Jesse Graham (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
There are nights where the efforts of the New York Islander and New York Ranger prospects can't be measured by the points they may or may not score. Thursday night was one of those nights when for the Niagara IceDogs as it wasn't the scoring of Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) that was the key but the defense played by defenseman Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) and forward Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) that helped the IceDogs earn a 3-2 win over the Mississauga Steelheads.
In the 2nd period with the IceDogs trailing 2-1, yes it was Strome who set up the game tying goal with his 3rd assist of the season. For Strome (4-3-7 on the season) it gave him points in all 5 games Niagara has played.
But in the 3rd period when Niagara took the lead at 1:10; the IceDogs played an almost perfect period keeping the Steelheads from scoring the tying goal. The Steelheads just could not get anything to go in despite 13 shots on goal.
Graham played well even if it won't show on the scoresheet, he won't score a ton of points but his defense is just as important a reason why the IceDogs are 4-1. Mitchell Theoret didn't score but it was his line that scored the game winner and Theoret also was involved in his first fight of the season.
Remember this season fighting majors are being counted especially if you are also called for instigating as Theoret was.
Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) didn't score in his Guelph Storm's 5-0 whipping of the Windsor Spitfires. Pedan though did add to his OHL leading PIMs with 2 more minors.
After 5 games Pedan has earned 28 PIMs and one has to wonder how soon the OHL will suspend him at this rate. As for the game, the Storm were just too much for the Spitfires as the Storm improves to 3-2 on the season.
Got some video of the game courtesy of TVCogecoOntario
In Peterborough, the Peterborough Petes continue their tough start dropping their 3rd straight game this time to the Sudbury Wolves 4-1. The Petes are an OHL worst 1-4, out scored 22-9 and one has to wonder whether changes in players or staff might be happening soon if things don't turn around.
Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) was scoreless and a -1 for the game. This was was ugly as the Wolves got better defensively as the game wore on.
Here are a very short video highlight package of the game also from the folks at TVCogecoOntario.
Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) and Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) along with their Edmonton Oil Kings are discovering that life as a champion can be tough. Every team they play is wanting to beat them and Thursday night it was the Prince Albert Raiders looking to extend their own great start.
Despite the Oil Kings holding the Raiders to just 21 shots, the Raiders won going away 4-1. The Raiders made St. Croix (-3) and Reinhart (-2) look bad and kept them from playing an effective game.
It is still early in the season and the Oil Kings are way too talented to let this go on for long. They will adjust and turn things around.