The Generals face the Sudbury Wolves tonight at the General Motor Centre, with the puck set to drop at 6:05 PM.
Tonight marks the fourth and final time these two teams are scheduled to meet. The regular season series has been a rough one for the Generals, with Sudbury taking all three of the previous match ups this year. The tables may have turned though, as the Generals have won five of their last six games and have never been hotter this season than they are now. The Gens may also benefit from Sudbury’s tough schedule, since the tired Wolves will be playing their third game in three days.
Currently ranked five places higher than the Generals in the Eastern Conference, the Wolves are only 5 points ahead. With such close competition, the Wolves made some changes at the trade deadline to help their playoff push. Adding depth to their defence, the Wolves picked up Mackenzie Braid from the Windsor Spitfires. They also added forwards Michael Kantor, who they picked up from the Soo Greyhounds, and Derek Schoenmakers, who came from the Mississauga Majors.
The Generals are coming off an important win on Friday. After having their 5 game winning streak halted in Brampton, the Gens immediately turned around and won the rematch. The Generals remained disciplined against the patient Battalion and drew first blood with 13 seconds left in the first period. The Generlas never fell behind, but were forced into overtime where Andy Andreoff scored 27 seconds into the period. The team’s new defensemen dazzled in their home ice premiere, with Julian Melchiori taking the first star of the game.
The Wolves have had mixed results this weekend. After losing 5-2 to the Niagara IceDogs on Friday on home ice, they travelled to Belleville and took down the Bulls. The Wolves spent the first 30 minutes of game time taking a 3-0 lead and finished the night with a 5-3 win.
The Oshawa Generals player to watch is Matt Petgrave. With only 2 games under his belt as an Oshawa General, Petgrave already has 3 assists for 3 points. Petgrave assisted on the first and last Generals goals in Friday’s win. The 19 year old defenseman was one of three additions to the blueline at the trade deadline. Acquired from Owen Sound, his experience as an OHL Champion with the Attack last season will make him a key element in the Generals playoff push.
Keep an eye out for Wolves winger Joshue Leivo. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, taken 86th overall in 2011, has had some of his finest games this season against Oshawa. In the 3 games between the Gens and Wolves, Leivo has scored 5 goals, including his hat trick on October 22nd. With 2 assists, he has totalled 7 points, and a +5 plus/minus rating. Leivo was an important part of Sudbury’s win last night, with a goal and an assist, and took the second star of the game.
The Generals will travel to Ottawa on the 20th to face the 67’s, then be back on home ice for Saturday, January 21st, to face division rivals, the Kingston Frontenacs at 7:05 PM. They will wrap up their 3 in 3 weekend by hosting the Barrie Colts Sunday, January 22nd at 6:05 PM.