Goalie bucks trend

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

By RYAN PYETTE, Free Press Sports Reporter

Two straight OHL shutouts?

Under the new rules of hockey, that seems the equivalent of winning a marathon on one leg or leaping a tall building in a single bound.

But Brampton Battalion goaltender Daren Machesney pulled off back-to-back goose eggs with a 4-0 win over Sudbury on Friday and a 3-0 blanking of Ottawa on Sunday. The 18-year-old from Lambeth stopped 32 shots from the Wolves and 34 from the 67's.

"I didn't keep the puck or anything. I was thinking more about how much we needed the two wins than the two shutouts," the former Elgin-Middlesex Chief said yesterday from Brampton.

"It is harder to get a shutout this year. I think the age of the 15-shot shutout with only one or two quality scoring chances is gone."

Last year, London Knights goalies Adam Dennis and Gerald Coleman combined for 14 shutouts. Through the first month of the OHL season, there have only been four zeros posted.

"We're just playing really good team defence right now," he said. "We lost (7-3 to London at the Bunker on Oct. 13) and I think we realized we're not a run-and-gun offensive team like the Knights."

Machesney, a Washington Capitals draft pick, spent his summer preparing for the hockey season and working at Echo Valley Golf Club. He attended a four-day pro camp run by Knights goalie coach Dave Rook and Windsor Spitfires coach Bill Dark and practised with NHLers Steve Rucchin and Andy McDonald.

"I went to Washington's training camp for a week and I think I was the youngest guy there," he said.

The 20-year-old Dennis, who is 8-0 but has yet to record a shutout, agrees the game is tougher for goalies this year.

"The biggest thing is the traffic in front of the net because the defence can't really move guys out anymore or it's a penalty," he said. "There's not much you can do. You have to rely on your reflexes and do your best to get any sight lines you can."

When the Knights head to Windsor tomorrow, they may face a new goalie.

The Spitfires have acquired Markham native Anthony Guadagnolo, 19, who left Ottawa Sept. 26 after demanding a trade.

Spitfires owner Steve Riolo also said he will finally try to trade Steve Downie, who left the team after he was suspended for five games and ordered to get anger management counselling for getting into two fights with rookie Akim Aliu at practice Sept. 28.

At the time, Riolo said he would never trade Downie.

"I believe someone within the organization will be handling that (Downie trade) by the end of the week," said Spitfires assistant coach D.J. Smith, who along with Bill Bowler is handling bench duties in Mantha's absence.

Former Sarnia Sting GM Terry Doran, who is scouting for the Spits, is expected to be named interim GM.


Videos

Photos