The Petes – the Eastern Conference’s only undefeated team heading into the weekend – hosted the reigning OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday night. Prior to the game, the Petes recognized Arthur Kaliyev, Nick Robertson, and Hunter Jones for their early-season and off-season accomplishments, and also paid tribute to Bulldogs head coach Dave Matsos – who is recovering after collapsing during Hamilton’s game against Barrie during OHL Opening Week.
The ceremony may have helped Hamilton, who came out hot in their first game of the weekend. After the East Division rivals traded chances, the ‘Dogs got on the board first with Tim Fleischer scoring six minutes into the game from Kade Landry and Logan Morrison. Just over two minutes later the visitors padded their lead with Matt Strome netting his first of the season from Brandon Saigeon and Arthur Kaliyev.
The Petes were looking to escape the first frame without any further damage, but Kaliyev drew a penalty shot with 38 seconds to play and buried the chance to extend the lead to 3-0 before the break. shots on goal after 20 minutes were 14-10 for the homers.
The Liftlock Lads were ineffective in the second period, working hard but generating few strong chances as they started to feel the absence of injured sniper Nick Robertson. Hamilton buried three more chances in the middle frame, with Liam Stevens (Landry, Fleischer), Isaac Nurse (Mattinen, Morrison), and Kaliyev (Saigeon, Strome) lighting the lamp.
A bright spot on the evening was the fan support offered to Petes goalie Tye Austin’s hometown of Dunrobin, Ontario, which was ravaged by a tornado earlier this month. Fans bought out a fundraising chuck-a-puck in support of the relief efforts, sending $700 to the Ottawa 67’s and OSEG relief pool.
It was a big night for Austin both on and off the ice, as the 16 year-old made his OHL debut in place of Hunter Jones to started the third period. Jones left the game with the Petes being outshot 20-18.
Austin looked solid in his first few minutes, giving the Petes a spark, and it resulted in fellow rookie Cameron Butler breaking Nick Donofrio’s shutout bid from Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (his fist point since signing a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs) and Winnipeg prospect Declan Chisholm.
Although the Petes penalty kill was strong on the night, the number of minutes in the box proved detrimental, squashing any miraculous comeback as the team tallied several more minors in the third. Hamilton’s Stevens squandered Austin’s debut with a marker to make it 7-1 from DJ King and Kaliyev.
The clock wound down with Peterborough killing yet another ‘Dogs powerplay, this time of the 5-on-3 variety, ending the weekend on a sour note, but with fire in their belly heading into next week’s action.
The first, second, and third stars, respectively, were Fleischer, Landry and Kaliyev. Cam Butler was named the Mark’s hardest working player of the game. The final shots on goal were 29-25 for Hamilton in the 7-1 loss as the Petes moved to 3-1 on the season.
The Petes are home again on Thursday, October 4 against the Soo Greyhounds, who will be making their only stop in the electric city this season. Fans can still take advantage of the Season Starter Pack and save over $40 on tickets and merchandise by clicking here.
Hungry fans should also get their tickets while supplies last for the all-you-can-eat Petesa Party on Friday, October 12. Tickets start at just $10, with proceeds supporting the Petes Education Fund and Roger Neilson House.