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ITO Three Stars & Power Rankings

This week, we will name the ITO Three Stars for the week of September 26 to October 2, and will take our first look at the OHL Power Rankings for the year. The Power Rankings should not be confused with the CHL Rankings, as they rank team’s records, while we look at what teams are hot, and what teams are not. Expect to see lots of movers and shakers on the Power Rankings each week, as a big week could send you up the charts, and a bad week can send your team spiralling.
ITO 3 Stars
1. Seth Griffith (London Knights) – Seth would score a goal and an assist in Friday’s victory over Sudbury, but would light it up the following night in Plymouth, scoring a goal to go along with 3 more helpers. In two games, Seth was able to rack up 6 points, including two goals, and is our ITO First Star for the week of September 26th- October 2nd.
2. Sean Monahan (Ottawa 67’s) – Big things were expected from Sean this season, and to date, he hasn’t disappointed. Sean would score both Ottawa goals in a 3-2 loss in Plymouth on Friday, and add a goal and two assists in Saginaw the next night. Not done yet, Sean would score another goal and add another assist in an overtime loss in Windsor. Scoring four goals and three assists in a three game weekend earns Sean Monahan this week’s ITO Second Star.
3. Riley Brace (Mississauga St. Michaels Majors) – Riley would be a scoring machine this week, hitting the back of the net five times in three games. His third goal on Thursday night would turn out to be the game winner in Niagara, and he would score the game winner again the next night, as part of a two goal game versus the Owen Sound Attack. Despite not making it onto the scoresheet in a 2-1 shootout win over Kingston Sunday afternoon, Riley’s five goal weekend is enough to earn the ITO Third Star selection.
ITO Power Rankings
1. London Knights – Projected to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, if not the entire league, the Knights haven’t disappointed, jumping out to an impressive 4-0 start to the season. Newcomer Max Domi joins an experienced group of scorers in London, and with Michael Houser in net, the Knights will be tough to beat this year.
2. Mississauga St. Michaels Majors – Perhaps picking up where they left off, last year’s OHL and Memorial Cup Finalists have won each of their first five contests. J.P. Anderson continues to shine in net for the Majors, and the offence is led by Riley Brace, who has 9 points through 5 games.
3. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – While still early, the surprising start by the Greyhounds has caught the attention of the league. New GM Kyle Dubas has had his hands full trying to overhaul his young squad, and early returns are positive. Matt Murray has been dynamic in goal for the Hounds, and could be an early candidate for Top Goaltender.
4. Peterborough Petes – Nearly as surprising as the Hounds, the Petes have had a great start to the 2011-12 season, starting on opening night when they beat Niagara 7-1. Now 3-0-1-1, the Petes have found stability in net with former Rangers netminder Mike Morrison, and are lead up front by versatile winger Matt Puempel.
5. Barrie Colts – Even without top scorer Mark Scheifele, the Colts have had a great start this year. At 3-1-0-1, Barrie is chasing Mississauga for the Central Division lead. Tanner Pearson, Zach Hall, and Colin Behenna have combined for a staggering 37 points in the Colts’ first 5 games.
6. Guelph Storm – With 3 wins in their first five games, the Storm have gotten off to great start, and sit just one point behind London for first place. Garret Sparks gives them solid goaltending each night, and the team scores by committee, making them a tough team to beat on any given night.
7. Ottawa 67’s – The 67’s were expected to be one of the top teams in the East this season, and they haven’t disappointed. With a 3-1-1-0 record, and veteran goalie Petr Mrazek in goal, the 67’s look poised to make a run at another East Division Crown.
8. Sarnia Sting – With two of the top prospects available in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, all eyes will be on the Sting all season long. Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov will bring all the attention, but if they are to be successful in Sarnia, it will truly be a full team effort.
