Liam Kirk will be looking to snap a streak of 11 games without a point as the Peterborough Petes take on the Sudbury Wolves tonight in a home clash, just 24 hours after a 3 – 0 loss over the Niagara Ice Dogs at the Meridian Centre.
Kirk had a bright start to his time in the Ontario Hockey League, registering his first point in his first game with an assist, and scoring his first goal in his second game.
Currently through 14 games in the OHL, Kirk has two goals and two assists, and has seen his role on the wing move around a lot, featuring on the Petes 1st line at times, and even being utilised on the fourth line as well as everything in between.
The former Steeler forward was a seventh round selection of the Arizona Coyotes in this past summers NHL Entry Draft, before the Petes, who are led by former Steeler Rob Wilson, took him with the 9th pick in the following CHL Import Draft.
Peterborough had a strong start to their OHL season, but come into tonight’s meeting with a four game losing streak that began in a 4 – 1 loss to the Oshawa Generals on October 18th.
The team has hit a bit of an offensive dry spell as of late as well, so it’s not just Kirk that’s struggling on the team right now. Since a 5 – 4 overtime win over the Erie Otters on October 11th, the Petes have scored more than twice in a game just once, and have been shut out twice in a spell of six games in a busy schedule.
Despite the teams struggles, they still hold second place in the East Division with 16 points from 14 games, and come in against a tough Wolves team that will have a bit of rest on their side after their last game ended in a 2 – 0 win over Kingston on Saturday night.
The team has some tough offensive weapons to pick from as well like David Levin who has 11 points in 12 appearances so far, and looks to finally be hitting the expectations he had coming in after he was taken first overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft.
Another key name for the Wolves tonight will be Quinton Byfield, who may just be 16-years-old but is having a great rookie season for Sudbury, with 10 points so far and is shaping up to be a potential top five selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
The 6’4″ centre has been a key part of the Sudbury offence and will be looking to capitalise on a Petes side that hasn’t been playing their best hockey as of late.
Another factor tonight will be the Wolves netminder, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has a .928 save percentage in 8 appearances since coming over from HPK in the Finnish Liiga and LeKi in the Finnish second division where he made 24 appearances last year. The promising Finnish goalie was a second round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in last summer’s draft.
Peterborough will be looking to snap their poor run of form quickly, as they’ll be taking on the Owen Sound Attack on Saturday night.
Featured Image Credit: AZCentral