Peterborough Petes on a Roll

By Kevin Dawe

The Peterborough Petes have been on fire in January, and have moved up to third in the OHL’s Eastern Conference, a position that seemed quite unlikely after the first half of the season, and the Petes first two games following Christmas. The first two games Peterborough played in the second half were embarrassing, and understatement if ever there was one. The Petes lost 9-1 to Ottawa at home, and 9-1 to Brampton on the road the following day. Things were looking terrible to start the second half. The OHL trade deadline was fast approaching (January 10th), and as all Petes fans know, GM Jeff Twohey would not be making any significant moves, as is his style, so the Petes would have to get better from within.

And they certainly did.They have gone 9-1-2 since the two shellackings, including an impressive sweep of three weekend games (January 23, 24, 25). The Petes did make one move at the deadline, sending Bryan Hamm to Erie for defenceman Mike McKeown. The move should benefit the team this year as well as next, as McKeown is a potential overager next year. Hamm hadn’t been playing often with Peterborough, and the move was good for all involved. The move is even better for Peterborough, because next season’s overage crop looks like the weakest in recent memory, and defence will be a particularely rough area in the future, with Lukas Krajicek and Adam Elzinga moving on after this season. However, back to the present.

The biggest reason for the Petes great play of late has been the goal-scoring of Greg Chambers. Chambers slumped somewhat early in the season, which was expected after last season’s breakout 41 goal 89 point season. Chambers has been the Petes best player since the beginning of December, and has moved up to 13th in league scoring, with 62 points in 47 games. Chambers was particularely impressive this past weekend, as he recorded 6 goals in the Petes three wins, including a hat trick against Kingston.

There is renewed optimism with the Petes thanks to their recent play. They are still in a tight group of teams, including Oshawa, Belleville, St. Michael’s and Brampton who are all battling for second spot in the Eastern Conference, behind Ottawa.

The Petes next action is Thursday January 30th, when Bryan Hamm and the Erie Otters visit the Memorial Center.