The London Knights broke a short-lived trend in Week 4 of the Ontario Hockey League schedule.
They finished up with the first weekend split of the year after a 4-1 home win over the Plymouth Whalers on Friday, and a 5-3 road loss to the Oshawa Generals on Sunday.
Previously, London had been following a neat little pattern, having won two in Week 1, lost a pair in Week 2, and won another couple in Week 3.
Over a 68-game campaign, though, trends don’t have great staying power.
Anyway, let’s take a look at some interesting storylines across the league.
Winning the hard way
As it stands now, the three most penalized teams hold down a top-five spot in the overall standings.
Oshawa (199 PIM), Owen Sound Attack (183), and Guelph Storm (169) have the second, third, and fifth highest points totals after four weeks of action.
Interestingly enough, each club has at least one offensive tool playing with a chip on his shoulder.
Dan Catenacci has accumulated a team-high 23 penalty minutes, but also ranks second in Attack scoring. Generals Lucas Lessio and Scott Laughton have 20 and 21 penalty minutes, respectively, to go along with 12 points each. And, in the Storm’s case, Tanner Richard has 19 minutes spent in the box, yet has collected a team-high 11 assists.
Cousins still producing
Despite being one of three Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds players charged with sexual assault in late August, forward Nick Cousins is in early season contention for the league’s scoring crown.
It appears Cousins’ alleged misbehaviour — which has not been proven in court — hasn’t slowed him down. The 19-year-old has seven goals and nine assists (16 points) in 10 games so far.
The Philadelphia Flyers prospect is tied for second in league scoring with Vincent Trocheck of the Saginaw Spirit. Oshawa’s Boone Jenner has 17 points in 10 games.
Early season breakdown in Kitchener
The Kitchener Rangers’ pre-season hopes of competing in the 2013 Memorial Cup tournament have been put on the backburner, as they’ve lost four straight.
The Knights’ rival is below .500 record (3-4-0-1) to begin the campaign. It looks even worse when you glance at the Midwest Division standings and notice they’re only one point up on the lowly Erie Otters.
Rangers fans shouldn’t panic, however. General manager and head coach Steve Spott runs a tight ship, and it’s better to struggle out of the gate than down the stretch.
It should be noted Kitchener has been on the road for all eight games. Their home rink, the Auditorium, has been under construction.
*This post also appears in Metro London’s Oct. 16 print edition