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Running With the Colts

WEEKEND RECAP: The Barrie Colts had a quiet opening weekend to the 2006-07 OHL season as they had just one game on their schedule..Thursday evening they hosted the Toronto St. Michael's Majors in their home opener and posted an 8-4 victory..The Colts established a 4-0 lead in the opening period before the Majors answered with four of their own in the second..Matthieu Methot's (1) powerplay goal 1:15 into the third period proved to be the game-winner for the home side..Other scorers for the Colts included: Bryan Little (1,2), Hunter Tremblay (1), Andrew Marshall (1), Matthew Bragg (1) and Richard Clune (1,2), who scored a pair in his first game with his new team since being acquired September 14 from the Sarnia Sting..Andrew Perugini made 32 saves in goal in recording his first victory of the season

WHAT'S ON TAP: The Colts have a pair of divisional games scheduled for this weekend beginning with a Friday night trip to the Powerade Centre to face the Brampton Battalion (7:30 p.m.)..It will be their first meeting since the Colts defeated the Battalion four games to one during their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series last season..The Colts conclude their weekend with a home game Saturday evening versus the Mississauga Ice Dogs at the Barrie Molson Centre (7:30 p.m.)..Tickets are still available and can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (705)-739-7666, in person at the Molson Centre box office, or on-line at www.barriecolts.com

WEEKEND POINTS LEADERS: Vladimir Nikiforov (0g-5a) and Bryan Little (2g-3a) share the team lead in points with five each..Andrew Marshall (1g-1a), Richard Clune (2g-0a), Matthew Bragg (1g-1a) and Hunter Tremblay (1g-1a) are tied for second for the team lead in points with two apiece

LOOKING AHEAD: With his five points in the Colts' home opener, Bryan Little now has 240 career points (114g-126a) in 191 career regular season games with the club.He is currently 94 points shy of tying Daniel Tkaczuk for the franchise lead in overall points scoring.Tkaczuk established a franchise record 334 points (145g-189a) through 238 career games from 1995 to 1999

STAYING CENTRAL: Here is a look at the Colts and how they fare in the Central Division standings after the opening weekend of play:

1- Mississauga Ice Dogs 2-0-0-0, 4 points

2- Brampton Battalion 2-1-0-0, 4 points

3- Barrie Colts 1-0-0-0, 2 points

4- Toronto St. Michael's Majors 1-2-0-0, 2 points

5- Sudbury Wolves 0-2-0-0, 0 points

RUNNING ON ALL CYLINDERS: 18-year old rookie center Tomas Marcinko returned to Barrie Sunday afternoon from the New York Islanders' training camp..The club now has all of their players back from NHL camps and can ice a full roster for Friday's game in Brampton...Vladimir Nikiforov (Dallas), Bryan Little (Atlanta), Richard Clune (Dallas) and Hunter Tremblay (Toronto) all returned to the team earlier this month.
 

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Colbert Report Exclusive at Spirit Game

(Saginaw, MI) Join the Saginaw Spirit, in partnership with Comedy Central's Colbert Report, as they unveil the newest team mascot at the September 30th home game! The unveiling will take place prior to the puck drop.

Other activities on that night include an Oktoberfest celebration and magnet schedule give-a-way.

The Spirit recently received national attention when the Colbert Report featured the new mascot's naming contest. The show's host, Stephen Colbert, urged his fan base to log onto saginawspirit.com to vote and have the new mascot named after him.

Original story below:

Mid-Michigan's Ontario Hockey League franchise, The Saginaw Spirit, were featured on the Comedy Central program "The Colbert Report" Tuesday night.

The program's host, Stephen Colbert, used the recent 'Name the Mini-Mascot' contest on the website to lobby that his name be used to name the mini-mascot. Click here to see an archived version of the story titled "Stephen Colbert Bridge" with a picture of Chuck Norris in the corner next to Colbert.

The number of hits at www.saginawspirit.com jumped sharply after the program's airing Tuesday as of 11:30 AM, the Spirit had registered approximately 10 times the regular daily traffic. Spirit web provider Netsource One reports that they have shut down non-essential services on the Saginaw Spirit webserver to meet the extra demand.

The Saginaw Spirit website, www.saginawspirit.comwas designed and is maintained by Saginaw-based Netsource One. The mini-mascot design was composed by Sugars Mascots of Toronto, Ontario. You can visit their site at www.mascots.ca.
 

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OHL drug testing a good idea

The Ontario Hockey League manages to produce, every year, high calibre players who go on to lucrative careers in the National Hockey League. But even in this family-friendly environment -- children routinely spend time chasing after Guelph Storm mascot Spyke -- there is a potentially dark underbelly, one the OHL is trying to dispel altogether with the introduction of a drug testing program. Whether there is doping going on in the league, introducing a testing program proves the league wants to attack any problems before they arise, and is aware of the damage that can be done to entire sporting events when allegations of drug use arise.

