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Nurse big part of Greyhounds' rise

by Adam Kimelman

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds missed the Ontario Hockey League playoffs last season, but with some help from defenseman Darnell Nurse, they enter this week atop the West Division.

The Greyhounds have won two in a row, including Friday's come-from-behind 6-5 shootout win at the Erie Otters.

Nurse, who earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary ranking of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft, scored a pair of goals. His first, 4:13 into the second period, began SSM's rally from a 3-0 deficit. His second, with 6:05 left, tied the game and forced overtime.

Nurse, who had 10 points in 53 games last season, now has four goals and nine assists in 16 games, and his 13 points are tied for sixth among OHL defensemen.

Here's a look at how other top draft prospects fared this weekend:

* Ottawa 67s center Sean Monahan, another A-rated skater, had a goal and three assists in an 8-6 win at the Kingston Frontenacs on Friday.

* Peterborough Petes goalie Michael Giugovaz, a B-rated goaltender, stopped 35 of 36 shots in a 3-1 defeat of the Saginaw Spirit on Saturday.

* Barrie Colts center Zach Hall had a hat trick in a 4-1 defeat of the Niagara IceDogs. A C-rated skater, Hall now is fourth in the OHL with 22 points.

* Mississauga defenseman Dylan DeMelo scored once in regulation and again in the shootout to help the Steelheads to a 3-2 shootout win against the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday.

* Kitchener left wing Justin Bailey scored with three minutes left in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and lift the Rangers to a 2-1 defeat of the Plymouth Whalers on Sunday. Since returning from a five-game absence due to a concussion, the A-rated forward has three goals in six games.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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