On the strength of convincing road wins over Orillia (1-13-1) and Erin (5-7-1) this past weekend, the Huntsville Jr C Otters are gaining momentum in their climb up the GMBOJCHL standings, and now sit third in the league with 17 points.
Currently on a three-game winning streak, the club has improved to 8-3-1 on the year with 28 games still to play. The team continues to find chemistry and play well as a group, and are being led by a core of several standout players.
Rookie Andy Baker leads not only the Otters but the entire league in nearly every offensive category so far this season. He ranks first in goals (12) and total points (24), and is tied for second in powerplay goals/assists/points and shorthanded goals. Despite having his eight-game point streak snapped in Huntsville’s last loss, four games ago in Alliston, Baker has recorded at least a point in 10 of 12 games since joining the Otters, and has seven multi-point games during that span.
Captain Jake McIntrye is right behind Baker, and his 10 goals and 20 points place him fourth and third in the league in those categories respectively. Like Baker, McIntyre has notched a point or more in 10 of 12 games, and has been particularly dangerous lately with 13 points in his last six.
Not all of the offense has come from the forwards, however, as Kyle Burns leads GMBOJCHL defensemen in goals (6), assists (10), points (16), powerplay points (7) and is tied for second in powerplay assists (4). This ranks Burns 16th overall in total scoring among skaters, with 13 points in his last eight games.
Fellow blueliner Jared Stevens is also a top three defender, and is currently third in the league in both points (10) and assists (8) by a defenseman, including seven points on the powerplay.
All four players have a legitimate shot at making the All-Star team this year.
As incredible as it is, those aren’t all the league-leaders in the Otters dressing room. Chris Goodfellow leads the GMBOJCHL in penalty minutes with 81, while Josh Zantingh (4th – 59 PIM) and Tyler Kalbe (8th – 42 PIM) are also in the top 10.
Shifting focus to the goaltenders, the stats are equally impressive. Starter Connor Cristianson is 5-3-1 on the year and is second in both wins (5) and saves (281) while also ranking in the top 10 in both goals against average and save percentage.
Backup goalie Jamie Gee has been excellent when called upon, improving to 3-0-0 with an incredible 0.98 GAA and .968 save percentage in three starts. He has allowed just three goals on 93 shots this season.
The Otters are in for a good test this weekend as they go up against the top two teams ahead of them in the standings, welcoming Midland (10-3-0) to the Canada Summit Centre on Friday before travelling to Alliston (10-2-0) for an afternoon game on Sunday.