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Biggest rivalry in OHL nothing but a yawn as Petes edge Generals 3-2 in shootout win
By Dean Eastman
OurHometown.ca

Biggest rivalry in OHL nothing but a yawn as Petes edge Generals 3-2 in shootout win
Kenny Appleby #35 of the Oshawa Generals made his first home start of the 2012-13 OHL Season at the General Motors Centre on Sunday afternoon against East Division rivals, the Peterborough Petes. The Generals Fell to the Petes, 3-2 in Overtime.

Oshawa - October 29, 2012 - Same effort, same score, different opponent is the one statement that pretty much sums up the Peterborough Petes, Oshawa Generals contest on Sunday afternoon as the OHL East Division-leading Generals fell 3-2 in overtime to a more determined and hungry, Petes’ team. Petes’ forward Francis Menard scored both in regulation and the winning goal in the shootout past Generals’ backup netminder Kenny Appleby. The shootout win allowed the Petes (4-7-2-1) to leapfrog over both the Kingston Frontenacs (5-8-0-0) and the Ottawa 67s (4-8-0-1) to grab sole possession of third place in the East Division standings.

The Generals could not mount any type of offence in the first period even though they had outshot their opponent. For the first 12-minutes of the opening frame, Oshawa head coach D.J. Smith tinkered with his top producing line by substituting John Urbanic on the wing in place of Tyler Biggs, who was relegated to the Generals’ third line alongside Bradley Latour and Adam Lloyd to balance out the team’s scoring. Biggs returned to the top line as the experiment proved to be futile. To be honest, the Gennies are not firing on all cylinders like they were to start the season.

Hockey experts who know their junior hockey, know that the biggest rivalry in the Ontario Hockey League lies between the Peterborough Petes and your Oshawa Generals. Many games played by both teams is usually a slugfest. Sunday afternoon’s contest was the complete opposite. Both teams were rather courteous in the opening frame as only two Peterborough Petes’ minor penalties were called. Not one fighting major was called during the entire game. Yes it is true, just because two teams have a heated rivalry does not mean there needs to be fisticuffs, but Sunday’s afternoon tilt was rather uneventful and frustrating from a fan’s perspective, all-in-one.

On Friday night, Gens fans saw the return of both Urbanic and Sebastian Uvira from injury. Both players continued to show jump in their step on Sunday afternoon, even if they haven’t had the good fortune of showing up on the score sheet as of late. Uvira is beginning to look like the player that fans fell in love with in 2011-12, as he continues to lay on the body and is starting to fire the puck with zest. Scoring in regulation for the Generals were Boone Jenner and Matt Petgrave, while Andrew Rieder and Francis Menard replied for the Petes. The Generals’ power play continued to look ugly as the team combined for one goal in six attempts. The TSN turning point came at the 19:01 mark of the second period when Peterborough was penalized for two separate minor infractions, giving Oshawa an important 5-on-3 power play, as the Gennies were then losing 2 – 1. Oshawa could not capitalize and combined for a whopping three shots on goal during the two-man advantage.

The Generals are excellent puck passers on the power play; however you can’t score if you don’t shoot. As good as Jenner has been offensively this season, he still needs to remember to keep his head up and pass the puck every once in awhile to his teammates who are in scoring position. One man does not make a team. Peterborough Petes’ starting goaltender, Michael Giugovaz, while at times shaky in battling and misjudging the puck in the first period, managed to stand tall in the Peterborough net as he faced 47 Oshawa shots to Peterborough’s 25 shots, not to mention a barrage of activity to close out the final minute of regulation.

Oshawa’s own Appleby deserved a better fate in his first home start for the Oshawa Generals. The 6’4?, 208-pound North Bay product was solid throughout the game when called upon and made some spectacular saves late in the third period to send the game into overtime. When asked how the rookie goaltender felt getting his first home start of the regular season, Appleby replied, “it felt pretty good just going in with a good crowd tonight and just getting a home start. I felt pretty good tonight. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win, but it was nice to get that one under my belt.”

‘Felt pretty good’ was understatement as the kid oozed confidence. Case in point at the nine-minute mark of the second period when Appleby, cool as a cucumber, left his crease to stop the puck that had been dumped in by Peterborough, backhanded it between his legs from behind his own net to a waiting Oshawa defenseman, just as a Petes’ forward was barreling in to intercept the pass.

The announced three stars on the afternoon were Peterborough goalie Michael Giugovaz (3rd star, 45 saves), Oshawa defenseman Matt Petgrave (2nd star, two points) and Oshawa captain, Boone Jenner (1st star, two points).

For the complete OHL boxscore, please view it here.

The Generals travel to Peterborough on Thursday, November 1st to play out the home-and-home two-game set. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT.

For the love of the game, I remain, Dean Eastman.

Follow Me on TwitterDean 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 deastman@ourhometown.ca


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