While full details about the program have not been released, it is believed to be similar to one implemented by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League two years ago. In that program, one positive test for performance enhancing or illegal substances nets a player a five- to 10-game suspension, a 25-game suspension for a second offence and a permanent suspension on a third offence. In the NHL, first and second positive tests net players a 20- and 60-game suspension, respectively.

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Rookies pace Petes' win; New head coach earns first victory

Peterborough Petes' rookies are making a case that they'll be able to contribute immediately in the OHL.

First-year players accounted for all four goals including Kris Krolouski's two goals and assist to help Vince Malette pick up his first win as a head coach, spoiling Belleville Bulls home opener with a 4-2 win before 2,871 fans at Yardmen Arena Saturday.

Krolouski and Brett Theberge scored 4:54 apart midway through the third period to open up a 4-1 lead. Krolouski pounced on a loose puck wiring a wrist shot over the blocker of goalie Kevin Lalande. Theberge emerged from behind the Bulls' net and ripped a backhand shot top corner.

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Rangers defender recovers from unpenalized hit

Dan Kelly is out of hospital. "I'm feeling a lot better," said the rookie Kitchener Rangers blueliner, who was released from Grand River Hospital yesterday after suffering a concussion in Friday's 3-2 season-opening Ontario Hockey League loss to the Soo Greyhounds at the Aud. "I'm feeling almost ready to go."

Kelly, who was kept in hospital Saturday as a precautionary measure, will be watched carefully as he recovers.

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Rookies pace Petes' first win for new coach

Peterborough Petes’ rookies are making a case that they’ll be able to contribute immediately in the OHL.

First-year players accounted for all four goals including Kris Krolouski’s two goals and assist to help Vince Malette pick up his first win as a head coach, spoiling Belleville Bulls home opener with a 4-2 win before 2,871 fans at Yardmen Arena Saturday.

Krolouski and Brett Theberge scored 4:54 apart midway through the third period to open up a 4-1 lead. Krolouski pounced on a loose puck wiring a wrist shot over the blocker of goalie Kevin Lalande. Theberge emerged from behind the Bulls’ net and ripped a backhand shot top corner.

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John LeClair's goal gave the Penguins a win over the Flyers.

No Sid the Kid on the ice.

No Peter the Great in sight -- unless you happen to hold an extremely high opinion of Philadelphia Flyers forward Petr Nedved.

With Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby in a suit and tie and Philadelphia marksmen Peter Forsberg and Simon Gagne nowhere to be seen, the Penguins skated to a rather ordinary 2-1 victory over the Flyers in an NHL preseason game before a sold-out -- but mostly muted -- crowd of 9,090 last night at the John Labatt Centre.

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Lots of ice for young guns

Philadelphia Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock loved the John Labatt Centre when he visited a few years ago with the Flyers and his opinion hasn't changed.

"It's just a great junior barn," he said, "and it's in a nice spot in the city centre."

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Spirit fall at home

Guelph’s Mike McLean had a hat trick as the Storm overcame a two goal deficit to beat the Saginaw Spirit 4-3 Saturday at the Dow Event Center.
The Spirit’s Tyler Haskins scored two goals and added two assists in Saginaw’s home opener.
Haskins started the scoring for the Spirit at 4:59 of the first period. Ryan McDonough scored at 8:35 of the first as the Spirit took a 2-0 lead.
The Storm’s Tyler Melancon scored to cut Saginaw’s lead to 2-1 at the end of the first period.
During the second period, McLean scored his first goal at the 17:02 mark to tie the game 2-2.
McLean scored the first two goals of the third period as the Storm took a two goal lead.

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McCollum shines in Storm debut

Rookie Storm goaltender Thomas McCollum made quite a debut for the Guelph Storm yesterday in Windsor.

The 16-year-old Sanborn, N.Y., native stopped all 34 shots he faced yesterday in a 5-0 blanking of the Windsor Spitfires.

The victory wrapped up a great opening weekend for the Storm that also included 4-3 come-from-behind wins in Saginaw Saturday night and Friday at home over Owen Sound.

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Bulls struggle in home opener

The new Belleville Bulls look suspiciously like the old Belleville Bulls.

At least they did on Saturday night, dropping a lacklustre 4-2 decision to the Peterborough Petes in Belleville’s 2006-2007 OHL regular season home opener at Yardmen Arena.

With a couple of significant off-season additions and the maturation of some key veteran players in the lineup, Bulls are expected to boast a high-octane offence this season. But the new-look Bulls looked like the same offensively-challenged Belleville team of the past two seasons in Saturday’s contest.

“We could make a lot of excuses but there really aren’t any,” said Bulls head coach George Burnett. “It’s a valuable lesson learned early in the season. It’s just too bad our fans had to watch it.”


