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Oshawa Generals’ Michael Dal Colle starts off with 4-point night: OHL/WHL Opening Night 3 Stars

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

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Dal Colle is considered a possible Top 10 pick in the 2014 draft (OHL Images)

No. 1 star: Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Dal Colle would like you to know his rookie year performance wasn't inflated by being on a line with two world junior tournament participants, Tyler Biggs and Boone Jenner. His season debut was real and it was spectacular as he factored in all Generals scoring in their 4-3 road win over the Windsor Spitfires. The 17-year-old Dal Colle (2G-2A, +2) was dangerous all night. He scored twice in the first period, once on a deflection and the other on a laser from the slot. Later in the first, Dal Colle helped keep the Spitfires trapped in their own zone and got the second apple on Josh Sterk's first goal for Oshawa.

Windsor got back on equal terms and only a toe save by Daniel Altshuller (30 saves) midway through the third on Windsor's Josh Ho-Sang kept the Spits from forging ahead. With less than four minutes to play, Oshawa got a power play and Dal Colle and Sterk (1G-2A, +2) harried Windsor into losing the puck in its own slot area before it could get a clear. Their linemate, 6-foot-6 Hunter Smith, used his long reach to corral the puck and then wired the puck in for his first regular-season goal since St. Patrick's Day 2012. The Dal Colle-Sterk-Smith line had nine points, which is decent for a line that only came together one day earlier after Oshawa traded with Kitchener to add Sterk.

No. 2 star: Sam Schutt, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

The East Division favourites pumped the Peterborough Petes 11-4, although it must be stressed that the Frontenacs were missing five veterans due to NHL camps or suspension. Schutt (3G, +1), a 19-year-old forward from Palmer Rapids, Ont. — not far from Cloyne if you need a reference point — was named first star after bagging two goals in the first period.

Schutt's goal in the third gave his team two hat-trick scorers. Overage centre Darcy Greenaway (3G, +5) did all his damage within the last seven minutes of the second.

No. 3 star: Coda Gordon, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

Gordon, who only rejoined the Broncos on Wednesday after getting into a preseason game with the NHL's Calgary Flames, took first-star honours as the Broncos cleared out the Brandt Centre by beating the Regina Pats 7-2. The Broncos have yet to name a captain to success Winnipeg Jets prospect Adam Lowry, but the three letter-wearers, Gordon (1G-2A, +2), Colby Cave (3A, +1) and Dillon Heatherington (1G, +3), each had superb nights. Seventeen-year-old defenceman Julius Honka also chipped in a three-point night.

Honourable mention: Andreas Athanasiou, Barrie Colts (OHL)

Double-A served notice in Barrie's 7-4 home-opener win over the Saginaw Spirit. Athanasiou (2G-1A, +3) scored one of his signature short-handed breakaway goals in the second period, going backhand shelf on fellow Detroit Red Wings prospect Jake Paterson to open a 3-2 lead. The Spirit fought back to tie four times, but Josh MacDonald (2G, +1) got the winner with 11:40 left. Athanasiou then got his Mariano Rivera on, closing out the win by finishing off a passing play with overage Mitchell Theoret (1G-2A, +2) to seal the win.

Honourable mention: Dylan Smoskowitz, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Missy and the Niagara IceDogs are supposed to be offensively challenged, so naturally they played a 6-5 season opener, with the Steelheads' Jacob Graves getting his maiden OHL goal in overtime. The overage Smoskowitz (1G-2A, +3) and 18-year-old Josh Burnside (3A, +1) helped Mississauga repeatedly rally throughout the night. The pair combined on the tying goal, with Smoskowitz ripping home a perfect Burnside centring pass.

Potent notables — Geordie Maguire scored both Pats goals ... In the OHL, Columbus Blue Jackets first-rounder Kerby Rychel, after rejoining Windsor about two hours before puck drop, scored two goals as he begins his drive for a third 40-goal season ... Former University of Michigan commit Bryson Cianfrone (2G, +2) scored in his first OHL game for Mississsauga ... Roland McKeown (4A, +4) also had a big night for the Frontenacs, who got points from 13 of their 15 available skaters ... Kreis' goal for Barrie was his first in the OHL.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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