There is a small beacon of light for Nathan McIver in what has been a dreary season for the captain of the St. Michael's Majors.
McIver yesterday was named to the Eastern Conference all-star team for the Ontario Hockey League all-star game in Owen Sound Feb. 2. While the 20-year-old defenceman looks forward to participating in the game, he is hopeful the Majors can hook into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Presently, they have 34 points and are eight behind the Kingston Frontenacs, who possess the final berth.
'ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN'
"We know how we have to play," McIver said. "We have 26 games left and we have to try to win 18 or 20 of them. If we make the playoffs, anything can happen. I would think we have (among) the most playoff experience in the league."
McIver is right about that. The Majors have been to the conference final in each of the past four seasons. The recent acquisition of Tyler Donati should be a boost to the Majors' offence but it might be too late.
"I don't know why we have been struggling to score goals," McIver said. "We just can't score when we need to."
With 88 goals in 42 games, the Majors are on pace for 142. The OHL record for fewest in a season is 145, set by the Mississauga IceDogs in 1998-99.
Ryan MacDonald may have initially been upset about being traded to the Guelph Storm from the Memorial Cup host London Knights on Jan. 10, but it did not stop him from making a nice gesture to the guy he was traded for.
Before he left London, MacDonald scribbled a note and left it in his old locker, the one that fellow goalie Adam Dennis took over when he joined the Knights from Guelph.
"I just wanted to let him know we had a good team and a good bunch of guys,"MacDonald said. "I wished him luck. I was gathering up some of my things and thought it would be a nice thing to do." So did Dennis.
"I didn't expect it, but it was classy on his part," Dennis, a nephew of Maple Leafs development coach Paul Dennis, said. "He basically told me I was in good hands."