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Fronts blast Gens

They scored just one goal during a flurry of power-play opportunities in yesterday's first period, but for the Kingston Frontenacs the collateral damage they inflicted may have had a much greater impact.

"We got it back shorthanded and I thought maybe we would settle down," said Oshawa Generals coach Brad Selwood, after his team dropped a 6-3 Ontario Hockey League decision yesterday at the Memorial Centre.

"But it takes a toll."

Of the last nine minutes of the first period, the Generals played six minutes shorthanded. Of that, they played 1:57 two men short, and they followed that by playing the first 2:14 of the second period at a man disadvantage.

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Emmerton starts off season with style

Cory Emmerton started his Ontario Hockey League season in style.

The 18-year-old from St. Thomas had two goals and an assist yesterday to help the Kingston Frontenacs to a 6-3 victory over the Oshawa Generals.

Emmerton now holds the early OHL scoring lead with eight points thanks to the two goals and three assists he had in Friday's 9-5 season-opening win over Ottawa.

He was selected 41st overall by the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL draft in June after putting up 90 points in 66 games for the Frontenacs last season.

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IceDogs make it two in a row

Hockey is back to being fun again for the Mississauga IceDogs.

Just ask the players, like Jordan Owens for example, and they'll tell anyone who is willing to listen that it's a lot more pleasant going to the rink this year, compared with last year when the IceDogs were doormats in the Ontario Hockey League.

"There are a lot more smiling faces that's for sure," Owens said Sunday afternoon after he scored once and assisted on two other goals to lead the IceDogs to their second convincing win in as many starts. Mississauga thumped the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, 6-2.

"Last year is always in the back of your mind but we just want to move forward," said Owens. "It's nice to be on a winning team for a change but at the end of the day, we just want to be a team that's tough to play against."

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American has immediate impact in first OHL season

Trevor Lewis might find himself in a new league, but the Owen Sound Attack centre isn't wasting any time making himself at home.

The Los Angeles Kings first round draft pick has two goals and an assist in his first two games in the Ontario Hockey League and he looks like he owns the ice on the power play.

"The power play was good (Saturday) for the most part so I'm happy with it and I just hope we can keep it going," said Lewis, who scored once and added an assist Saturday in the Attack's 4-3 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in Owen Sound's home opener.

"The OHL has definitely got the better talent and it's probably a little tougher. I think the top two lines are probably stronger in the OHL. The (United States Hockey League, where he played last season) is still a good league but I've noticed the difference."

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Storm draftee shining on Doms blueline

Travis Gibbons was just what the doctor ordered for the Guelph Dominators.

With just two returning blueliners heading into this season, the Dominators really didn't know what they were getting when the Guelph Storm sent them Gibbons just before the season started. The Storm had drafted the 16-year-old London native in the seventh round of the Ontario Hockey League entry draft in May.

Despite his age, Gibbons has turned out to be one of the Dominators top defencemen, playing a regular shift as well as being a fixture on both the power play and penalty kill unit.

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No captain for now; Petes' Pieces

The Petes are holding off on naming their captain until they know what players will be returning from pro camps, said Petes' coach Vince Malette.

Assistant captain letters have been handed out to Kyle Raftis and Daniel Ryder.

Once the Petes know whether Jordan Staal, Steve Downie and, potentially, another overage forward will be back then they'll make their decision, said Malette.

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Emmerton gets OHL career off to solid start

Cory Emmerton started his Ontario Hockey League season in style.

The 18-year-old from St. Thomas, Ont., had two goals and an assist on Sunday to help the Kingston Frontenacs to a 6-3 victory over the Oshawa Generals.

Emmerton now holds the early OHL scoring lead with eight points thanks to the two goals and three assists he had in Friday's 9-5 season-opening win over Ottawa.


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Greyhounds give up three power-play goals in 4-3 loss to Owen Sound

Two down, six to go. That's how many more road games it'll be before the Soo Greyhounds finally play at home and they can take solace from the fact they escaped their first road-trip batting .500.

Following a 4-3 loss to the Owen Sound Attack on Saturday, the Hounds fell to 1-1 on the season and returned home looking to get a little rest before heading back out on the road.

And on their next trip, which kicks off in Windsor on Thursday, Hounds coach Craig Hartsburg will be sure to stress the importance of discipline after his team took nine penalties Saturday and gave up three power-play goals.

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Video goal judge put to work

The video goal judge, a new addition to the OHL regular season, got a workout Sunday at Sudbury Community Arena, with the officials referring to him on three plays around the Wolves goal.

On Cody Hodgson's goal, which was initially waved off because he redirected it with his skate, the video judge left it up to the referees' discretion and they reversed their decision.

However, on two goal-line plays, the video goal judge made the calls.

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