Im­pres­sive Petes are primed for Thurs­day’s home opener

Be­sides up­grade to glass and boards, sound sys­tem, con­ces­sions also im­proved at the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - Matt Camp­bell Matt Camp­bell has been a Petes sea­son-ticket holder for 30 sea­sons. His col­umn ap­pears bi-weekly dur­ing the Petes sea­son.

Nearly a month af­ter the OHL sea­son started, the Peter­bor­ough Petes are fi­nally ready to make their home de­but and there’s plenty of rea­son to be ex­cited to re­turn to the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre.

By all ac­counts, the ren­o­va­tions were suc­cess­ful and ex­ceeded the work needed to re­pair the floor and up­grade the glass and boards (but not smooth out any square cor­ners). Some ad­di­tional changes have been made to im­prove the sound sys­tem, con­ces­sions and gen­er­ally im­prove fan ex­pe­ri­ence.

The pho­tos be­ing shared of the new sur­face look great and add to the an­tic­i­pa­tion to fi­nally watch the Petes on home ice (af­ter the Wig­gles break in the new sur­face, of course).

The great­est rea­son for ex­cite­ment is on the ice, where the team re­turns home with a 6-3 won-loss record. To win six of nine games on the road is an im­pres­sive feat any time and while the Petes may not be un­de­feated through nine games like the ri­val Gen­er­als, the level of com­pe­ti­tion the Petes have faced has been greater. De­feat­ing the Lon­don Knights, Sault Ste Marie Grey­hounds, Ot­tawa 67’s and Sag­i­naw Spirit among oth­ers on the road is a dif­fi­cult task at any time. To do so as part of an early sea­son sched­ule with no home rink and on ex­ten­sive travel is even more im­pres­sive.

Equally im­pres­sive and adding to the buzz around town is the man­ner in which the Petes have been win­ning — mostly by scor­ing a lot of goals. The Petes have had strong of­fen­sive teams in years past but play­ers pro­duc­ing at the lev­els of this team in the early part of the sea­son hasn’t been seen in some time.

Nick Robert­son leads the OHL in goals. Line­mate Se­myon Der-Ar­guch­int­sev leads the league in as­sists. Ma­son McTav­ish is tied for the lead in rookie goals. De­clan Chisholm is tied for se­cond in the league among de­fence­men in points. The Petes have scored more than 4.5 goals per game and four goals or more in all but two con­tests.

So­lid­i­fy­ing that of­fence with stal­wart play in goal is Hunter Jones, who cur­rently sits in the top 5 in ev­ery goal­tend­ing cat­e­gory. Put all the pieces to­gether and the Petes strong start sees them se­cond in the East.

The sea­son is young but it looks like the Petes have a team ca­pa­ble of not only win­ning but win­ning in an en­ter­tain­ing way. That win­ning, as well as the de­layed start to the home por­tion of the sea­son, has cre­ated a real sense of an­tic­i­pa­tion in the city.

It seems every­where around town, the Petes are a hot topic. A glance at the PMC web­site shows few seats avail­able for Thurs­day’s home opener, in­di­cat­ing it should be a sold-out crowd. Peter­bor­ough is ready to pack the PMC.

The wait­ing is al­most over, the an­tic­i­pa­tion con­tin­ues to build and is fi­nally about to crest. The team has lived up to early ex­pec­ta­tions and cre­ated a buzz around the city that should carry into the rink Thurs­day night, all that’s left now is to drop the puck.

PETER RUICCI SAULT STAR

Peter­bor­ough’s De­clan Chisholm is tied for se­cond in the league among de­fence­men in points head­ing into Thurs­day’s game.

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