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ITO Three Stars & Power Rankings: Week 11

Welcome back for another edition of the ITO Power Rankings, as well as our Three Stars for the week of November 28th-December 4th. There was some real movers and shakers this week in the Rankings, as teams jockey for position heading into December. With all eyes on the upcoming 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships, many of the league’s top players will be leaving their clubs in the coming weeks, and every game now is important.

ITO 3 Stars

1. Christian Thomas (Oshawa Generals) – Despite playing just twice, Christian left little doubt as to who would be atop the ITO Three Stars this week. Friday night, Thomas would help lead the Generals to victory over Sarnia, scoring three times and adding a pair of assists. Two nights later, he would add four more helpers in a win over Peterborough. Big numbers in a pair of games, Christian scored three goals and nine points, earning himself the ITO First Star for the week.

2. Charles Sarault (Sarnia Sting) – With Nail Yakupov out of the lineup for the Sting, Charles Sarault stepped up to fill the void, registering eight points in three contests over the last week. Charles was big on Thursday night, scoring twice in an eventual shootout victory in Peterborough. Though the team would drop the game the next night in Oshawa, Sarault was a top performer again, scoring a goal and adding a pair of assists. Three more assists on Sunday afternoon in a win over Sault Ste. Marie would be enough to name Charles Sarault this week’s ITO Second Star.

3. Daniil Zharkov (Belleville Bulls) – Nobody in the Ontario Hockey League would score as many goals as Zharky this week, as he would find the back of the net six times over three games in the past week. While there would be no hat trick, Daniil would have three multiple goal games, scoring a pair in each of his three contests, starting with two Wednesday at home to Kingston. Zharky would add another pair in the rematch Friday night in Kingston, and two more in a victory over Windsor on Saturday. For his six goal performance this week, Daniil Zharkov is the ITO Third Star for week 11.

ITO Power Rankings

1. London Knights – (Last Week: 1) Two more wins in as many tries for London this week, as the Knights stay on top of the Power Rankings this week. London would blank Saginaw on Friday night, then traveled to Owen Sound to down the Attack a night later. The Knights play three times this week, starting with a Tuesday evening contest in Kitchener. From there, London returns home for a game with Peterborough on Friday night, and finishes their week Sunday afternoon in Guelph.

2. Plymouth Whalers – (Last Week: 3) The Plymouth Whalers won both games this week, allowing them to leap back into the 2nd spot in the Power Rankings. Wins at home over Sault Ste. Marie and Guelph on Friday and Saturday would erase a small two game slide for Plymouth. The Whalers play just twice again in the week ahead, and will need points at home to remain amongst the elite in the OHL. Belleville comes to pay a visit on Friday, and Sarnia plays in Plymouth on Saturday.

3. Kitchener Rangers – (Last Week: 2) While Kitchener would win two out of three games over the last week, they have still won 10 of their last 12 contests, and should be considered among the best in the league right now. The Rangers started the week out on the right note, picking up a shootout win in Brampton on Thursday night, but would drop a decision 24 hours later at home to Mississauga. Kitchener responded well on Saturday, earning two points in Erie. The Rangers host London in a big game on Tuesday evening this week, then play host to Windsor on Friday. Kitchener wraps up the week ahead on Sunday afternoon, with a rematch against the Majors in Mississauga.

4. Belleville Bulls – (Last Week: 4) Three more wins this week for the Belleville Bulls now sees them competing at the top of the Eastern Conference. The Bulls would take both ends of a home and home series with their rivals from Kingston during the week, and kept the winning streak alive with a home win over Windsor on Saturday. Now winners of six in a row, and 12 of their last 14, Belleville hits the road for three games this week, starting Thursday night in Windsor. From their, the Bulls road trip makes stops in Plymouth on Friday and Saginaw on Saturday.

