BY DAVE PAUL
Veteran OHL broadcaster Leigh Cunningham says the 2013-14 OHL season is going, "more or less, according to form, so far."
Cunningham, the Sarnia native who is in his sixth season as radio play-by-play man with the Saginaw Spirit, said (prior to Thursday's Sting/Spirit contest at RBC Centre) the Western Conference standings after the first month of the year are shaping up approximately how he expected them to.
"Kitchener and Plymouth," contenders last season, are vulnerable this year after both teams "lost a lot of artillery," says Cunningham, who had previously done play-by-play for Sarnia, London, Windsor and North Bay (Centennials) in 17 years of broadcasting.
Cunningham adds the Spirit got off to a slow start this year but have rebounded behind the strong goaltending of Jake Paterson and Nikita Serebryakov.
Still, he adds, it will be tough to crack the top-four, with London and Sault Ste. Marie playing well atop the standings and Guelph and Erie also looking like possible contenders.
"Watch for the Otters," he says. "Obviously, they have Connor McDavid, but they have a lot more going for them ... it's a deep and impressive roster."
As for the Sting, Cunningham says it's tough to lose the league's top goalscorer (Reid Boucher) and best overager (Charlie Sarault) and not feel the loss.
"But Trevor (Letowski) and Andy (Delmore) have them working really hard every night," says Cunningham. "They might not have the deepest roster, talent-wise this season, but they won't get outworked very often."
highlights from Sarnia and Saginaw October 17