148 days have passed since the Petes lost a heart-breaking Game Four against the cross-conference rival Mississauga Steelheads in the Eastern Conference Final. Although time may heal all wounds, Petes players and coaches hold that loss fresh in their minds, and are using it as motivation to reach an even higher level this season.
Enter the 2017-18 Peterborough Petes.
Lead by team captain and Peterborough native Logan DeNoble, the mighty maroon and white open up the 62nd consecutive year of junior hockey in the Electric City on Thursday night against the defending OHL champion Erie Otters.
Peterborough is ranked as an honourable mention in the pre-season CHL Top 10 listing – a veritable who’s who of junior hockey supremacy. The ranking is not without good reason, as this year’s roster is still stocked with high-achievers. Fifteen of sixteen returning players set career-highs in points, with veterans including alternate captains Alex Black, Zach Gallant, Jonathan Ang, and Matt Timms looking to continue their pace from last year.
Despite the veteran depth, it must be noted that this year’s crop of freshman – including high-flying forward Nick Robertson, towering walk-on John Parker-Jones, and NCAA de-commit Bobby Dow – are poised to have a big impact as well.
On the other end of the ice, the Erie Otters are experiencing heavy turnover since their stellar spring ended with division, conference, and OHL championships, as well as a berth in the MasterCard Memorial Cup final. Nine players from that team, including stand-outs Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Anthony Cirelli, Warren Foegele, and former Pete Cam Lizotte, have graduated, though, leaving an opportunity for fresh faces like Chad Yetman, Max Golod, and Aidan Timmermans to fill the void.
Between the pipes, look out for Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells to kick off what could be a highlight-reel season for the St. Catharines native. He’ll square off against fellow veteran Troy Timpano for the Otters. Opening ceremonies activities, including team introductions, a message from Petes President Dave Pogue, the East Division championship banner raising, and more, begin at 7pm.
Don’t miss the 2017-18 Home Opener! Tickets are still available in the $10 Supporter Section or in the Club Section. Peterborough This Week will be handing out free Petes cheer cards at the game, while fans can also enjoy merchandise specials and the new, completely free, Retro’s E-Sports Gaming Lounge in the East Lobby (seriously, it’s a free arcade – more on this later).
— Peterborough Petes (@PetesOHLhockey) September 20, 2017