PRE-GAME WARM-UP: Petes vs. Spitfires – Jan. 4 @ 7:05pm
The Petes are in the thick of a jam packed week of games that began on December 28 in Guelph, and will wrap up in Ottawa on Saturday. Thursday’s home game against the Windsor Spitfires will be Peterborough’s fifth of six games in a ten day stretch.
While the Petes fell 7-2 to the conference-leading Bulldogs in Hamilton on Wednesday night, the reigning MasterCard Memorial Cup champion Spitfires are preparing for an Eastern Conference road swing – they’ll visit the Frontenacs in Kingston on Friday, and take on the 67’s in Ottawa on Sunday afternoon.
As can be expected from a team after winning one of hockey’s most prestigious trophies, Windsor’s lineup is far different from the one they iced during the Mem Cup tournament, with just eight of the same players on their roster today. Some graduated from the league, while others have been traded. The Spits traded defenceman Logan Stanley to Kitchener for five picks; they sent their then-leading goal scorer, Aaron Luchuk, to the Barrie Colts for Curtis Douglas and three picks; and, in recent days sent the combo of Gabe Vilardi and Sean Day to Kingston for Cody Morgan and a whopping eight picks. Other key departures included Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco, OA Adam Laishram, and Canadiens prospect Mikhail Sergachev.
Despite the differences in their roster, the Spitfires sit comfortably in fifth place in the Western Conference, only eleven points out of second spot, with three games in hand.
Their success can, in large part, be contributed to the play of their starting goaltender, Michael DiPietro. The third year Spit, who was the final goalie released from Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, is the OHL’s fourth-ranked netminder based on a 2.60 goals against average and .920 save percentage. He has an 18-9-1-0 record, and is tied for the league lead in shutouts (3).
Expect Dylan Wells to get the start opposite DiPietro, after rookie Hunter Jones got the call in Wednesday’s match up.
Third year forward Cole Purboo leads the team offensively, with 12 goals, 21 assists, and 33 points in 35 games this season.
Nikita Korostelev extended his scoring streak to seven games with a goal and assist on Wednesday night; he now has points in 14 of his last 15 games.
Off the ice, Thursday’s game is sponsored by Tim Hortons and will include tons of great Tim Hortons giveaways to lucky fans in attendance.
More than 300 Peterborough Minor Hockey Council (PMHC) players will take in the game with their teammates and families. PMHC representatives will take part in a pre-game ceremonial puck drop. Fans are invited to take part in the second intermission chuck-a-puck, the proceeds from which will directed to the PMHC.
Local businesses and organizations who are taking part in the 2018 Petes Playoff Push Rinkboard Draw will also be in attendance. In the first intermission, one of the participating organizations will be announced as the winner of a free rinkboard advertisement valued at $2,000.
Finalists in the 2018 Snofest Idol contest will be providing entertainment in the arena’s main lobby before the game. Finalist Amy Sarginson will perform the national anthem.
Game tickets are available starting at $8 through the Collins Barrow PMC Box Office, online, or by phone at (705) 743-3561.
Petes Holiday Flex Packs are available while supplies last. Receive four regular bowl flex vouchers to be used between December 30 and January 20, as well as two Petes rocks glasses for just $59.99, a savings of over 40%. Don’t forget to download the free Petes Mobile App, available for iPhone or Android devices.