5. Ottawa 67’s – (Last Week: 6) It was another positive week for the 67’s, after they pick up a pair of wins in three games. Ottawa would need extra time to knock off Windsor on Friday night, and would use the shootout to defeat Peterborough on Saturday. With three games in two and a half days, the 67’s wouldn’t muster much in a loss in Mississauga on Sunday afternoon. Ottawa plays a pair of games in Northern Ontario in the coming week, playing in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday, and taking on Sudbury Saturday.

6. Sarnia Sting – (Last Week: 5) The Sting drop a single spot this week, while winning two out of three contests. Sarnia opened the week by winning in a shootout in Peterborough Thursday, but would drop a contest in Oshawa the following night. The Sting would return home to down Sault Ste. Marie, salvaging a winning week. Looking ahead, Sarnia plays three games in three days over the weekend, starting with a game against Erie on Friday. The Sting play in Plymouth on Saturday night, and return home to face Peterborough Sunday afternoon.

7. Niagara IceDogs – (Last Week: 7) The IceDogs manage to hold tight at number 7 this week, after picking up three points in as many games. With three games in four days, Niagara got started on the right foot Thursday, as they would win convincingly over Erie. Over the weekend, however, the IceDogs dropped a pair of decisions, first losing in a shootout to Barrie on Saturday, then being shutout in Brampton the following afternoon. Niagara plays three games in as many days in the week ahead, starting with a game in Peterborough Thursday. From there, the ‘Dogs travel to Mississauga for a contest Friday, then return home to face Kingston Saturday night.

8. Barrie Colts – (Last Week: 10) The Colts are up two spots this week, based on being able to pull out a pair of shootout victories on the road. Barrie would be forced into shots in Erie on Friday night, yet were able to get the extra point, much as they did the following night in Niagara. The Colts play three games from Thursday through Saturday in the upcoming week, beginning with a visit from Owen Sound. After that, Barrie plays a game in Guelph, and comes back home to deal with Brampton.

9. Sudbury Wolves – (Last Week: 11) The Wolves are up two spots this week, after posting two more wins in the last seven days. Sudbury began with an overtime win against Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday, and finished with an impressive shutout of Brampton on Friday. Looking ahead, the Wolves pay a visit to Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday, then comes home to face a pair of Eastern Division foes, first Oshawa on Friday, followed by Ottawa a night later.

10. Owen Sound Attack – (Last Week: 12) Another team up two spots, Owen Sound finds themselves in the top ten after winning two out of three games in the past week. After defeating Barrie on Wednesday, the Attack would be equally impressive in Guelph Friday night, earning the two points. Owen Sound would suffer a setback to London on Saturday, spoiling perhaps a perfect week. A relatively light schedule lies ahead for the Attack in the week ahead, as they play in Barrie Thursday evening, then host Guelph on Saturday night.

11. Brampton Battalion – (Last Week: 8) Another team to earn three points in three games this past week, the Battalion slide three spots as they battle to stay in the Eastern Conference race. Brampton would take a tough shootout loss to Kitchener to start their week Thursday, and would be shutout in Sudbury the following night. The Battalion finished the week strong, however, posting a shutout of their own over Niagara. The Battalion plays three games over the weekend ahead, playing games in Kingston and Barrie on Friday and Saturday, before returning to Brampton for a rematch with Kingston.

12. Peterborough Petes – (Last Week: 9) The Petes find themselves struggling recently, and fall three spots after losing five straight contests. Peterborough would lose shootout contests on home ice twice this past week, to Sarnia on Thursday and Ottawa on Saturday, before being blasted off the ice in Oshawa Sunday evening. If the Petes are to rebound, they need to do so this week, playing three tough games. After hosting Niagara on Thursday, Peterborough hits the road for games in London on Friday and in Sarnia Sunday afternoon.

13. Guelph Storm – (Last Week: 13) Guelph manages to hang on to number 13 this week, after dropping two out of three games. The Storm would lose on home ice to Owen Sound Friday night, and lost in Plymouth the next night. Guelph would be able to salvage the week, earning the win in Saginaw on Sunday. Another three game weekend ahead for the Storm, who host Barrie Friday, before playing in Owen Sound Saturday. Guelph returns home to wrap up the weekend Sunday afternoon against London.

