Young Spezza faces shots

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

As Jason Spezza's little brother, it's probable Matthew Spezza was chased a few times from the net on the family's driveway.

But as a rookie goaltender with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, the younger Spezza figures there is no other place he should be.

"I knew I would be here (one day)," Spezza, 18, said before practice yesterday. "It helped me a lot to have Jason shooting on me. And I saw the hard work it took to play in the OHL. It's a thrill to be here."

In six games with the Frontenacs, the 6-foot-2, 222-pound Spezza is 2-4 with a 3.02 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage. Originally drafted by the Brampton Battalion in 2002, Spezza played for the tier-II Lindsay Muskies and St. Michael's Buzzers last season before his rights were traded to Kingston.

He won a job with the Frontenacs after out-performing much of the competition in training camp in the fall. But it's not as though Frontenacs coach Jim Hulton had to get to know Spezza. Hulton coached Jason Spezza with both the Mississauga IceDogs and the Belleville Bulls, and Matthew was a major rink rat back in those days.

STORM ON HORIZON

If there's a trick to beating the London Knights, only the Guelph Storm may possess that secret.

While the hot Knights' 14-0-1 start is the talk of the OHL, as impressive is their mark of 44-6-2, including playoffs, since Jan. 24. Each of the six losses have a common theme -- the Storm has been responsible for all of them. The Storm, which lost to the Knights on Oct. 24, visits London tomorrow.

"We know we can beat them because we have done it before," Storm forward Ryan Callahan said. "You get jacked up for games against them. We give them all the respect in the world but on the ice they are just another team."

MORE TRADES?

IceDogs owner/general manager Mario Forgione says he is not done dealing.

"We are working on another potential trade that includes a big player," said Forgione, who recently acquired Dan Carcillo and John Hecimovic from Sarnia. "We're talking to a team in the east and one in the west."

Forgione wouldn't bite when asked about Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds star Jeff Carter, who is rumoured to be destined to either London or Mississauga.


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