The weekend before Canadian Thanksgiving is always a busy time in junior hockey, and it's no different for Ryan Murray and Boone Jenner.
Both players have been off to impressive starts with their clubs in Everett and Oshawa, but it's a double bonus for Jenner because the Generals are currently the first-place team in the OHL's East Division -- and have the best point total in the entire league.
Murray and the Silvertips are off to a slow start in the standings, but the Blue Jackets' first-round pick (2012) has not missed a beat despite getting a late start on training camp. The 19-year-old defenseman has put up four points (one goal, three assists) for a club that has struggled mightily in the offensive end of the rink lately, while playing upwards of 25 minutes a night on the blueline.
That's his game, though: an all-around defenseman that moves the puck of trouble and shuts down opponents with excellent positioning. Not flashy, not overly exciting -- but at the end of the night, you know the kid has done his job.
Here's what went down last night with the Silvertips:
Everett was foiled in its bid to win its first home game of the year, falling 2-0 to the Tri-City Americans at Comcast Arena. Lost in the final score was a tremendous late push by the Silvertips (1-3-1), who out-shot the Americans 18-4 in the third period and put the heat on goalie Eric Comrie all night.
Comrie stayed perfect throughout, making 35 saves to earn the victory for the visitors.
Next up for the Silvertips is a road game in Seattle on Saturday night, followed by a return engagement with Tri-City on Sunday.
BlueJackets.com will catch up with Murray following this weekend's action, and we'll get the scoop on how things are going with the Silvertips captain.
On the eastern side of Canada, it's also an exciting weekend for the Generals (4-1-0). Their next matchup is with the Kingston Frontenacs, who (to the surprise of many) have opened with a perfect record (3-0-0) and are the last unbeaten team in the OHL.
Oshawa swept its three-in-three series last weekend and scored at least five times in each game, including back-to-back two-goal outings from Jenner against Belleville and Brampton. This is a big stretch of games ahead, as well: the Generals play three straight and four of the next five games at General Motors Centre.
Jenner has been a key cog in the Generals' early success, but he hasn't gone at it alone: newcomer Tyler Biggs has six points in the first five games and Matt Petgrave leads the OHL with eight helpers thus far.
The Generals wrap up their weekend with a Thanksgiving Day matinee at home against Belleville.