Two of Ottawa’s top draft picks from last summer’s NHL entry draft came through the J Benson Cartage (Ottawa Civic) Centre this past weekend. On Friday night, the Peterborough Petes and Matt Puempel visited the Ottawa 67′s while on Sunday it was Stefan Noesen and the Plymouth Whalers breezing through town.
If Sens fans went to the game(s) expecting to see first round magic, they left sorely disappointed.
First up was Peterborough’s Puempel. He was mostly invisible on the night, playing on what amounted to the Petes’ 2nd line. He was limited in what he did creatively with the puck, as he didn’t have it very much. The Petes had only 2 power plays during the game, and the didn’t show much effort with the man advantage, Puempel included. It was a disappointing night for both Puempel and the Petes, as Ottawa skated away with a 5-1 victory.
Sunday afternoon’s contest was physical, and one that was apparently not well suited to Stefan Noesen’s game. Despite recording an assist on Plymouth’s only goal of the game, his play also left a lot to be desired. He is a smooth skater, but really needs to build up a lot of strength as he seemed easily pushed off the puck without much effort. He played solid in his own end, but what the Whalers count on him for is offense, and he was -2 (although 2 of the goals were the empty netters). In fairness, many of the top Plymouth players could be accused of taking the day off, not just Noesen.
Both Senators’ prospects are averaging exactly a point per game, so their seasons have not been that bad on the whole. But as a Senators fan looking for a glimpse of the future, I was disappointed on both fronts this weekend.
Fortunately, Puempel will be through town (and have the opportunity to impress) 3 more times this season. As he plays in the Western Conference, Sunday was the only time we will get to see Noesen in Ottawa this season (unless Ottawa and Plymouth make the OHL finals).
THE 67′s WEEK THAT WAS
The 67′s two victories kept the club perfect in their own rink, pushing their home record to 4-0. They overtook the Peterborough Petes for first in the East Division, and hope their performance leads to an improvement on their #10 overall CHL ranking from last week. Petr Mrazek played both games on the weekend, allowing only one goal in each. He now has the third best GAA in the OHL. Sean Monahan sits 4th in OHL scoring, behind a trio of Barrie Colts.
THE 67′s WEEK UPCOMING
Ottawa has one home game this Friday night (7:30 pm) before they leave for 5 straight road games over parts of the next 3 weeks. They visit the Oshawa Generals on Saturday. Hopefully Senators’ prospect Shane Prince will be recovered from his shoulder injury in time to suit up for the 67′s on Friday. He has missed the last 6 games after being injured in the season opener.
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