Ottawa 67's look for 10th straight win to start Ontario Hockey League season

Ottawa 67's head coach Dave Cameron doesn't care about statistics or records or anything like that. He just wants his players to focus on their process and play their best each game.

The 67's have started the Ontario Hockey League season on a nine-game win streak to rocket to the top of the East Division. They can stretch that streak to 10 when Ottawa hosts the rival Peterborough Petes on Friday night.

The 67's can match an OHL record for best-ever start to a season if they beat Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday when they welcome the Greyhounds.

"I could care less," said Cameron. "I have no idea who has a streak and I think that unless you're on a team that has a streak, probably not many people know about it.

"We just concentrate on the process and surrender to the outcome."

The 1992-93 Petes and 1995-96 Guelph Storm share the OHL record of 11 wins to start a season.

Seven of Ottawa's wins have come in regulation time, with a 7-6 victory over the Oshawa Generals on Sept. 30 and a 2-1 triumph over Sault Ste. Marie on Oct. 23 coming in the shootout.

Cameron attributes the 67's success so far this season to strong team play from the net out.

"When you're on a streak you enjoy them and they're something that probably comes into play after the season's over or after you retire," said Cameron. "But when you're in the middle of it it doesn't mean diddly squat."

Right-winger Brady Stonehouse leads Ottawa with seven goals this season and has also added two assists for the 67's well-rounded attack. Ottawa's 41 goals are the most in the OHL's Eastern Conference this season and third most in the league behind the Saginaw Spirit (49) and Flint Firebirds (47).

Stonehouse said that sticking to the game plan has been critical to the 67's success.

"Every game we have three keys to success and one of the keys that's always on there is 'stick with it,'" said Stonehouse. "I feel like for the past nine games, we've stuck with it.

"Like in Sudbury (a 5-3 win on Oct. 23) we were down three nothing and we found a way. So the big thing is sticking with it, trusting the process."

The 18-year-old Stonehouse, like Cameron, was deferential when asked about his point-per-game pace, a sharp improvement from the 18 goals and 17 assists he had in 68 games last season.

"I think my personal success is coming from my linemates Jack Beck and Cameron Tolnai," said Stonestreet. "I'm getting to the right spot and they're finding me.

Right now I have the touch of putting the puck in the back of the net."

Cameron is also within reach of a personal milestone, sitting at 398 career wins as a coach at the major junior level.

"It means you're old. I started hockey as a career in 1995," said Cameron. "When you have wins it means you have good teams.

"The reality of it is, is that the best coaches have the best teams and have the best players. And I believe I've been very fortunate over the years."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2022.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press