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OHL Power Rankings and Three Stars: Week 3

It’s that time again for our weekly breakdown of the Ontario Hockey League, with a look back at the week that was with our ITO Three Stars, as well our first updates to the OHL Power Rankings.

ITO 3 Stars

1. Tanner Pearson (Barrie Colts) – This is Tanner’s second time as ITO First Star for the week, earning the honour two weeks ago. In a pair of games this week, Tanner would score a goal and add six assists, netting seven points. Tanner has a three point lead in the OHL Scoring race, on the strength of a five point outburst against Niagara, scoring the game winning goal to go along with 4 helpers. His performance earns Tanner the ITO First Star for the week of October 4th-10th.

2. Freddie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs) – The IceDogs began to show progress this week, in part due to the success of Freddie Hamilton. Freddie would strike for nine points in three games throughout the week, scoring a pair of goals. Ironically, Hamilton would also score a goal and four assists in the same game as 1st Star Tanner Pearson, which was won 8-6 by Barrie. Averaging three points a game this week, Freddie Hamilton is this week’s ITO 2nd Star.

3. Greg McKegg (Erie Otters) – While unable to find the back of the net this week, Greg was able to set up seven goals in just a pair of games. Six of those assists would come on Friday night, when the Otters would finally win their first game of the season, defeating the defending OHL Champions from Owen Sound 7-5. For that, Greg is the ITO 3rd Star this week.

ITO Power Rankings

1. London Knights – (Last Week: 1) The Knights continue to tear it up out of the gate this season, looking to stake claim as the team to beat in the Ontario Hockey League. Now 6-1-0-0 on the season, they were stung by the Windsor Spitfires for their first loss of the season on Friday night, but continue to lead the OHL Power Rankings.

2. Mississauga St. Michaels Majors – (Last Week: 2) As dominant in the East as the Knights have been in the West, the Majors have picked up right where they left off last season. Sitting at 7-1-0-0, Mississauga sits atop the standings, but suffering their first loss of the season on Thanksgiving Monday denies the Majors the opportunity to leap ahead of London.

3. Sarnia Sting – (Last Week: 8) A team many predict to just keep getting better, the Sting are starting to show signs that they will be a tough team to beat over the next few seasons. 5-1-0-1 so far, three straight wins this week allows Sarnia to jump five spots into the top three of the OHL Power Rankings.

4. Ottawa 67’s – (Last Week: 7) A pair of wins this week allowed the 67’s to jump Peterborough into first place in the East Division. One of the favourites to win the OHL Championship this year, Ottawa has jumped out to a 5-1-1-0 start, and climb three spots this week to land at number four.

5. Guelph Storm – (Last Week: 6) The Storm continue to rack up points early in the season, getting off to a 4-1-1-1 start. Getting three points in a pair of games this week allows Guelph to creep into the top five this week.

6. Peterborough Petes – (Last Week: 4) The Petes are down two spots this week in the Power Rankings, after splitting a pair of games. Losing to Ottawa over the weekend also cost Peterborough top spot in the East Division.

7. Barrie Colts – (Last Week: 5) With a win and a loss this week, the Colts continue to prove that they are a vastly better club this season than they were a year ago. 4-2-0-1 so far, the question in Barrie is whether they can keep the momentum all season long.

8. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – (Last Week: 3) After a hot start to the season, the Hounds split four games in a busy week, improving to 5-3-0-0 on the year. While many expect the rebuild in the Soo to take a couple of years, the Hounds look like they can compete this season.

9. Belleville Bulls – (Last Week: 16) The biggest jump of the week in the OHL Power Rankings belongs to the Belleville Bulls, who climb seven spots to land at number nine. A pair of wins over divisional rivals improves their record to 4-3-0-0, and the steady play of John Chartrand has created a goaltending logjam with Malcolm Subban.

10. Brampton Battalion – (Last Week: 15) Another big climber this week, the Battalion jump five spots to enter the top ten, based on a pair of tough wins over Guelph and Mississauga. Now 4-2-0-0, Brampton will look to stay consistent to keep pace in the Central Division.

11. Windsor Spitfires – (Last Week: 12) The Spitfires earned five out of six possible points this week, with only a hiccup against Sarnia in Overtime on Thanksgiving Monday to tarnish their record. After handing the Majors their first loss of the season, Windsor, at 5-3-1-1, are right in the thick of things in the league’s Western Conference.

12. Owen Sound Attack – (Last Week: 10) The Attack drop two spots this week, even after taking two of three games. The strong play this week has kept the defending OHL Champs above .500, but at 5-4-0-0, the Attack are finding things more difficult this season.

13. Kitchener Rangers – (Last Week: 9) After a 3-1 start to the year, the Rangers dropped two straight over the weekend, dropping back to .500. Still too early for concern, though the team must find a way to score more goals.

14. Plymouth Whalers – (Last Week: 14) The Whalers stay put at 14 this week in the OHL Power Rankings, based on winning just once in three games this week. One of a handful of teams considered ‘Contenders’ this season, the Whalers have come out flat to start the campaign, and sit with a 3-4-0-0 record.

15. Oshawa Generals – (Last Week: 13) Here is another team considered by many to be a contender this year, the Generals have gotten off to a horrific start in Oshawa. A come from behind Overtime win against Kingston on Thanksgiving Monday was the only thing that saved the Generals from a winless week, as they dropped their first three games of the week. At 3-4-0-1, the Generals have not played like a team meant to contend, and if it’s not resolved quickly, Chris DiPiero may wind up as the first coaching casualty of the 2011-12 season.

16. Niagara IceDogs – (Last Week: 11) Yet another pre-season contender who have started the season flat, the IceDogs were expected to be one of the dominant teams in the Eastern Conference. Top goaltender Mark Visentin has been out with a groin injury, and his replacements have not been able to find a way to keep the puck out of their net. Niagara is averaging 5.43 Goals against per game, good for 2nd last in the OHL.

17. Sudbury Wolves – (Last Week: 20) After dropping their first four games, the Wolves were better this week, taking three out of a possible four points. Now 1-4-1-0, Sudbury has pulled themselves up from the bottom of the OHL Power Rankings, but can they keep it up?

18. Kingston Frontenacs – (Last Week: 17) While very little was expected from the Frontenacs this season, somehow, they have still found a way to disappoint so far. Earning just 1 point in 3 games this week was bad, but scoring only four times during those three games is simply unacceptable. Now losers of five in a row, the Fronts have seen their record slip to a depressing 1-6-1-1, and while it’s still early, this team will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs this season.

19. Erie Otters – (Last Week: 19) The Otters finally got their first win of the year this week, splitting a home and home series with the Owen Sound Attack over the weekend. At 1-5, there hasn’t been much to cheer for in Erie, and it’s shaping up to be a long season for the Otters.

20. Saginaw Spirit – (Last Week: 18) Saginaw would lose all three games they played this week, as they have now gone six games without so much as a point to show for it. Their 1-7 record is good enough to sit them in last place in the Ontario Hockey League, and they claim the same position this week in the OHL Power Rankings.

Well, there you have it, a look around the league at who’s hot and who’s not. 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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