Fronts pound Petes 7-2 Friday night
Pembroke native G Tye Austin has all the raw tools needed to catch the eye of NHL scouts, the key word being “raw.” At 6’4”, 198 lbs Austin is a tower between the pipes. Clearly there is more to being successful in hockey than being tall in stature. After Friday nights 7-2 drubbing from the East Division’s cellar dwellar, Austin now supports a 4.58 GAA, and a .855 SV % in 8 games. Fair to say this isn’t good enough. With the World Junior’s quickly approaching, #1 goaltender Hunter Jones will be leaving the Petes for several weeks. In his absence, the puckstopping duties will be shared by Austin and 16 year old prospect Michael Simpson. Simpson has been playing this season with the Petes AAA midget squad in the ETAHL. In the same 8 games, Simpson boasts a 1.13 GAA.
World Junior Championship Camp Starts
The WJC tournament looks like a prime opportunity for Simpson to leap over Austin in the depth chart. GM Mike Oke could consider trading Austin who will likely bring back a veteran player or some solid draft capital. The Petes are poised to make a nice run in the playoffs and other teams can be biased when looking at goaltenders. Tall goalies are what scouts look for in the search for the ideal “Ben Bishop-sized goalie prototype.” Of course a goalie needs to match this athleticism with his height. You don’t find quality 6’4” goaltenders too often in drafts. Austin was a 3rd round draft pick of the Petes in 2018, and was billed as the goalie of the future, once Jones moves on. It is likely too early to just give up on Austin, but he simply hasn’t been competitive between the pipes on nights when Jones sits. Sometimes a change of scenery, and consistent playing time is what a young goaltender needs to take the next step.
Jones stymies the Frontenacs in Saturday’s Rematch 3-1
In what would be their last game before the World Junior team training camp begins, the Petes came out with a 3-1 victory at home. The Frontenacs who had surprisingly won 7 of their previous 8, came out strong after beating Tye Austin and the Petes on Friday in the first of a home and home. The 15 year old rookie sensation Shane Wright gave Kingston a 1-0 lead in the first on the powerplay. From then on out, it was all Peterborough. The Petes outshot Kingston 19-8 in the 2nd frame and got tallies from Nick Robertson and captain Zach Gallant. Robertson just returned after missing a month with a broken hand. In those 3 games he has 2 goals and 4 points. On the year he has scored 21 times in 20 games which continues to lead the Petes in the goals column. Cameron Butler got back onto the score sheet providing the insurance marker, which was his 9th on the campaign.
Leaders of the Pack
The Petes continue to play great team hockey and lead the entire OHL with 44 points. The return of Nick Robertson is massive for the team, as he is their best pure goal scorer. The Petes are 3rd in the league in total goals for with 122 and have still only played 11 of their 30 games at home. That means the 2nd half of the season will be heavily slanted toward home games. The backup goalie situation remains to be a question mark, but that really is a first world problem; as long as Jones stays healthy. In the OHL it is not as imperative to have an elite backup like in the NHL. Petes’ management has done a great job of adding defensive stay-at-home studs to the blueline, but aside from Declan Chisholm, they really don’t get a lot of offense from their defenders. Moving forward they may look to add a cheap offensive defenceman.
For more on the Petes, find me on Twitter @JohnnyBravo_05. All stats gathered from Eliteprospects.com