9. Kitchener Rangers – In one of the few feel-good stories so far this season, Defenceman Ben Fanelli made a successful return to the Rangers lineup, after nearly two seasons out of hockey. 2-1 so far, the Rangers have their work cut out for them this season, missing many key contributors from their team last year. The tandem of John Gibson and Franky Palazzese will be counted on to lead this team from the net out.
10. Owen Sound Attack – Last year’s OHL Champions, the Attack have only played .500 hockey so far in this young season. With returning netminder Jordan Binnington, and Daniel Catanacci joining veterans such as Cameron Brace and Jarrod Maidens, it should be another successful season in Owen Sound, though they will be hard-pressed to recapture last year’s magic.
11. Niagara IceDogs – Predicted to be a top contender this season, the IceDogs seem to be heading in the right direction after a rough opening week. Mark Visentin will provide a steady influence in net all season long for the Dogs, but they are missing last year’s top scorer, Ryan Strome, who is still with the New York Islanders. If the Isles keep Strome, the IceDogs will need to find offence elsewhere.
12. Windsor Spitfires – At 3-3, the Spitfires find themselves tied with the upstart Greyhonds for the Division lead. American Jack Campbell is an experienced veteran who will give the Spits a good chance to win each night, but Kerby Rychel and Alex Khokhlachev will be counted on heavily for offensive production.
13. Oshawa Generals – Another team suffering from players attending pro camps, the Generals have stumbled out of the gate this season, suffering losses to both the Greyhounds and Bulls. With the chances of Scott Valentine and Andy Andreoff returning dwindling every day, the Generals will need to find a way to replace their output if they hope to contend this season. Rookie goalie Dan Altshuller has been hot and cold to start the season, but there seems to be as many questions as answers in Oshawa.
14. Plymouth Whalers – One of a handful of teams who many think are underperforming to date, the Whalers are still 2-2 and looking to make some noise in the Western Conference this season. Scott Wedgewood will play the majority of games for Plymouth this year, and if he can remain consistent, the Whalers should have a good year.
15. Brampton Battalion – Even at 2-2 so far in the season, the Battalion are one of a handful of teams who are expecting to be significantly better than last season. Matej Machovsky is back in goal for another season in Brampton, and Tuesday’s addition of Brett Mackie from Belleville will improve the Battalion offence.
16. Belleville Bulls – The Bulls are a team that many expect to have a breakout season, but a 2-3 record has seen more downs than ups so far. Malcolm Subban is now the number 1 goalie in Belleville, and up front, the Bulls have plenty of scoring potential, with Luke Judson, Adam Payerl, and Brendan Gaunce.
17. Kingston Frontenacs – It’s shaping up to be a long year in Kingston, as many expect the rebuilding Frontenacs to miss the playoffs this season. New GM Doug Gilmour has been at work revamping his lineup, which is now lead by Captain Tyler Brown. Gilmour also acquired Igor Bobkov from London to shore up his goaltending. At 1-4, more work is needed.
18. Saginaw Spirit – A tough 1-4 start for the Spirit has seen them slip behind the pack in the Western Conference. Tadeas Galansky and Jake Paterson comprise a young goaltending tandem, and they will rely on a potentially high-powered offence, led by John McFarland and Vincent Trocheck.
19. Erie Otters – More was expected of the goaltending tandem of Tyson Teichmann and Chris Festerini coming into the season, but so far, it hasn’t materialized. Averaging 7 goals against per game, the Otters have sputtered to an 0-4 start. Even with offensive weapons such as Greg McKegg, Sondre Olden, and Brett Thompson, Erie will need to be better defensively to have any hope.
20. Sudbury Wolves – Perhaps no OHL fans are as disappointed as Wolves fans are early into the new season. Coming off of a stunning 4 game sweep of the East Division Champion 67’s last year, Sudbury seemed poised to have a big year, and compete for home advantage in the playoffs. Instead, they have nothing to show from their first four games, and sit at the bottom of the Power Rankings.
Be sure to check back next week to see where your favourite team ranks. If you can’t wait for your OHL fix, find me on Twitter, @N24Nicholson.

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