Lucas Lessio celebrates after scoring the game’s first goal Thursday night as the Oshawa Generals were no match for the visiting Peterborough Petes. The Gens won the contest 5-1 to bring their season record to 2-1-1-0.
Oshawa - September 30, 2012 - The 2012-13 version of the Oshawa Generals is an impressive combination of size, skill and determination. The team will no longer be pushed around by its opponents as in prior Ontario Hockey League seasons - only 2 of the 24 players stand less than 6? in height.
Opponents be forewarned; keep your head up and keep your skate blades in motion–this year’s collection of Oshawa Generals will hit anything that gets in their way. Opposing teams won’t be walking away from the General Motors Centre with an easy two points in their pockets. Every point will need to be earned.
The visiting Peterborough Petes learned exactly that on Thursday night. The Petes were outshot 47-23 and were handed a convincing 5-1 loss at the hands of the Generals. While the season is still young, every Generals’ skater is playing with a purpose–the team appears to be buying into Head Coach D.J. Smith’s game plan.
Goal scorers on the night for Oshawa were Lucas Lessio (3rd), Geoffrey Schemitsch (1st), Tyler Biggs (1st), Scott Laughton (1st) and Michael Dal Colle (1st). Francis Menard registered Peterborough’s lone goal in the contest. Biggs and Dal Colle’s two goals were the first of each skater’s OHL career. The line of Biggs, Boone Jenner and Dal Colle is potently solid to say the least. Both wing rookies are playing like experienced OHL skaters.
Normally billed as the league’s most heated rivalry, Oshawa and Peterborough only combined for three separate fighting majors. One of the three fights may have proved costly for the Oshawa Generals. At 2:40 of the third period, sophomore forward Sebastian Uvira stood up for himself and challenged Petes’ forward Chase Hatcher to a fight. Moments prior, Hatcher delivered a blind-sided hit on Uvira in front of the Petes’ bench. Uvira was awarded the win in the short-lived bout, but never did return to action in the final frame. It is presumed that Uvira suffered an apparent hand injury in the fight.
Game stars were in favour of your hometown Generals: defenseman Geoffrey Schemitsch (3rd star, 2 points), centreman Boone Jenner (2nd star, 2 points) and centreman Scott Laughton (1st star, 2 points). Goaltender Daniel Altshuller registered his second win of the season. Petes’ netminder, Michael Giugovaz suffered the loss. The Generals’ record now stands at 2-1-0.
The Generals next game is scheduled for Saturday evening in Belleville with a 7:05 p.m. start when they face the conference-leading Bulls.
View from the Whitby cheap seats
Thank you for not trading away Sabourin
Hockey pundits often say you can’t teach size. Thankfully for the Oshawa Generals, General Manager Jeff Twohey elected to retain the services of one Scott Sabourin and not Emerson Clark. We all love what Clark brings to the table, but at times he can be reckless and has been known to take the odd bad penalty. Sabourin on the other hand is more controlled and is not a liability at either end of the rink.
The Generals’ home opener saw Sabourin delivering a crushing hit on Petes’ defenceman Slater Koekkoek at the :30 second mark of the opening frame that got the fans and players on their feet. Sabouring was challenged by Petes’ enforcer Derek Mathers only two seconds later - Sabourin accepted the invitation and while Sabourin did not win the fight, he definitely got his team motivated.
Sabourin continues to improve each season with his hockey playing skills. I am excited to see his new level of competitiveness this season. We may even see his name on the score sheet more often this season than ever before.
Penalty killers to keep your eye on
Oshawa forwards Scott Laughton and Cole Cassels each played a strong game on Thursday night. Both players created some offensive chances on the penalty killing unit. Both skaters are difficult to knock off the puck and are tenacious in the defensive zone breaking up any offensive chances created by the opposition.
According to his Twitter account (@AppleTreeSmitty), newly acquired Hunter Smith is beginning to accept his new nickname. The 6’7?, 220 pound forward has been called "Big Rig" by some of his new teammates. Backup netminder, Ken Appleby, indicates on Twitter that the "Apple Tree" handle belongs to him, not Smith. On Thursday night, Smith absolutely crushed an unsuspected Petes’ player into tomorrow. Expect to see Smith work on his skating this season and should see more ice time with the Uvira hand injury as Smith will take his place for the time being.
Stickhandling in a phone booth
Generals’ forward and Phoenix Coyotes’ drafted, Lucas Lessio is a man on a mission this season. Lessio appears to be a completely different player, playing with confidence and appears to possess a ‘putting the team first’ attitude. Lessio has been aggressive on the puck and is not tentative to rough play like he was last year. So far this season, he is leaving the shenanigans at home and is focused on giving 100% on every shift.
For the love of the game, I remain, Dean Eastman.
Dean Eastman is the Montreal Canadiens' and Oshawa Generals' correspondent for OurHometown.ca Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young sons Eric and Ryan. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Canadiens and Generals organizations from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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