against capable opponents in Sault Ste. Marie, Peterborough and North Bay. Big winger Quentin Musty served a two-game suspension that kept him out of the lineup while goaltender Jakub Vondras was out of the lineup with an illness on Sunday in North Bay. Sudbury’s power play currently ranks 20th in the OHL.
Guelph Storm – down two spots to #10 this week
The Stormers picked-up three of a possible six points last week, letting one get away on Saturday in Barrie as a 4-2 lead after two periods disappeared and Guelph lost 5-4 in a shootout. Get ready for a good test this week as the Storm get North Bay and Kitchener at home on Friday and Saturday.
Flint Firebirds – down one spot to #12 this week
Flint won two of three last week, but their drop on the list comes largely as a result of losing to Owen Sound, who went 3-0 and leapfrog the ‘Birds on the Power Rankings as a result. The Firebirds start a three-game home-stand on Wednesday against Saginaw.
Erie Otters – down one spot to #13 this week
The Otters split the weekend, falling 3-2 to Saginaw on Friday before responding with a big 4-2 win over the London Knights on Saturday. The Otters are playing good hockey of late and could be in for a climb on the list if they can perform well against higher-ranked teams in Kitchener, Sault Ste. Marie and Mississauga this week.
Kingston Frontenacs – down one spot to #16 this week
The Fronts showed well on Wednesday in Ottawa, putting up five goals on the 67’s as the team played some inspired hockey. Unfortunately, the Fronts returned home to drop consecutive decisions against Mississauga and Brantford. Paul Ludwinski kept his point streak going as it’s now reached 12 games, the longest by a Frontenacs player since Michael Dal Colle’s 14-game trend in January 2016.
Sarnia Sting – down one spot and off the list this week
The Sting have been trending this way over the past few weeks, with losses to Brantford, Owen Sound and Flint pushing them out of the Power Rankings in Week 8.