14. Mississauga St. Michaels Majors – (Last Week: 16) A team sliding recently, the Mississauga Majors would put together a decent stretch of games this week, picking up two wins over two tough opponents this week. Mississauga would earn a Friday night victory in Kitchener, and then defeated Ottawa on Sunday afternoon, back at home. The Majors will look to keep a modest winning streak alive with a pair of home games this week, first hosting Niagara on Friday, then battling with Kitchener on Sunday.

15. Oshawa Generals – (Last Week: 17) With speculation surrounding the future of the club, the Generals offence finally came through this week, as they would outscore their opponents 17-5 in a pair of victories. A big win over Sarnia on Friday night would build the momentum needed to knock off their rivals from Peterborough with a lopsided victory two nights later. Now winners of three of their last four, Oshawa looks to keep the recent success going with a pair of games on the road this week, playing in Sudbury on Friday night, and taking on Sault Ste. Marie Sunday evening.

16. Windsor Spitfires – (Last Week: 15) The Spits drop a spot this week, landing at number 16 after earning three points in as many games on an East Division road trip. Windsor held tough in Ottawa, earning a point in an overtime loss, but would lose the next night in Belleville. The Spitfires would finish the week on a high note, defeating Kingston on Sunday afternoon. Windsor hosts Belleville in a rematch to start their week off on Thursday, then play in Kitchener on Friday. The Spits finish the week at home Saturday, taking on Erie.

17. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – (Last Week: 14) What was once a promising start has quickly turned south in the Soo, as the team struggles through the ups and downs of a restructuring season. Three more losses this week results in just a single point, an overtime loss in Plymouth on Friday. The Hounds followed that with losses in Saginaw and Sarnia over the weekend. Now losers of seven straight, and nine of their last ten, Sault Ste. Marie looks to turn things around with three games at home in the week ahead. Wednesday night, the Hounds host Sudbury, before visits from Oshawa on Friday, and Ottawa Sunday.

18. Saginaw Spirit – (Last Week: 18) Another tough week for the Spirit, who remain steady at number 18 this week, after winning once in three tries. After being shutout in London Friday night, Saginaw returned home to knock off Sault Ste. Marie the next night, but would lose to Guelph Sunday afternoon. The Spirit get to stay home this week, playing a pair of games over the weekend when Belleville visits on Saturday, and Erie Sunday.

19. Kingston Frontenacs – (Last Week: 19) Kingston continues to struggle this season, but are developing a reputation as a team that never quits. Speculation surrounding the future of the squad has been a lot for everyone to take in as of late, and a pair of losses this week only compound the problem. After being humiliated on home ice by Belleville on Friday, the Fronts fought back, playing a much better contest in an eventual loss to Windsor Sunday afternoon. Kingston faces a three game weekend ahead, starting on home ice when Brampton comes to town. Over the weekend, the Fronts play games in Niagara Saturday, and return the visit to Brampton Sunday.

20. Erie Otters – (Last Week: 20) Dead last in the Ontario Hockey League, the Otters have quickly become the forgotten team, as they struggle with just three wins and seven points in 28 games to date. Three more losses over the last week, to Niagara, a shootout loss to Barrie, and Kitchener added to the slide, which is now at 13 straight losses. The point earned against the Colts was the first since November 4th, and is the only point earned during the losing streak. The Otters look to break the streak this week, as they hit the road for three games over the weekend, beginning in Sarnia on Friday night. Erie will make stops in Windsor and Saginaw over the weekend, hoping for a different result.

The ITO Three Stars and Power Rankings can be found every Tuesday here at In The O… The Radio Show. Be sure to check back next week to see where your favourite team ranks, but if you can’t wait for your OHL fix, find me on Twitter, @N24Nicholson.

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