Story & image: Ryan Graham
The Oshawa Generals shot out of the gate faster than any team in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) this year and were ranked number two in the CHL rankings to after winning their first four games.
No one in the league expected this positive start to the season, except perhaps the players on the team. The Generals are a team built around a lot of young players and such teams don’t usually find this kind of success so quickly.
Last year, Oshawa finished fourth in the East Division with only the Bellville Bulls placing behind them.
This low-placing could be blamed on one key stat – the Generals had the highest number of goals allowed. Gens goalies, Kevin Bailie and Michael Zado, let in 299 goals last season – the most in the entire Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
Bailie and Zado are still on the roster this year and started off strong. But after losing two consecutive games, the Generals have come back down to earth.
But it’s not cause for alarm yet. Even though the generals aren’t on top of the CHL they still have highly talented young team.
Oshawa is finally reeking the benefits of the John Tavares deal in the 2008-2009 season as Christian Thomas, a New York Rangers second round pick in 2010 and one of the highly sought after players the Gens got it the trade, is lighting the lamp big time this year.
Thomas, the son of former Toronto Maple Leaf Steve Thomas, leads the Generals in scoring. His 10 goals have him tied for second in the OHL.
Even without the superstar power of a Tavares or Michael Del Zotto, the Gens are still attracting people to the General Motors Centre.
“Were averaging 4,000 (this season),” said Jason Hickman, Manager of Ticket Sales.
Hickman said that number increases when they play the Bellville Bulls and the Peterborough Petes, who are both division rivals.
Even with the Generals slipping a bit in the standings, seats will still fill up, as they bring their skilled young team to the ice.
Stay tuned to this space for more Generals highlights as the season plays on.