The Bulls went 3-1-1 over the past two weeks to bring them into contention for their first division title in their 20 year history. They’ve come out on top through the playoffs a few times but have never tallied the most points during the regular season, thanks mainly to the 67’s. The Bulls showed their offensive talents with a 9-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers and a 9-3 win over the Oshawa Generals. They also beat Kingston 3-1, while battling to a 1-1 tie with Sudbury and losing to Barrie 7-4.
KITCHENER(2) @ BELLEVILLE(9) – March 3The game started off fairly slow with very little scoring or pace, but the Bulls got rolling in the second period and it turned ugly. As usual the top line for the Bulls did most of the damage, chasing Rangers goalie Scott Dickie from the game in favor of Jeff Johnston, who probably wished he was the stick boy rather than the back-up goalie on this night. Andre Benoit and Steve Eminger were the best players on the ice for Kitchener. Branko Radivojevic (2G, 2A) and Randy Rowe (1G, 3A) were the Bulls top scorers on this night. The top two lines of the Bulls were passing the puck very crisply catching the Rangers off guard most of the night. Kyle Wellwood (1G, 2A) was at his crafty best setting up some nice scoring opportunities, while Nate Robinson (2G, 1A) was flying all over the ice. Other point getters for the Bulls were: Mike Renzi (1G, 2A), Alex White (1G, 1A), Nick Policelli (1A), Matt Coughlin (1A), Brad Efthimiou (1A) and an honorable mention goes to Rob Dmytruk for scoring his first ever OHL goal. Once again Paulo Colaiacovo had a good game for Belleville but was tested very little by the Rangers.
…..Prospects. Again Wellwood (#121) was the best 2001 draft eligible player in the game with Colaiacovo (#16) coming in second. Derek Roy (#31) was not noticeable in the game except for a speed burst once in a while, however the future looks good for the Rangers as Benoit and Eminger played good games. They are not draft eligible until 2002.
OSHAWA(3) @ BELLEVILLE(9) – March 14In a game with some highs and lows the Bulls got one step closer to taking their first ever division title. A win in Kingston on Friday night will seal the deal now. The Bulls took it to the Generals on this night with goalie T.J. Aceti left by coach George Burnett to endure the entire 60 minutes of pain. This game again, looked as though it may be an even match as it was 2-2 until the mid way through the second period when the flood gates opened up. The scoring for the Bulls was a little more evenly spread through the line-up on this night but once again the top line took the spotlight with Radivojevic (3A) scoring his 100th point of the season and Rowe (3G) picking up the hat trick including his 60th of the season. Rowe becomes the first Bull since the 84-85
season (Dave McLean) to score 60 and the first OHLer to score 60 since 95-96 (Sean Haggerty). Robinson (1G, 1A) was the Bulls best player on this night though showing nice puck control and agility with Jan Chovan putting on a strong showing in net for the Bulls until an apparent hamstring injury forced him to leave in the 3rd period. The Gens best player was probably Jamie Johnson who showed some nice passing skills or Kevin Mitchell also adept with the puck, especially for a defenseman. Other point getters for the Bulls: Renzi (1G, 1A), Matt Stajan (1G, 2A), Wellwood (1G, 3A), David Silverstone (1G), Cody McCormick (2A), Policelli (1A), Adam Paiement (1G, 1A), White (1A) and Malcolm Hutt (1A). Just about everyone on the team.
Prospects The best prospect in this game would have to be a toss up between Wellwood (#121) who once again made some amazing plays and Chovan (#10) who came up with some very acrobatic saves. The Generals top prospect was Brandon Nolan (#68), but he didn’t show up to play on this night.
OTHER NEWSChovan appeared to have won his job back as starting goalie but we’ll have to see how bad the leg injury is.Dan Growden was concussed.Michael Jacobsen was MIA in the last game due to a separated shoulder.Growden’s absence appears to have allowed Dmytruk to impress the coaches enough to gain a regular shift, which he is doing very well with.Randy Rowe is one of the best kept secrets in the OHL. He has good speed, an amazingly hard and accurate shot and is incredibly sturdy on his skates. His 59th goal for example was unreal. He was parked on the left side of the net about 2 feet of the crease when Wellwood slid a pass from the other side of the ice right on Rowe’s stick. He fought with the puck to sit and with a little delay snapped the puck over the goalies right shoulder into the opposite top corner. The angle looked impossible and there was no room for error. He should get a free agent tryout with an NHL team.
LATEST LINE COMBINATIONS
Rowe, Wellwood, RadivojevicPolicelli, Cornacchia
Robinson, Stajan, RenziCoughlin, Growden
Silverstone, McCormick, PaiementHutt, Dmytruk
Brown, Deveaux, White
2001 Top Prospects
POINTS IMPACT PLAYERS
1.Kyle Wellwood 111 1.Kyle Wellwood
2.Branko Radivojevic 1002.Branko Radivojevic
3.Randy Rowe 953.Randy Rowe
4.Nathan Robinson 674.Nate Robinson
5.Mike Renzi 515.Jan Chovan
BEST OPPOSITIONPOINTS PAST 2 WEEKS
1.Chris ThorburnNB 1.Branko Radivojevic 14
2.Matt CarknerPetes2.Randy Rowe 11
3.Jeff DoyleNB3.Kyle Wellwood 10
4.Jamie JohnsonOSH4.Nate Robinson 9
5.Kevin Mitchell OSH5.Mike Renzi 6