O'Marra keeping his spirit high

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

Ryan O'Marra hasn't looked skyward to see if the hockey gods are trying to send a message.

But the Mississauga native could not be blamed for taking a peek.

The 19-year-old now is focused on trying to help the Saginaw Spirit win its first Ontario Hockey League title, but the path that led to such a goal has had a few bumps.

While training in August at the Erindale campus of the University of Toronto, O'Marra slipped and broke a fibula.

A first-round pick of the New York Islanders in 2005, O'Marra missed all of training camp.

Then, while with the Erie Otters before a trade sent him to Saginaw, O'Marra rushed back into the lineup and played 10 games before his sore leg told him to rest.

On Nov. 22 he was dealt to Saginaw. While driving to the home rink of his new club, O'Marra was involved in a multiple-car accident in Michigan.

"Two cars swerved right in front of me and I was angled right into the guardrail," O'Marra said. "I was pretty shaken up. It could have been worse."

As for his broken leg and missing Islanders camp, O'Marra was philosophical.

"It was difficult, and I try not to think too much about it," O'Marra said. "I want to do something with Saginaw that will help my career long-term, as opposed to maybe making the jump (to the NHL) and not getting much ice time.

"Chances are I would have been (in the OHL) anyway."

O'Marra has some other business later this month as is one of 11 returning players who will be competing for a spot on Canada's junior team. Selection camp begins Dec. 10 in Calgary.

"I know how I have to play," the 6-foot-2, 200-pound centre said. "I want to be (on the team) and I should be there."

BRIEFLY

Chris Stewart of the Kingston Frontenacs was suspended for three OHL games after spearing a Russian player late in the Canada-Russia game on Monday night ... The Oshawa Generals acquired goalie Mark Packwood from Kitchener. Carlo DiRienzo recently asked for a trade and no longer is with the Gens.


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