By Rich Davidson
The Oshawa Generals’ 2012-13 season kicked off tonight with a big win over the Peterborough Petes at the Peterborough Memorial Center. Both teams were tentative early on as some players visibly experienced opening night jitters on the big stage. The Generals carried the play for much of the opening frame, keeping the puck in deep in Petes territory and wringing a shot off the post early. Peterborough would counter with several chances off the rush but would find consistent resistance in Oshawa’s big goalkeeper Daniel Altshuller.
The Generals struck first, capitalizing on a nifty breakaway goal by winger Lucas Lessio worthy of any highlight reel to open the scoring at the midway point of the first period. Lessio’s goal would come on the power-play with Petes forward Nick Ritchie serving a double-minor for roughing. Minutes later Peterborough goalie Andrew D’Agostini would exact some revenge on Lessio, stone-walling the Generals goal scorer at point blank range to keep the score at 1-0.
At the other end of the ice Altshuller would stand on his head throughout the first period, making several key saves with the Petes in close and piling on the pressure with the clock winding down.
The Generals started the second period on the tail end of a power-play but were unable to capitalize on the man advantage. Both teams would trade puck possession for the first half of the second period before the game was blown wide open. Shortly after a dust up that would send Tyler Biggs of the Generals to the penalty box and Clark Seymour of the Petes to the dressing room, Lessio would make it 2-0 with a nice move off the side wall to beat D’Agostini for the second time in the game. Only moments later during 4-on-4 action, Generals captain Boone Jenner would pad Oshawa’s lead with a quick tap-in goal off a hard rebound to make it 3-0 Generals.
The Peterborough Petes would attempt to mount some offense on a late period power play, but were unable to beat Altshuller or Oshawa’s shot blockers to make a dent in the Generals lead. Jenner made short work of D’Agostini, chasing the Petes netminder from the crease with his second tally on the night; a patient wrap around top shelf goal that would bring Peterborough’s backup goaltender Michael Giugovaz into the game.
Peterborough would wait until the third period to attempt the comeback try. The Petes would have an early power-play opportunity, but Altshuller made several big saves with several Peterborough players on the door step to kill the penalty. Shortly after, a Sebastian Uvira breakaway goal on the man advantage would make it 5-0 Oshawa.
The Petes broke Altshuller’s shutout bid late in the third period after Francis Menard scored a top corner goal coming on a 2-on-1 chance to breathe some life into the home crowd. Just moments later the Petes would make it 5-2 after an offensive zone faceoff win would lead to a Stephen Pierog deflection goal in front of a screened Altshuller.
In the end it would be too little, too late, as the Generals would hold on for a 5-2 win and pick up two important points over the Peterborough Petes in the season opener on Thursday night. Shots were 37-36 favoring the Generals. Oshawa went 2 for 5 on the power-play while the Petes were unable to score with a man-up to go 0 for 3. Lucas Lessio, Boone Jenner, and Matt Petgrave led the way for Oshawa with 3 points apiece.
The Generals are back in action Friday night against the Wolves in Sudbury. Puck drop is at 7:05 pm ET.
Rich Davidson is a freelance hockey writer covering the OHL this season. Follow Rich’s work at: