The Peterborough Petes kick off their home opener this Thursday, October 14 at 7:05 pm. It’s been 586 days since the last home regular-season game was play at Peterborough Memorial Center and we are excited to have our fans back cheering us on. There have been some significant changes to the Peterborough Petes over the past year and a half, some of which are truly riveting and should capture your excitement moving into the season. Here are 10 reasons why you should be attending the home opener against the Sudbury Wolves.
- It’s that time of year: The leaves are turning colours, the weather is getting chillier, and days are becoming shorter. That only means one thing, the hockey season is upon us. Autumn and hockey go hand in hand and represents new beginnings for every team in the sport, regardless of the level. The beginning of the hockey season means that every team is starting with the same record, ripe with opportunities for success as the season progresses into winter and spring. Fall hockey is exciting and riveting as we transition from getting tans on the beach into bundling up at the arenas and watching our favourite teams begin their hockey seasons.
- New video board: The Peterborough Petes have invested in a state-of-the-art video board, which is now the biggest video board in the CHL. The board features four 42”x 24” screens, with an additional digital ring underneath the board which will capture the game’s best moments in high definition. This board will amplify the experience for everyone in the arena, bringing opportunities for new contests during intermissions and clearer video footage for replays during the game. We are excited to use this board to create a better experience for every fan inside the Peterborough Memorial Center.
- Goalie Trio: This season, the Petes are entering the campaign with immense goalie depth in Tye Austin, Michael Simpson, and Liam Sztuska. Austin is the veteran of the group, having backed up Hunter Jones for two seasons, prior to the OHL shutdown. Since then, the Petes drafted Sztuska, who will look to suit up for their first OHL games this season, while Simpson made his start last Friday night against the Wolves. During the pre-season, we saw flashes of brilliance from all three of these goalies. The following clip shows Simpson making back-to-back incredible saves against the Sudbury Wolves. There are tons to be excited about regarding this group of netminders.
- Defence Core: Big and skilled is the easiest way to describe this season’s defence core for the Petes. The team has three defencemen returning to the team in Shawn Spearing, Artem Guryev, and Josh Kavanagh. These three players will be leaned on heavily for leadership throughout the 2021-22 season. Donovan McCoy was selected 15th overall at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, possessing an arsenal of skills with speed and physicality. Konnor Smith will be hard to miss with his 6’4 frame which he frequently uses to lay big hits against his opponents. The Petes have two additional d-men who can contribute offensively, Brian Zanetti, a Philadelphia Flyers pick, and Samuel Mayer.
- Youth and future on display: The Petes have a relatively young roster going into the season, with several players playing their first OHL game this year. This is an interesting prospect for the Petes as many of their players graduating last year and who are now playing in the AHL, NHL, and USports leagues. There is an opportunity for younger players to rise to the occasion and take advantage of the situation, which we have already been seeing during the pre-season. Forwards Nick Lardis and Justin DeZoete have taken pre-season by storm, becoming increasingly comfortable with each passing game. The youth will be fun to watch as they progress and develop throughout the season!
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- Rivalry, rivalry, rivalry: The Petes kicked off the season against the North Bay Battalion on October 7 and stayed on the road until their home opener on October 14. The schedule is set for the 2021-22 season, and there are a significant amount of games against our divisional rivals. For instance, we play 12 games against the Oshawa Generals this season. Yes, that’s right, 12. The atmosphere in the Peterborough Memorial Center will be electric throughout the season as we face off against our biggest and historic rivals, you’re not going to want to miss out!
- Petes players at NHL camps: Several Petes players attended NHL camps over the past few weeks. Tye Austin attended camp with the Florida Panthers and spent time with Roberto Luongo. Tucker Robertson spent time with the Carolina Hurricanes and Michel Simpson trained with the Arizona Coyotes. More recently, J.R. Avon and Brian Zanetti arrived back from the Philadelphia Flyers camps after long stints, with Avon signing an entry-level NHL contract with the Flyers. These experiences are invaluable for our players and will aid in their development as hockey players this season!
- Thursday night lights: Thursday nights are for the Petes. It has been a long tradition to fill the Peterborough Memorial Center on Thursday nights to see the maroon and white take on their opponents. The energy in the arena on Thursday nights is electric, and the players feed off the energy. On Thursday nights, the Petes game is the place to be!
- It’s not your house: Are you tired of the endless night of Netflix and SkipTheDishes? How about a Petes game and PMC Pub and Grill? We have an in-arena restaurant that is directly behind one of the goaltender’s nets. If you needed an excuse to change the weekly routine, you can grab a bite and watch a high-paced hockey game at the Peterborough Memorial Center. We also have Roger the mascot, who is a huge part of our games and is universally loved!
- It’s simply been too long without you: Petes fan, we’ve missed you. It has been 586 days since we’ve played regular-season hockey at the Peterborough Memorial Center. You bring life and energy into these walls, and the players are truly going to appreciate having you back in the stands. To quote goalie Tye Austin, “Man, playing and practicing without fans hasn’t been easy. We miss them, our entire team does”.
Make sure to grab your tickets to the home opener on Thursday, October 14 against the Sudbury Wolves! Get your single game tickets here: https://tickets.memorialcentre.ca/Online/default.asp